“If you want 1 year of prosperity, grow grain. If you want 10 years of prosperity, grow trees. If you want 100 years of prosperity, grow people.” – Chinese Proverb
Words are powerful! It’s part of the reason I love quotes. A big punch of awesome packed into a little sentence. Words are also helpful in determining intent. Much like body language and tone can convey additional meaning, word choice is equally telling. I received an e-mail today that said:
Let’s try and connect later today to discuss.
I’m no Sherlock Holmes but I suspect this person has very little intention of trying to connect with me. It’s like Yoda said:
“Do or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda
Any time I hear someone say they will “try” and do something, my certainty of a desirable outcome drops by at least 50%. In any leadership role, I’ve considered “try,” to be an immediate red flag. I always ask follow up questions:
- Can you quantify that for me?
- How committed are you on scale from 1-5?
- How hard are you going to try?
Furthermore, vague details/timelines are ripe for confusion and dismissal. “Let’s connect later today.” Who’s going to initiate the connection? When is it going to happen: this morning, this afternoon, this evening? How are we going to connect? Basically, I interpret that sentence to mean: I’m going to have to hunt this person down until we connect.
So, do you and your team use “committed language?” Here was my response to the sender’s e-mail:
I’m looking forward to it! I’ll call you at ###-###-####, within 1 hour to set up a time to meet and review the report. Ideally we can find a 2 hour block within the next 24 hours so we can keep the project on track. Looking forward to talking with you shortly.
Who do you think is more committed to meeting and achieving a desirable outcome? Committed language helps you get more done and effectively communicate your intent and tempo.
I hope this helps you Rise Above!
The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities. – Stephan Covey
“Effective questioning brings insight, which fuels curiosity, which cultivates wisdom.” – Chip Bell
I had a unique opportunity to fail this week. :-).
“Leadership is the capacity and will to rally men and women to a common purpose and the character which inspires confidence.” – Bernard Montgomery
Throughout my career in sales, and sales training, I’ve been challenged by individuals who simply fail to execute on behaviors or meet basic job expectations. In sales, their failure to execute is directly tied to their ability to generate commission. That makes it doubly frustrating for me because they aren’t just hurting my results, they are limiting their own ability to generate more income!
When I made the transition from leading a sales team to a full time sales trainer, I quickly realized something; training is often used a scapegoat. I’d be sitting in sales meetings with senior leaders and sales managers, invariably someone would say: “we can’t hit quota because my team isn’t properly trained!” As a new trainer, you take that a bit personally! I took that feedback at face value and re-committed to improving my efforts in every area. However, after a few meetings and hearing the “training excuse” 20-30 times, I realized some things weren’t adding up.