Communications Lessons You Can Learn From Malcolm and Marie
June 8, 2021
I recently watched Malcom and Marie on Netflix and to be honest, when I started, I was upset. I was mad about the dialogue. The movie was beautiful but I felt exhausted, almost as though this was a very painful movie experience but I am sure there was a point, the producers, directors, writers, actors must have had a point to all this! As I pondered a little about the foundations that must have birthed the movie and after I was done feeling all the emotions I felt, one thing stood out for me, the last 15 minutes told me all I needed to know. It was a movie about communication
The final thing Marie said to Malcolm was the whole point of the movie, stuck out for me. I’ll summarise it like this, your audience may not be able to articulate what they want, but they definitely know what’s hurting them and will jump at anything that can soothe that pain. Marie and Malcolm knew what they felt but they struggled to articulate it to each other. It made me think about how most professionals struggled to communicate with their clients.
I remembered when I was younger in the industry and I used to get so angry when my clients couldn’t articulate their pain and they’ll just go on rants, and I will also go on rants, saying I know what’s best for them. It gave me Malcolm and Marie vibes lol. For those who haven’t watched it, read these words:
[Marie] But what it also makes me realize, the reason you don’t get jealous is because you don’t value that mystery, do you? The reason you don’t value it, the reason why you never wonder if you’re the best f*ck I’ve ever had, or the most talented person I’ve ever been with, or the kindest, or the smartest, it’s because it is inconceivable to you that there is anybody on this planet that is more interesting than you are.
[Marie] Your lack of curiosity is merely an extension of your narcissism, your megalomania, your egotistical view of the world. As a result of never doubting yourself, you never stopped to ask yourself, “How can I be a better partner?” You’re good. You are set. The man I’m looking at right now is as good as he’s gonna get… Because you’re not afraid that I’m gonna come home and go… [inhales deeply] “You know what? You lost me tonight. F*ck this shit. I am out.” But if you steamroll every single person in your midst, day in and day out, you are going to end up living in a fictional f*cking reality. Look at me. I’m the last person standing. I’m the last person to look at you and go, “You know what? Up your f*cking game.” “If not for me, then for your work.” Malcolm, if this is a movie, you hold on to me for dear f*cking life. Because that’s who we’ve been for one another.
Culled Malcolm & Marie (2021) – Transcript – Scraps from the Loft: scrapsfromtheloft.com
So, here’s the thing… you need your clients and they need you. You need your employer and they need you. There are people out there better than you but you are the best for them, right now. be more empathic, show some love by being sensitive to their pain. Find a middle ground. Listen. This way, you’ll see your client retention rate skyrocket. You’ll notice people want you around. Don’t just disagree all the time, listen, and find a middle ground. That middle ground is where innovation exists.
In many ways, we are in a relationship with our customers and we have to treat them with love and respect. Read more about it here.
I am a multi-faceted creative driven by the need to create lasting solutions to key problems faced by you and your business. Ask me anything about business, branding, communications, or life and we will figure out the answers together. Drop a comment.