The Power of Moments by Chip and Dan Heath is a solid read subtitled Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact. The book focuses on defining moments, or events we remember, with those moments typically high in elevation, insight, pride, or connection.
The first story told is of a school instituting a Senior Signing Day, taking the idea of national signing day for athletes revealing their school choice and applying it to all seniors, with them announcing in front of the school and their families where they'll go to college. This annual event creates defining moments for both those announcing their college picks and younger students seeing their example. The authors write about how we remember particular moments for the peak memories they've provided, with one business example given that of the Magic Castle hotel in Los Angeles. They have a Popsicle Hotline phone by the pool that hotel guests can use to request a popsicle, which will be delivered to them by a white glove-wearing waiter. The flip side of providing great customer experience is providing a great employee experience and the Heath brothers write about the First Day Experience program for new hires at John Deere.
While a high school senior announcing where they'll go to college or employee on their first day at a job are peak moments, pits can also be the source of key memories or experiences. Something that's bad can be engineered to be better, with the example given that of hospitals making MRI machines for kids something fun, treating it like a spaceship rather than a tube to lay very still in while the machine makes loud noises. It's detailed in the book that transitions should be marked, milestones commemorated, and pits filled.
Elevation is written of as leading to defining moments. Peaks can be created if one conscious of them and it's cited that a way to create peaks is to break the script, provide an unexpected experience, with the example given of how the son of a hotel guest left behind a stuffed animal, and hotel workers prior to mailing the animal took pictures of it enjoying it's stay there at the hotel. This story is instructive as it provided a peak moment for the hotel guest and his family, but also likely for the hotel employees providing it. Next is insight, moments that deliver realizations and transformation. One way to deliver these to help people get them for themselves, let them "trip over the truth" and come to a sudden realization. Also leading to insight is the idea of "stretching for it," going on the basis that action leads to insight more often than insight leads to action. Examples are given of people enduring hard times or moments, just putting one foot in front of the other. Another story told in the book is of students more frequently submitting paper revisions if the instructor challenged them to, wrote a note saying they're capable of doing something even better than they've already submitted. It's also noted that in work settings, mentorship can come from high standards plus assurance.
Additionally are moments of pride, something that can be created by companies when they recognize employees for their effort and work. What's important is that it's authentic, personal, and not programmatic. Also key to remember and recognize are milestones, those marker points on the path to achieving something. Achievement is often simply stringing together milestones reached. Pride often comes from someone completing something that took a moment of courage, tackling something difficult and coming out the other side. Moments of connection are when we deepen our relationships with others. Creating shared meaning or experiences, especially working together with others on something difficult. Deepening ties is another way to create connection, listening to what someone has to say. People want to know they're understood, validated, and their needs cared about. The story is told in the book of how important it is to be able to express "what matters to me." It's a good book about this power of defining moments and how you try to provide them for people by thinking in moments and focusing on elevation, insight, pride, and connection.