How Leaders Develop and Practice Insight with Gina Fong

by | Feb 3, 2022 | Podcast, Workplace Forward



Consumer insight helps brands predict behavior and anticipate what you need—before you even know you need it.

And as leaders, we, too, need to know what motivates our team members, clients and other stakeholders.

But how do you discover this insight into what makes people tick? What skills can you develop and practice that will deepen your understanding of others?

Gina Fong is a consumer anthropologist, insights coach and keynote speaker at Fong Insight, a market research firm that educates organizations around using insight to surprise and delight their customers.

Gina also teaches at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, transforming the classroom into what she calls a curiosity gymnasium that inspires students to think with their head, heart and gut.

On this episode of Workplace Forward, Gina joins me to discuss the role of a consumer anthropologist and describe how insight helps us understand what motivates people, predict their behavior and anticipate what they need.

She walks us through the six components of her ‘insight muscle’ framework, challenging us to build the mindset of curiosity, introspection and empathy required to understand others on a deeper level.

Listen in to understand the skills of observing, listening and inquiring leaders need to gain insight into the people we serve and learn where to go for exercises that will help strengthen your ‘insight muscle.’

Themes explored in this week’s episode:

  • The role of a consumer anthropologist in understanding how people use products and helping companies make them better
  • What differentiates data (WHAT people do) from insight (WHY people do what they do)
  • How insight helps us understand what motivates people, predict their behavior and anticipate what they need
  • The 6 components of Gina’s ‘insight muscle’ framework
  • How a mindset of curiosity, introspection and empathy helps leaders understand themselves and others on a deeper level
  • Gina’s insight on the 2 major misconceptions about empathy
  • The skill set of observing, listening and inquiring leaders can leverage to gain insight into the people they serve
  • What 3 types of questions are most effective in learning what makes people tick
  • How Gina’s course on customer insights at the Kellogg School of Business impacts her students in terms of leadership
  • Why insight takes deliberate and nuanced practice (and where to go for exercises to strengthen your insight muscle)

Resources from this episode:

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