Thursday, February 01, 2007

Drop the monkey


This is a tip that is particularly valuable if you are involved in a leadership role, but it can be applied to a very wide range of situations. It is simple, non-manipulative and common-sense. And it can save you (and other people) a lot time and emotional pain!

Scenario A: Someone approaches you with an idea/suggestion/project. After hearing what they have to say, you tell them you'll get back to them on it.

The person goes away with the assurance that you will contact them. You, being busy, either forget about it completely, or add it to the bottom of your (already lengthy) 'to do' list.

Two months later, the person is frustrated that you haven't got back to them. And you are dreading the phone ringing, or meeting them (and 17 other people you have made a similar promise to) in the street.

Scenario B: Someone approaches you with an idea/suggestion/project. After hearing what they have to say, you tell them TO GET BACK TO YOU on it.

The person goes away knowing that it is THEIR responsibility to get in touch with you about the idea. The beauty of this simple inversion is that if the idea is a whim, they will forget about it, giving you one less thing to do. If you say 'I'll get back to you', even if the idea is a whim, they will remember that you promised to contact them (and with some people, the grudge that you didn't will be nursed long after they have forgotten what the idea was!).

Of course, if their idea/suggestion/project is one that you think is worth pursuing, and they don't contact you, you'll get extra 'points' for contacting them.
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3 comments:

soraneko said...

Hmm... I shall consider this idea... call me later and we can talk about it

Love you!

brett jordan said...

:-)

d

x

ConradGempf said...

Thanks, Brett. Great idea.