Subtle communication achieves what directivenss couldn’t

My colleague and coauthor Wendy Mack had no intention of playing seated volleyball in her fine clothes at the Olympic Training Center, where she spoke recently. But when asked to, she was willing to sit on the court with the rest of the spectators. And she was willing to sit in a circle when asked. And she was willing to toss the ball wendy_mackaround the circle. Before she knew it, she and everyone there was crawling around the floor like crabs having a blast playing “wounded Warrier Volleyball.”

The instructer won the full cooperation of everyone there by inviting them to take small steps. And they were glad they did.

Sometimes skillful communication is more about setting conditions where people will do what you want than it is about diecting them. 

Wendy tells this story in addition to two practical articles about change communication in her latest newsletter. It’s really well done, so check it out.