Positivity

Too happy today?

Too angry?

Check your positivity ratio at PositivityRatio.com

3:1 is ideal.

How did you score?

H/T to Dwight Otis for forwarding me the link.

[Writers note: As I typed this post this morning my youngest daughter–age 20 months–wandered out of bed rubbing her eyes, looked at me, said “Hi Momma!” and crawled into my lap to watch me type.  I think I’ll remember this post forever now.  These are the special moments that make up a life.]

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Permissive Statements

Open in LondonCreative Commons License Nicolas Hoizey via Compfight

I usually can tell you the chapter and verse of where I first encountered a concept.  For the life of me I can’t remember where I first came across permissive statements, and yet, I can’t let my lack of memory stop me from sharing the concept with you.

Permissive statements are statements you make to allow people to behave a certain way in their encounters with you.  They give them an opening to do a behavior they wouldn’t necessarily do for fear of some negative consequences or a lack of ever considering the possibility that the behavior would be okay to you.

Note: Permissive statements are most powerful when followed up by your consistent actions. Let me demonstrate.

“Feel free to give me honest feedback,” I say.

You say, “I don’t like your blog because you talk too much about yourself.”

“You’re absolutely right.  Sometimes I struggle to get out of my own head,” I humbly reply.

The point of the permissive statement is to declare to your audience that they should feel comfortable to exhibit some behavior in front of you without fear of retribution.  You’ve opened a new door for them.

“Feel free to speak up regardless of your rank in the organization if you have something to say.”

“Feel free to share this information with anyone you think would be interested in learning more.”

“Feel free to hold me accountable in front of the group if I haven’t met an obligation.”

“Feel free to ask questions.”

Can you see the pattern?

“Feel free to…”

Now, you can start your permissive statement in other ways, but the point I want to drive home is that by providing these permissive statements before the situation requires them you have made the action non-threatening for the other person but you haven’t compelled them to act.

You didn’t say, “Hold me accountable in meetings.”

You said, “Feel free to hold me accountable in meetings.”

See the difference.  People don’t seem to remember orders the same way they remember offers of permission.

When they are faced with a situation where they want to hold you accountable, into their head will spring the statement, “Feel free to…” and they are more likely to do what you’ve asked for.

I’ve tried this technique for years and achieved much success with it.  I won’t say that in all situations the other person took me up on my offer to hold me accountable, or share information, or speak up, but I know more people did than would have without the statements.

Use permissive statements.

Practice them.

Repeat them.

Live them (the toughest part).

You’ll see a lot more action, participation, and energy out of those around you.

Why not try?

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Ask someone else

Change efforts stall before they get started because we ask the same people over and over again and expect to get a better response than, “I don’t know.”

Quick Tip #1: Ask someone else.

If you have a question and you need an answer and you don’t get a good/quick/name-your-adjective-that’s-important-to-you answer, then one way to get moving is to ask someone else.

If you usually ask your boss when you are eligible for the graduate training program and every year he has no answer or worse tells you a week after the deadline, then stop waiting on him and find someone else to ask.

If you typically seek approval for your change from the person who controls the form/process/name-the-bureaucracy-that-you-want-changed, and they never respond well to your request, then stop asking them.  Ask the person responsible for ensuring you are happy, not the person responsible for completing the task (hint: They are almost always not the same person, especially in government).

You don’t have to stay stuck.  You can act.  All you have to do (in part) is ASK SOMEONE ELSE.

Why not try?

 

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