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Find Your Banana Moment

Dec 15, 2017

By Laura Spencer

Has a unique perspective or enlightening idea ever inspired you to change the way you do things? That kind of insight is as important in business as it is in broader life. Some people refer to those perspective-shifting experiences as “aha moments,” but for me they’re “banana moments.” I know, I know—it sounds weird. But stick with me here!

After a break at a cross cultural communications workshop I was attending, the group returned to find a banana on each seat. “Don’t eat them,” the facilitator told us.

She held up her banana and asked the group to explain how to peel it. Several people started saying, “From the top, pull back the peel.” The facilitator held the banana by the stem and began to peel from the opposite end. The group stopped her and stated that she needed to flip the banana around and peel using the stem instead.

As the facilitator followed their instructions, I spoke up. “Actually, holding the banana by the stem and peeling it the way she started to is how monkeys do it. I’ve been using that method for years.” The group looked at me strangely.

The facilitator smiled and asked me to instruct the group on my method and had them follow along. “Hold the stem of the banana in one hand. With your other hand, pinch the top of the banana with your index finger and thumb, then pull it down.”

As each of the other participants followed my instructions, the facilitator and I listed reasons why this method also works. “The stringy bits stick to the peel better, the stem doesn’t break off messily, and you have a handle to eat the banana with.”

One of the participants looked up in amazement. “You know, I never really thought that there was another way to do this. I wonder how many other banana moments I will have after this.”

And there you have it, a banana moment. Being open to these kinds of new ideas and perspectives can help you do things more efficiently and can also foster your personal and professional growth. So keep an eye open for your own banana moments and be receptive. Even if the method doesn’t work for you, you will learn how it does work for others.

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