If it’s not a question, don’t ask!

Some lessons you learn the fun/hard way. In other words, your children teach you. Anybody with kids recognises the following conversation.

You: Can you please put on your shoes?
Kid: No!
You: Put your shoes on!
Kid: But you asked me and…
You: PUT YOUR G#$%& SHO…
Etc, etc,..

Technically, No!, was a valid answer. And your kid reminded you of that. But, that’s not the answer you wanted. The answer you wanted was Yes!, with the “voluntary” follow up action of actually putting on the shoes.

Recognise this?

  • Asking your team to do something and the answer “No” is not the answer you want nor accept?
  • Proposing a new way of working and the team does not agree and you already are putting it in play?
  • Asking people to follow new guidelines when they are actually mandatory?
  • Giving advise that should be followed?
  • Giving several choices but only one of the options is correct?

And? How do your colleagues react? Internally probably the same way as your kids, they just won’t say. It’s a full fledged feeling of injustice. You think you are given a choice, but actually you aren’t. You were told what to do, but in a “nice” way or something. Nobody likes this.

Stop it!

So what is the solution? Stopit! Stop asking when it’s not a question! It could be that your kids are too small to think for themselves. That means you need to tell them instead of asking. Your team members and co-workers are professionals, they can think for themselves. Only tell your co-workers what to do when it comes to the big picture (strategy, values etc.). Give them the Why and some of the What. Let them figure out the How for themselves.

How to work together | Management by Youtube

Chokes me up every time. Explains it all. Well almost.

This week, we used this video at the start of a kickoff meeting with a new team. We used it for inspiration on how to work together, to establish a WoW (no, not World of Warcraft), Way of Working, without too many rules, regulations, processes, measurements and accountability.

After showing the video, everyone was silent for a minute. Then, two things happened. Everyone in the room got in the right spirit. Secondly, there were some questions of course, especially about accountability. 

Actually, from my point of view, the best question was about the difference between the relay-team and real life. In real-life, different team members actually have different skills and things they are working on. So how will runner 1 learn about the work of runner 3 if they are working on different things? Or better what if the team is a triathlon team where swimmer 1 needs to know what runner 3 is doing? Any thoughts?

Management by YouTube | Meetings

During my years as a trainer, consultant, manager and facilitator, I’ve found, received and used several YouTube video’s that explained what I wanted to get across way better than I ever could myself.

These video’s explain topics such as change, time & process management, what to do and what not to do, how to stop bad habits and pick up good ones etc. and so on. I consider them classics and must sees for every professional. As they say, a picture says more than a thousand words. Well, these videos have both.

All of you probably have seen some of them and some of you probably have seen all of them. If we would just follow up their advise.

Enjoy the first one on meetings…