Leading through Micro Behaviors in Micro Moments
How do you cook an omelette?
The answer to that question has a number of associated elements and steps. If you really wanted to answer that question, you would have to get pretty specific in your language. For instance, “heat your pan” wouldn’t be specific enough. You might instead say, Heat a 10-inch nonstick saute pan over medium to high heat for 2 to 3 minutes. You could even get more specific if you chose. For example, heat your pan empty for a few minutes before adding the butter: Even a nonstick surface is pocked with microscopic pores that eggs can fill and grab hold of. Heat expands the metal, squeezing these openings shut.
The point here is a simple yet profound one: specificity in language, particularly around micro behaviors, enables you to better engage an activity. It also often increase effectiveness – whether you’re cooking an omelette or leading people.
Using Specificity in Your Stories
As you live into your future-to-present story this year, you can increase the success of your story by using specific language.
For example, look at the difference between these two statements:
Statement One: Dave inspired his team to greater levels of effectiveness
Statement Two: Dave made time in team and individual conversations to share stories (from the past or present) that filled his team with a sense of “we can do this motivation.” He shared his successes and failures with the team and encouraged them at least once a week to take risks that would stretch their skills and set them up for greater responsibility in the future.
Statement two actually defines what “inspiration” looks like. It is ACTIONABLE. There’s nothing wrong with the word inspiration. But in and of itself, it’s not actionable. You have to further define and describe what you mean by inspiration in order to make it doable. When you do this, your more specific language gives you micro behaviors you can insert in micro moments.
Be ready to give this a try at our next meeting.