When Context Isn’t Enough


As we saw, you can get people to do more and more of the right things by helping them understand the context: what your organization wants to achieve, why it is doing it, and how what they do contributes to the goal. Context is compelling. With regular, respectful reminders, people will jump in to help.

Sometimes, however, a compelling context is not enough. When people understand the context and still do not step up, act proactively, and do the right things, then either they are not capable or, much more likely, they see that stepping up will harm them in some way.  They perceive that if they did what you wanted them to do, it would be a win for you and a loss for them.

In these cases, your first duty is to understand them. Learn specifically what makes a win and what makes a loss for them. And you can discover that by just asking them, directly and respectfully. Then answer together the question, “How can we do this so that we both win?”


In your corner,



Today’s photo credit: Gerry Dincher via photopin cc

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