Archive for December, 2012

Explain how it matters

I was catching up with one of our most talented younger people the other day, discussing some good advice she’d received recently about motivating people.  She spoke about the importance of providing context for people when you ask them to do things, like taking the time to point out how the task or the job fits into the rest of the work going on, and why it matters.

All good stuff.

The reason its true is that it goes right to the core of human respect.

Asking people to do something without explaining why sends a message that they are not as important as you.  It says that you don’t deserve an explanation because you’re not worth it.  If we take this to the extreme, we can arrive at serfdom or even slavery, where people have the same status as firewood – a resource to be used up.

But as humans in the world, we want to matter.  To our friends, our family, our colleagues, or failing all of this, even to the police or the jailer.  Whether it ends up good or bad, we want to matter.  It makes us real. Read more…