A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of Working with a client in a time management workshop. The client had their marketing and support staff to attend, and it was quite a learning experience for me.
One of the points that I wanted to make was that regardless of our occupation, ultimately we are the one who must make a choice of what we do with our time. And using the Pareto principles, we ought to spend 80% of our time on 20% of activities that will bring 80’% of our results.
One of the thing that I tried to suggest was to take time to tackle one problem that often Uses up 80% of our time while yielding only 20% of our result. That is the problem of bad work relationship.
As I said that, I could practically watch the class disintegrated before my eyes. The averted look, the “hems” and “haws” and “ums,” the uncomfortable stolen glances towards the HR people observing the class from the back of the room, all that sent a blaring silent alarm that l just pushed the wrong button. The air suddenly felt hotter, and the Japanese food that we had for lunch became heavier.
To tell you the truth, until this moment l don’t know for sure what hit me that day. But from what I could deduce, what l asked them to do was probably something that they perceived as beyond their control, or something that was a big taboo to discuss.
From that point, it was a losing battle. I got a less than average evaluation from the class.
l learned the hard way that no matter how true your idea, position, opinion or suggestion, you must first win their agreement that they need it, and that they want it very badly.
The will to change must first come from them. Our task is simply gently toss the thought in a non threatening way.