Are you asking me or telling me? – Sheldon Cooper
Asking people their opinion about a task, seeking their input and involving them in the decision making are the proven ways to solicit cooperation. Just telling them what to do, even if we have authority over them will never work in the longer run. And this approach applies to all people even children. How can we become more aware when we tell instead of asking?
25th Dale Carnegie Principle: Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.
Here’s a story from the book:
When Ian Macdonald of Johannesburg, South Africa, the general manager of a small manufacturing plant specializing in precision machine parts, had the opportunity to accept a very large order, he was convinced that he would not meet the promised delivery date. The work already scheduled in the shop and the short completion time needed for this order made it seem impossible for him to accept the order.
Instead of pushing his people to accelerate their work and rush the order through, he called everybody together, explained the situation to them, and told them how much it would mean to the company and to them if they could make it possible to produce the order on time. Then he started asking questions:
"Is there anything we can do to handle this order?"
"Can anyone think of different ways to process it through the shop that will make it possible to take the order?"
"Is there any way to adjust our hours or personnel assignments that would help?"
The employees came up with many ideas and insisted that he take the order. They approached it with a "We can do it" attitude, and the order was accepted, produced and delivered on time.
Daily Affirmation: Today I ask before I tell…