This past several days, Barb and I enjoyed having the little girls over for what I call “Girls Weekend.” From Thursday to Sunday, our house was turned into a full-time, high energy, buckle up for the ride amusement park!

The dogs even love it when they come to visit!

One of the phrases that seems to be ubiquitous when starting a sentence aimed at a duo aged two and three years old is, “No! Don’t (INSERT WHAT YOU DON’T WANT HERE)…

No. Don’t touch that.

No. Don’t put that in your mouth.

No. Don’t put that in your ear, nose, hair, etc.

If you’ve raised toddlers, no matter how long ago it was, you understand the situation.

Going to the negative commandment seems like the most common form we humans take. It certainly is the quickest route to correction of something that we want to avoid as a consequence including spills of both human and beverage variety!

While I’m not here to disabuse anyone of the thought that this shouldn’t be the way with toddlers – primarily because I doubt I can change – I do suggest that we take a hard look at how we all try to influence adults that either work for or with us.

If you’re like me, at one time you worked at a company that held true to the “command and control” mantra of running a business. Much of the education and “correction” was based on “No. Don’t…”

The problem is that adults aren’t toddlers and need to be educated and corrected in a manner that will be a win-win for both the leader and the employee.

Employees need to know what to do and why it’s important.

If I am playing golf and my sole thought is “Don’t hit it in the water whatever you do,” then I guarantee you I’ve already pre-ordained a wet ball or at least a terrible shot. However, if I focus on the target in the middle of the fairway and tell myself to hit the target in order to set up the next shot, then I’m more likely to accomplish the objective.

Instead of “No. Don’t.” focus on “This is what success looks like. Do This.” People want to know what good looks like, how success should feel, and what a positive outcome is.

Additionally, they should also know why it’s important. There need not be any secrets on what the objective is. Gone should be the days of “do it because I said so.” If you want to improve performance and have happier employees, then explain what the accomplishments mean to the company and to them.

When they know what to do and why it’s important, adults tend to be very good at being productive, safe, and happy.

Part of a strong business continuity plan means being productive, safe, and happy. So start using positive influence and vision to educate and correct in order to become more resilient and profitable!

Now if that would only work with peanut butter and jelly in their hair…

Quote of the Week:

“It isn’t where you come from, it’s where you’re going that counts.”

~ Ella Fitzgerald

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