December 26, 2016
Is it True That People Can't Change? What Not to Say
Managers are frequently trying to change employee behavior and some employees wish they had a different boss. When you're trying to change someone, what you DON'T say is as important as what you DO say.  
The average executive receives around 250 emails, texts, and voice mails a day. We're all deluged with messages that we've requested, as well as a constant barrage of unsolicited noise. If you want your request for change to rise above the din, you need to be strategic in how you ask for what you want.
As Benjamin Franklin said: "Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment."

"If you want your request for change to rise above the din,
you need to be strategic in how you ask for what you want"   
What Should You Do?  
Be direct, succinct and thoughtful. Don't just start rambling or rant when you're angry. Wait and calm down. Practice what you want to say with someone who is willing to role play with you or write out a script. In general, frame what you want as a request not a complaint. When we complain about someone's behavior, it just makes them feel defensive. In response, they get angry or shut down. In addition, it shifts the focus to what we don't want, instead of what we do want.
Use this format:
One - Two - Three - Go!

   Say something that implies understanding or appreciation. For example, if you want to counsel a manager who is too brusque with staff, say: "I know how busy you are, but I need you to soften your requests to staff members. We appreciate how much work you manage to achieve here. You're one of our most productive directors."

2    Make a behaviorally specific (doable) request. It has be to be something the person can do or say, or it's not behaviorally specific. For example, "Before you ask staff to do something, would you please take the time to ask if they are busy, and it they have time to take on an extra project?"

   Add more appreciation and understanding. For example, "I know that this may seem like a picky thing to you, but trust me, it will make a world of difference to our busy programmers."

Go!   Don't complain, nag, hover or whine, but be available to listen if they want to talk.

These requests frame the problem and get results.

Did You Know?

All of our management and leadership classes include theory, practice and sample scripts, as well as training for turning complaints into requests, facilitating the creation of real, effective change. For more information, call or write us at: 303-216-1020 or [email protected]

For more information about creating change read Lynne's books:
Read Lynne's books on how to handle tough conversations with employees and bosses.

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