One of the challenges with delegating is to be sure that everyone understands the directions and the desired results. One of the ways to clarify is to use the ‘it looks like this’ phrase when identifying the results or expected outcomes and the steps along the path. Another way is to use questions in opening the minds of those to whom you assign the tasks. Questions such as – What will your first step be? What resources will you need? Who do you go to for assistance when you are stuck?
Questions are great and identifying the outcome help others see the goal…and both processes are motivational. Most know the values of questions. I have addressed them in the past and will go deeper in a future article. Right now let’s focus on seeing the goal before it becomes reality, and how it motivates us. I call that vision. It’s part of the ‘I CAN PLAY’ attitude we need for success.
About ten years ago I had a knee replacement. The surgery was simple compared to what was next … physical therapy. One part of the process to get my knee back to normal movement was the stationary bike. Sounds simple for someone with good knees. My left knee was not good. It was swollen and sore from the surgery and I had difficulty moving it. Back to the bike. I could not make my left knee bend so that I could make the rotation on the bike. The goal was to go all the way around but I couldn’t bend my knee to make the complete circle. Too much pain!
On my fourth visit to the physical therapist Shawn greeted me with “We’re going all the way around today on the bike!” I looked at him like he was crazy. I can’t get my knee to bend enough to go all the way around. Too much pain. “No way,” I said. Shawn looked me in the eye. “We can do it, we’re going all the way around …today!”
I got on the bike but did not have the same expectation that Shawn expressed. Too much pain! Shawn noticed that I was doing what I had been doing in previous visits; go to the point of pain on the bike, then reverse direction. He yelled across the room, “Gary, we’re going all the way around…today!”
Shawn was good… like a teacher or coach good. He had gained my respect, built a relationship during previous visits, and now he was setting the bar higher. Here’s the goal … all the way around. It was like he was saying …”IT LOOKS LIKE THIS! All the way around.”
Shawn’s motivation, inspiration, and direction worked. After a series of reversals, I started trying a little harder, absorbing a little more pain, visualizing what success looks like and …. I DID IT. I went all the way around! Once I completed the circle I let go with a loud scream! Everybody stopped their therapy and stared. “What’s that all about,?” is what I interpreted their staring to be asking … so I explained the reason for the yelling. “I went all the way around,” was my simple explanation.
It happened because Shawn got me to see success. Without saying the exact words he got me to understand “It looks like this” and then the vision became reality.