Does it sometimes seem that your team don’t quite understand what you want, keeping doing the same things – badly and wrongly? Here’s a simple thought that may help your team change the way they work. You get less stressed, and get more done and the same applies to them!
My recent ski trip
I don’t know if you’ve ever learnt to ski, but I was having some lessons recently and struggled a bit. No, scrub that – I struggled a lot! Give me scuba gear and water, easy. Put me on the piste, things are not quite so easy!
It was a stunning gorgeous morning, sun beating down onto the French Alps, blue sky and no clouds in sight (plenty in my mind). The group was taken up the lift and told to head on down; I struggled. I fell into the snow again, and again, and again. The effort was making me grumpy, miserable and very frustrated. The more frustrated I got, the harder it became to get down the slope in one piece.
“No, No, Jon! I tell you again, you need to . . .” is all I can remember.
I muttered under my breath “If I could, don’t you think I would have done?”
I was desperate to please the instructor, but the more I tried, the harder it became and the more frustrated he became too.
Do you remember when you learnt to ski, or some other skill? Did you feel the same as me?
What was the instructor doing wrong? How do you think a new instructor made a huge difference the next day?
In my case, the following day’s instructor:
- stayed calm,
- rephrased the instructions (several times), until I understood,
- helped me move from my brain understanding, to my body being able to do the job,
- made me feel good each time I did a bit better, and
- laughed with me.
Getting your staff to do the job
Skiing is harder than what you’re asking your team to do – or is it? What could you adapt from my ski lessons to help your team get the point more easily?
Sometimes we forget just how hard it was to learn, when you’ve done it a thousand times.
What did you find incredibly hard when you first learnt, and how would you have wanted your instructor to act at the time?
How can you adapt your behaviour, to encourage your staff?
Anyway, I’m off for another run down the slopes . . .