Not guilty

Sometimes I learn interesting things because I’m married to a lawyer.

One of the interesting things I’ve learned is that in some criminal cases a lawyer must prove the defendant did the crime and had a guilty mind (in Latin, their mens rea).  Hence, a defendant can plead not guilty by reason of insanity not because they didn’t commit the crime, but because they claim they didn’t have the guilty mind.

How does this apply to driving change?

When your boss (or whoever) is driving you to change, I think most of us assume that the boss (or whoever) knows they are doing something wrong and chooses to do it anyway.  We know they’ve committed the crime, and we assume they have the guilty mind too.  Do they?

In reality, I’ve found that most bosses (or whoever) don’t realize that there is another option, besides driving people, for creating change.  Without them knowing of something better (driving change perhaps) how can we try and convict the bosses or whomever? How can we prove they had the guilty mind. We can’t.

May I suggest that you:

1. Assume they don’t know there is a better way.

2. Share this blog with them or have a discussion with them about driving change instead of driving people.  Describe what it would look like and what it would feel like if they were driving change.

3.  Mention that they’ll getter better outcomes and they’ll get the outcomes faster if they try this new way of making change happen.

4.  Tell them again, or better yet show them again, since they probably didn’t listen to you the first time.

5.  Repeat until it works.

If driving change were obvious everyone would be doing it.  If it isn’t obvious and most bosses or whoever need to be shown driving change first, then give them the benefit of the doubt until you show them, share with them and help them be more successful.

Now to an area I know, Newton’s laws of motion: a body in motion will remain in motion until acted upon by an outside force.

Be that outside force.

Nudge them into driving change.

Why not try?

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