Wednesday, July 23, 2008

How to Motivate a Slacker

Here's my cure for motivating people who regularly don't do what they're supposed to do, and come back later either with the famous phrase, "I forgot," or offer a slew of excuses for why something didn't get done.

I told someone today, "For the next month, do not, under any circumstances come to me and say, 'I forgot.' Do not tell me any of the great excuses you've come up with for why you didn't do what you were supposed to. Instead, come to me and say, 'I know you told me to do X, but I didn't do it.' If you miss a deadline, tell me, 'I know this was due by X date, but I didn't do it.' Simple as that. Don't say anything else. Just tell me you didn't do it."

The poor woman looked at me, completely terrified. "But what if I do forget?"

"I don't care. If you forgot, it still means you didn't do it. So just tell me you didn't do it."

Before the end of the day, she turned something in to me that wasn't even due until tomorrow. I told my husband about it and he asked why I thought it would work. I can't guarantee that it will work after today, but I believe it's all about personal accountability. By saying, "I forgot," or saying that something interfered with getting it done, that person is not taking any responsibility. By saying, "I didn't do it," the person is forced to take ownership of his or her actions.

I may also try this with my husband when he tells me he's going to vacuum up the dirt he tracked into the laundry room...


Jim Latchford said...

Two words..."Good Luck!"

Café Chick said...

So, is it working? ;-)

Love the photos of your beautiful cakes!

jAMiE said...'d hate me, i'm forever saying 'i forgot' but thats because i really do...i go out of the room to get something and forget what it was seconds later...