One of the common themes of this years KaizenConf was how to move a towards being a lean organization. During most of the sessions and conversations that I was part I cannot tell you how often I heard words like Convince, Convert and Persuade said. At first I had nothing against these words, but the more I thought about I know feel that we need to remove those words from our vocabulary when talking about moving a team or organization from one thing to another (in context of these conversations it is towards being lean).
Using terms like Convince and Convert has the feeling that 'I am right and you are wrong'. Even if you are not using terms like Convince and Convert in your dialog with people, I am going to guess that you have that as your goal, or your end game.
I am here to suggest that we as a community need to change our focus from Convincing towards Demonstrating. By changing our angle and our position to be more neutral and soft I feel we can archive our goal of bringing change easier and with less friction. It is like that old saying 'you can catch more fly's with honey than vinegar.
Lets take a look at the subtle differences between Convincing and Demostrating.
When we are trying to Convince someone of something many times we give off the following vibes.
- That your way is wrong, and our is right
- That we are better and more knowledgeable
- That we are preaching
All of above tend to put people on the definsive and if someone is on the definsive they are less likely to be open minded and less likey to want to try to understand what it is you are trying to say.
When we are trying to demostrate something to someone we give off the following vibes.
- Heartflet attempt to share knowledge
- Alternative to, not a replacement for their way of doing something
- Sincere intrest in helping them.
When you speak to someone with the above vibe, you are essentally telling them that I have an idea and I think that my idea can help you out. If you attack it from this angle you may be surprised by the level of reception you can receive.
Remember, convincing someone is never easy, but demostrating alternatives and allowing them to make their own decision can be.
Keep up the good fight and happy demostrating.
Till next time,
11-04-2008 5:26 AM