Leadership Tip of the Week

Be direct about your requests!

If you want others to behave in a certain way or do something, don’t tell them what you expect. Tell them what you request.

When you say to someone: “I expect X, Y, Z!” you are merely describing and sharing your expectations. Their appropriate response to that would be “Thank you for sharing.”

You may think that by expressing what you expect you will compel people to do what you want. However, if you think about it a bit longer you would realize that people don’t do what is expected of them… Just like they often don’t do what is good for them.

But, if you say: “I request X, Y, Z!” you are engaging in a conversation to elicit commitment from another. The typical response to that is either “OK, I will do it!” or “Sorry I won’t do it!”.

You may prefer a “Yes!” over a “No!” however, but both responses leave you with clarity.

And if people respond with: “OK, I will do it!” you can rest assured that they will most likely treat what they just agreed to with much greater personal sincerity and accountability.

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