Tag Archives: education

Why People don’t do Things

You might well be familiar with some of the things on the list below, but did you know that the Language judo tag.thmand Behaviour (LAB) Profile® not only provides you with some statistics in this respect, it can also provide you with language clues and motivational language to address these issues?
Some of these things may seem obvious to you, I’m always surprised that when I discuss these topics with managers who are complaining about their people not performing, there will often be one item from this list that can be addressed and will make a huge difference.

1. People don’t know how
According to the research (shown in the book Words that Change Minds, by Shelle Rose Charvet), 60% of the working population are motivated by the need for a procedure, and about 40% of the population may even grind to a halt if they don’t have a procedure to follow. As a manager, often with many years of experience doing particular jobs, it is easy for us to assume that a particular task is so easy that ‘anyone can do it’. It’s important to ensure that you give people a procedure. Specify the steps and stages of the task and if necessary make a list of bullet points.
2. People don’t know why
Rodger Bailey’s research (Words that Change Minds) also identified that 60% of the population will need a reason to do something in order to be motivated. Again, about 40% of the population are simply not motivated to do something if they don’t think there is a valid reason for doing it. How effective are you at explaining the reasons why a particular task or job needs to be done? Some of the reasons for certain tasks change over time and in the current climate. It will be critical to explain this to your staff and to give them both the things they will avoid and the things they will gain from this action. Find out what’s important to them and then use the LAB Profile language to influence them to do what you need them to do.
3. People didn’t know they should
This is about rule clarity. The predominant management style is today often very collaborative and ‘requests’ are made rather than ‘orders’ given. This is not saying you should order your people about, however for some people (only 7% according to Bailey’s research, although in my experience this can vary in given contexts which are not predictable – we are talking about people here) unless they are explicitly told the rules they will not know what things should be done. On occasion drastic measures may be necessary to get some people to understand that there are standards and rules that need to be complied with. Alternatively there is language in the LAB Profile to assist you here.
4. People can’t (lack of resources)
This is a definite management problem. Is it right to expect people to perform tasks if they don’t have the proper equipment or enough time? The time problem is an interesting issue because this is about managing priorities, delegation skills, efficiency and effectiveness. Without providing resources or appropriate training this can become a recurring reason.
5. “My way”
This is fortunately not very common because it’s a tricky one to work with. Up to 40% of the population have a strong ‘Internal’ sense about what is the right thing to do in a given situation and usually this is combined with a realistic level of compliance. When you have taken steps to ensure that you have addressed all six points above, it is important to identify what is most important for the individual in the context of the task. Your key skill lies in being able to link what you want them to do, with them having more of things or thing that is important to them.
People who show this ‘Internal’ mindset resist being told what to do, so you need to offer suggestions for them to consider. They will then need to think about the consequences of not complying and make up their own mind about whether this is the right approach to be taking. If they decide to continue being insubordinate without good reason you will need to invoke your disciplinary procedures.
6. Too painful (or uncomfortable)
Remember the things that you hated doing at school or maybe there are still at some you hate doing at home? These are the things that you then avoid and only doe when you really have to, There are a number of tasks that people find psychologically painful such as reprimanding a member of staff, cold calling or credit control. Again, without proper equipment or training the job just won’t get done to the required standard.
7. No consequences
This is a surprisingly common issue. Many managers ‘don’t want to be negative’ they avoid discussing what will happen if something is not achieved or completed on time. Bailey’s research shows that without negative consequences up to 60% of the working population is not very motivated to complete the task or job. There need to be specific problems that must be avoided for up to 40% or they will be distracted by other issues. These people also need assistance with clarifying priorities because they are focused on what they don’t want rather than what they want.

The language and questions for the LAB profile can be learned with us in a 3 day certificated workshop – for more details for your area click here.


Are you a Drain or a Radiator?

There are energy givers and there are ‘time burglars’, or as one of our clients used to say ‘do burglar strpeyou want to be a drain or a radiator?’ (Guess who was possibly the biggest drain in his company?)

Mostly we use these phrases above when we are talking about motivation. One way to motivate people is by ensuring that they believe in the vision, be that the organisational vision, or the vision of their leader or manager. It’s handy to bear in mind there are people who merely go to work to ‘earn money’. Money is their only motivation, as long as they have done their bit, they are happy. They want to turn up at work, have no aggro, get on with it and then go home, often on the dot of finishing time. In fact they have switched everything off, cleared their desk, got their coat on and are out of the door at ‘finishing time’ on the dot.

Do we actually know our employees and what motivates them? Have we employed people who will ‘just do the job and no more’ or have we spent time ensuring we know what the job requires in terms of skill set? And wait for it, in terms of personality type and does the person we offered the job to have the right personality for the job? Are they a people person? Or are they like a Scotrail condutor I recently encountered who regarded passengers as an interruption to the smooth running of the train?
In terms of the Language and Behaviour (LAB) Profile® his focus was on ‘Thing’ (well at that time – because I have encountered him once before when by watching his eyes and listening to the tone changes in his voice he was focused on people and that was when the train was running late). However at this particular point in time, he was focused on his job on the right way to get things done and also on his opinion of who I was. I decided to sit where I was told (I was still in First Class) and someone moved very quickly to accommodate this man. I was curious why he was acting this way as the last time I had encountered him I had been able to persuade him to phone ahead and find out about the connection. There again it could because my skilful use of language previously had worked this time he ‘wasn’t having any of that’, she tricked me last time. I doubt in fact that he recognised me. But it was powerful proof to me that given different circumstances we react differently.

In respect of rules and motivation, if we have too many rules (and some industries and organisations have many!) then those people who dislike rigidly following procedures (about 40% of the population at work), if they not given options will start to leave. Look at how many opportunity seekers/rule breakers leave a company when voluntary severance is offered. What happens, those who stay eventually internalize the rules and then what we have is a workforce that is highly critical of anyone, absolutely anyone who wants to do anything different? Ring any bells?

We then fall into the blame frame, the blame culture. And how do we motivate in that type of culture?
More next time.


Contact me 01224 900748, 01309 676006 http://www.developingworks.com or http://www.rosieohara.com


One of things I learned a long time ago in my NLP Training was the concept of Response-can cantAbility. That means I can choose whether to respond to something or not, I can as is said in NLP terms “maintain my own good and useful state” or use tools and techniques for state maintenance, in fact the ability to do just that is a requirement on our of our longer courses. I’m told people outside of the NLP world call this behaviour management. Well let’s learn how to manage our own behaviours!
We are all response-able, that is able to respond. No one makes me do something – i.e. angry, upset, no one “tires you out” (as my mother used to say to me). It’s all our own reaction. We can choose to react or not, because we are thinking human beings. In fact recently my mother made a comment on Facebook (she is 81) that was completely out of context with my original intention. I could get annoyed, but I just thought “drat, note to self not to include mother in “sensible” posts, as she will go off at her own tangent (I love her to bits in spite of all of this)!
But perhaps you are asking how? How do I choose not to react?
Well notice that you start to react to something and ask yourself “what do I want instead?” – when you’ve found that something you would like instead, a better reaction, then first create a “space” – imagine a gap, a void between you and that thing, the other person, take a mental step back from the situation and BREATHE (how many times do you forget to breathe?).
Then see, hear or feel what you would like instead – a desert island, an empty beach, the sound of waves, a piece of music, a CD track you really like, feel calm, feel peaceful, feel happy instead.
Then notice what it takes for you to create or re-create that sight, that sound, that feeling – you might need to practise it several times (only perfect practice makes perfect by the way). Then “anchor” this sight, sound or feeling in some way – “anchor” means fix it, so that you can recall it at any time, anchor for example whilst you are thinking about this sight, sound or feeling press your index finger and thumb on one hand together, or pinch one earlobe. Then when something that in the past “stressed you out” happens press your finger and thumb together or pinch your earlobe to re-create this relaxed, happier, useful state.
I promise you, that if you practise, and when you do something about your reaction you can change the way you react and those things from the past will seem different and life will become easier.
There is one problem with NLP you have to actually do something about making the change – no one can do it for you (otherwise you are just a zombie) – you have to want to make the change, and then just do it!
Like it? Want to know more? Find me on Twitter, find me at Developing Works and sign up for our newsletter there or be even more daring and sign up for a course.
NLP – Neuro-linguistic Programming is interested in the language we use, how we motivate ourselves and others and how this can be used to improve communication. How language programs us and others to react. Find out about NLP can help you, and how you work http://www.developingworks.com, or phone Rosie O’Hara on 01309 676004, 01224 900748.


Emails and Other Forms of Communication Killers

Mails or emails and text messages can be a nightmare or a minefield, whatever metaphor you hmmchoose to use here.

Emails are missing out emphasis, irony, humour, anything that is included in telephone and face to face conversations, they are also often written in abbreviated form and can be sent off in the heat of the moment and even worse……….. they are tantamount to worldwide publishing within seconds, one click of the mouse and your comments can be sent worldwide and if you continuously forward previous emails on, someone, somewhere might read something you didn’t want them to read.

And text messages well can u txt? And cn u read txts? And I don’t even know if I’ve missed out the right bits.

With texts and emails it’s also possible to send them to the wrong person, by clicking the wrong button!!!!! And think about what happens if you always leave the previous message in there, I once became privy to some information that was classified and I only knew because I printed the email out.

Some NLP thoughts on emails – emails can work really well for someone who is visual – in NLP terms that means someone who has a Visual Preference, they say things like “I see what you mean”, “show me …..”, I need to clarify my ideas”, “send me the document” or “please write it down and give it to me”. Emails can also be a killer for them, because suddenly something jumps up on the screen and there it is in front of them in black and white, or colour and they can see it! What you say to them will not always hit home.

Now if someone has an Auditory Preference – so they like to talk, like to chat on the phone, ask you “to talk them through it”, say something ”rings a bell”, think you are or are not “singing from the same hymn sheet”, then an email will possibly have little or no effect on them.

People with a Kinesthetic Preference like to do or touch, so they would possibly rather have a letter they can touch on nice paper, or even like to go for walk with you and if they like taste and smell would rather chat over a coffee or breakfast. Mmm emails not much good for them.

Other things to take into account, you have absolutely no idea what frame of mind your recipient is in when they receive the email or where they are (I recently sat next to a guy at a business dinner who was reading his emails during the after dinner speaker’s speech [a serious speech about transport]). If your recipient is the wrong frame of mind for receiving your email then you have a problem.
My tip if you want to say something important, earth shattering, vital – send a short email and ask can I ring you, can we meet and do that and then give them something in writing. Bad news by email is bad, very bad, unless you really want to annoy someone, or they generally ignore you anyway.

So think about what you write and how you phrase what you write. Are you really clear about what you write?

This week I had an email about someone who wrote “I am busy delivering” and someone who has a “condition”. So I took a deep breath and wrote – “Now I guess you are “delivering” training (unless you have become a midwife or a milkman?) and I’m sorry I have no idea what this “condition” is” – upshot we had a 45 minute telephone call in which all was explained to me and I mean all. I had a better understanding of why something had not happened and the other person remembered you can tell me all kinds of things and I will understand and I got some really useful business tips from the person with the vague and hastily written email.

NLP talks about how we shape our world, (you know we don’t live in reality? That we form our own idea of reality?). In doing this we delete, distort and generalise, more on that later (Words and Wheelbarrows!)


It’s not the same!

In July this year we underwent some rebranding for various reasons.  For some readers of thisrest of your life blog therefore things will not be the same.  Sadly in these days of ever upgrading technology, changing weather, interesting politics, one-upmanship etc.  things do change.  Generally it is that fact of the matter is most people want things to stay the same.

However we intend there to be more of some things and less of others. There will be nothing that is really different and if you’d like to read about something in particular, please get in touch.

Blogging will continue.  There will be more about language and its applications.  If you would like things to improve, get better,. If you;d like to avoid problems of the past and/or achieve a better future and understand others better, then we suggest you stay with this blog.  Only you can decide.

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