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How to Help Me Change – One Specific Request

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Just tell me what to do!

That’s not always what I want, but there are times when specific instructions are useful. For example, when I will only do something one time, then I want specific instructions to get it done quickly so I can move on. A good example of this is changing my password on LinkedIn.

Other times are when something is new to me, or not a skill I want to develop into a core competency. Examples of this are expanding my circles in Google+, or enhancing the reach of the digital marketing for my company.

Yesterday I experienced a third type of learning situation.  A speaker presented on “workplace diversity.”  He did a marvelous job of telling his story so I got to know him and wanted to learn more. Then he talked about the benefits of workplace diversity and some changes he’s seen in his consulting practice.  It was a great talk and I was really engaged listening to him.

But I left wanting more, and not very inspired.

Why?  He did not share any specific examples of success that I could internalize and share. And, he did not give me a place to start to change my behavior to be live up to his wonderful ideals of diversity.

So, while I usually like to figure it out on my own, some specific instructions are usually needed to get me started on a new path. It’s the reason that musicians learn scales and chords, and other basics, before improvising or jamming with others. We perform better with a base to stand on.

Serendipitously, I came across three articles since then that are that are great examples of providing enough story to engage the viewer, then giving instructions to get us started so we can have a base to improvise from:

What about you? What’s important to you when you take on something new? 

The highest reward for a person’s toil is not what they get for it, but what they become by it.
~ John Ruskin

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