“Mamihlapinatapai” is derived from the Yaghan language of Tierra del Fuego [and is] listed in [the] Guinness Book of Records…as the “most succinct word.”1 (Pronounced ma-mE-la-pin-ya-ta-pI).
Being a linguistical hobbyist, I have to share the etymology of this word with you:
Mam— the reflexive/passive prefix ma- (mam- before a vowel) +
Ilhapi— the root which means “to be at a loss as what to do next” +
n– the stative suffix +
ata- an achievement suffix +
apai— the dual suffix which makes the reflexive mam- reciprocal
In short, the word describes what follows an action of mind-reading (mind-melding for you Trekkies). It describes that experience of expressive and meaningful silence between two people during which each comes to a wordless understanding with the other of what each wants without either needing to make or receive an offer.
If you, dear reader, and I had that we wouldn’t need surveys. Any given week, I would know what you want and need to read and I would proceed to publish exactly what you needed.
If you had mamihlapinatapai, you and your ideal customers would find one another and do jobs together that are perfectly scoped and priced and paid.
Fantasy? But how often do we assume we have mamihlapinatapai with our clients and yet unknowingly ignore, neglect, or even annoy them? How often do we wonder why the apparently clearest intentions with the most team buy-in result in little real outcomes?
You and I want (and need) to be understood. But this understanding begins first with self-understanding. Even when putting together the survey, I had to guess at what to ask and what you wanted to learn about.
What about your clients? What can you do in 2015 to bring you both to state of acted upon self and other knowledge? What can you do in 2015 to make mamihlapinatapai a reality? Imagine what a great year you might have!
Here’s to mamihlapinatapai!
To continue last week’s survey “spoiler”…Maui is my favorite surfing spot because it was the only time I ever surfed and because I learned it with my two daughters!
Thanks to everyone who responded by the deadline! Stay tuned for a summary of your input!
What’s one thing you can do this week to grow in your self-awareness as a business owner? What’s one thing you can do this week to grow in knowledge of your clients?
1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mamihlapinatapai; page version 25 November 2014 at 04:54.
Originally posted 2015-01-14 12:09:57.