Cornflakes and PTSD.


I’m reading a book entitled Achilles in Vietnam – thank you Myra – written by a psychiatrist specializing in PTSD. I’m only 4 pages in but realize immediately how it will help in my brand planning consultancy. Vietnam veterans, especially those traumatized, want to be listened to. The whole listening thing is what good planners do well.  And as good as my ear is, I recognize I do a lot of questioning and probing.  That’s not how it works with PTSD.  It’s all about the listen.

Now I am not for a minute suggesting listening to a mom talk about cornflakes or a self-centered millennial chat on about imported beer is anything akin to a veteran talking about mid-night terrors, but if does give one pause.  A really cool insight I had for home care geriatric patients a couple of years ago turned into a target I called Captains of the Castle. This pay-for service looked at higher income men and women relegated to taking orders from their home nurses. They went from captains of industry to powerless patients.  Rich territory, that.  The point being, an attentive ear, when the talk is serious is seriously important. The more serious the topic the better the ear needs to be.

So how deeply should we dive in a cornflakes scenario? Should we still listen or should we jump at the shallow insights?  You tell me. (But you know the answer. ) Peace.