Skip to Navigation

You hear it all the time: “Don’t forget”; Don’t Don’t get lost”; Don’t do that!”… Well-meant admonishments that are bound to fail because they prescribe the behaviour the instructor want’s avoided.

It’s odd that we do this so often, and only in certain types of situation or familiar relationships. We don’t follow the same pattern with directions to travellers (“Don’t turn left at the junction and make sure that you don’t go the wrong way…”), or cookery recipes (“Don’t use plain flour and don’t add the wrong quantity of salt…”), for example.

It’s much less risky and more likely to get the result you want if you frame instructions to describe want what people to do, rather than telling them about what you don’t want them to do.

Please remember that!

 

What do you think? Share your thoughts...

Latest from the blog

The Sow’s Ear Effect

Telling yourself good stuff about yourself seems, intuitively, like a good idea. It is supposed to help you feel good, or better, about yourself, and to gradually build self-esteem.

But this only works if the statements – or ‘affirmations’ – are believable. Far fetched inspirational statements seem like a good idea, but they can actually have the opposite effect.

Continue reading

Hear the Storyteller, Not Just the Story

Stories have the power to persuade and change, they can also condemn and isolate us.

Once we are past childhood we judge a story by the storyteller. We look for interests and motives that could render the story invalid or suspect.

When we listen to the stories we tell ourselves we should be similarly cautious, the narrator is usually hugely biased.

Continue reading
FREE DOWNLOAD - Get it now.

How to be more Resilient

Get my super-helpful guide '9 Steps to Resilience' absolutely FREE, when you subscribe to my newsletter.

Understand the steps to resilience and you can develop the ability to cope with problems and setbacks with less stress and more confidence.
close-link
Take my

Resilience Survey

Help me to help you. Your answers will enable me to design products to help you develop your personal resilience.
Yes please, I'll take the
2-minute survey
close-link
%d bloggers like this: