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They just don’t get it!!

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BY Jon Pratlett

VictimChoiceHow do you respond when something you have requested from a team member or colleague doesn’t get done (at least not to your satisfaction)? It might appear “They just don’t get it!”.

A quick story. At a school in Victoria, many of the girls had begun using lipstick and would put it on in the bathroom.

Many would press their lips to the mirror leaving dozens of little lip prints. The school principal explained at assembly that all of these lip prints were causing a major problem for the maintenance man who had to clean the mirrors every night.

Over the next week the lip pressing behaviour didn’t change. The principal thought “They just don’t get it!”. Rather than react, she paused, reflected and planned her strategy.

She sent a note to each class calling for the girls to report to the toilet block at a give time. They were met there by the principal along with the maintenance man.

To demonstrate the problem of dealing with the lipstick prints, she asked the maintenance man to demonstrate what the cleaning of the mirrors entailed. He took out a long-handled squeegee, opened a cubicle door, dipped it into the toilet, moved to the mirror and proceeded to clean it. Since then, there have been no lip prints on the mirror!!

High performers take the view that ” The Meaning of My Communication is the Response I Get”. If you don’t get the response you were after, you first look to “what and how” you could have communicated differently to have generated the desired response.

When you are next dissatisfied with the response you are getting – take a look in the mirror first (pause & reflect) before reacting. But not simply louder! Say it differently. If that isn’t effective – try again, differently. As Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results.” How many different ways can you communicate the same message. Effectiveness is saying it in just the way the other person can hear, understand and engage.

Jon-Pratlett-imageJon Pratlett is a neuroleadership expert, speaker, facilitator, high performance consultant and coach. His clients include many of Austalia’s leading companies, as well as the Australian Olympic Committee. He has represented Australia in 2000 and 2001 at the World Ironman Triathlon Championship in Kona, Hawaii and has lead the Bondi Running & Triathlon Club to 3 State Club titles. He is Sydney based and travels the globe


August 6, 2014
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