Tell People Why and They Just Might Comply

Real World Example:  The other day, I had a dentist appointment. I was a little nervous since I hadn’t had any dental work since I was a child – and that was NOT a pleasant experience. To say I was anxious is an understatement. I was downright petrified. I tried to mask my anxiety with goofy laughter but that came across as strange and psychotic. I was hoping they would put me to sleep during the procedure, but that wasn’t an option, drat.

 Fortunately for me, my dentist, Dr. Kerbs, was extremely understanding and patient. During several critical moments, he didn’t want me to move at all. He could have said “Don’t move!” Which would compel me to move anyway. And, if you know me, I’m not one to sit still – especially if someone has a drill in my mouth. But instead he told me WHY I should not move. He said “If you move, I’ll have to re-do the whole procedure.” I chose to comply – willingly!

Suggestion: If you want someone to do something, tell them WHY. In most cases, they will understand and are more likely to do it your way. For example, when communicating with a peer, instead of saying “I need you to make 500 copies”. Try saying “I’m going into a meeting in 15 minutes and need to pick up the donuts and coffee. Would you mind making these 500 copies for me, please? It takes a few more seconds, but they are more likely to help you out. Give it a try. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

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