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Just Do It? Maybe not. How You Ask Someone To Do Something Matters.

Updated: Apr 1

There’s a big difference between compliance and agreement

Today’s post in the Thought Provocateur Series is related to emotional intelligence

As a leader, “how” you do things is as important as “what” you do. Perhaps more.  

Part of the job is marshaling employees toward achieving the plan or vision. This requires asking employees to do so.  

How you ask matters. "Just Do It" doesn't have the same effect in the workplace as when Nike uses it as its tagline.

Poses the quesution of how you asked an employee to do something and what kind of response you received in response
Thought Provocateur Series: How You Ask Matters

Today’s question to contemplate is: What employee posture are you getting after you make the ask?   

Did you get: 

Apathy:   - I don’t care. I’ll do it when I want. Silently thinking, I can’t stand my boss.

Acquiesence:   - Sigh. Ok…. Ugh. Silently thinking, I give up. I’ll do it to get you off my back. 

Compliance:   - This is stupid, and I’m only doing this because you asked me to. Silently disagreeing with you.

Agreement:   - I agree with you. I’ll get right on that.

Buy-In:   - I’m in! What’s next?  

Follow-on questions:

- How do you know?

- What posture do you want?

- Would they feel comfortable telling you? If not, why not?

- Are you purposeful about trying to move employees toward agreement and buy-in

How You Ask Someone To Do Something Matters. A Lot.

Being purposeful and thoughtful about asking employees to complete tasks can have material effects on employee morale and loyalty. The following phrase applies:

"People will forget what you say, but they don't forget how you made them feel."

Simply put, if you are constructive and kind when you make the ask, rather than diminishing or mean, your employees will like perform much better and stick around longer.

Since how you ask someone to do something matters, it is important to be thoughtful about how you make the ask.

Reach out if you'd like a thought partner to discuss how you can develop more capacity in this area.

Thought Provocateur Social Media Series

The inspiration for the Thought Provocateur Social Media Series is that I love it when I encounter questions or bits of wisdom that stop me in my tracks. These are the insights that tend to stay in your head for more than five minutes and may come back later to revisit you.

In times of information overload we live in, these are the tidbits that stand out. It’s when signal outweighs noise.

You tend to remember them because they touch something deep inside of us.

About The Nexus Initiative

The Nexus Initiative is a boutique Executive Coaching and Advisory firm based on real-world operating experience. If you know someone looking for a trusted confidant with real-world operating experience to be their coach, please refer them to our website to set up a discovery call.

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