Why great communicating’s like great parenting

20th August 2019

Here’s something that’s never happened…

Two parents watch their child take her first steps. But she falls. They shrug and say “Well, you’ll never be a walker.”

Never happened. Never will.

Instead, they’ll encourage her to get up, try again and again, until she can.

Good idea, right? Someone tries something. It doesn’t work. So we encourage them until they can.

So why is it in CorporateLand that we tell people something once, and are then amazed when they don’t do it?

Like the Exec who does a roadshow telling people about the new strategy – and is amazed when, six months later, people haven’t changed.

Or the boss who emails his team, asking them to change how they work. And is amazed that this one email didn’t make a long-term, habit-breaking change.

The answer?

Follow-up more.

Do it regularly. Do it relentlessly. Maybe use “best/next” – “what’s the best thing you’ve done, to help with the new strategy? And what’s the next thing you’re planning to do?”

Unless, of course, they’ll never be walkers…

Action Point

Next time you ask someone to change the way they work, diarise a reminder to follow-up with them in a few days/weeks. Then, ask “best/next” to make sure they’re doing what you want.

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