I came across a story about a young psychology student serving in the Army who decided to test a theory. Drawing kitchen duty, he was given the job of passing out apricots at the end of the chow line. He asked the first few soldiers that came by, “You don’t want any apricots, do you?” Ninety percent said “No.”
Then he tried the positive approach: “You do want apricots, don’t you?” About half answered, “Uh, yeah. I’ll take some.” Then he tried a third test, based on the fundamental either/or selling technique. This time he asked, “One dish of apricots or two?” And in spite of the fact that soldiers don’t like Army apricots, 40 percent took two dishes and 50 percent took one!
High expectations are necessary in business and management but how you communicate those expectations will make all the difference. If you are not meeting your expectations take a look at the approach you are taking and if necessary change your style. Strong leaders know how to speak the language of a motivator.
What approach have you found to be most effective?
© 2012 Doug Dickerson
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