When I have promoted my works and offer training in the realms of personal development, I often find resistance not to the time or costs, but to the very idea of the material. I wrote in Police Time Management why I think this is in respect of that particular field of knowledge, but today I listened to a lecture by the late, great Jim Rohn and I think he hit the nail on the proverbial.
He spoke of the Sermon on the Mount and described how the response was reported in the Bible as being divided into three types – the perplexed, the mockers and the believers. Hence my title this morning.
Let’s have a think about all three, and their motivations.
The Perplexed. They don’t know what you’re talking about. These people are the ones in the Unconscious Incompetence bracket of Noel Burch’s model. They don’t know what they don’t know and are equally unable to comprehend that what they don’t know will serve them. They’ve likely already concluded it’s too hard to understand so they don’t bother trying.
The Mockers. These are the ones who know it all, or think they do. They don’t see that there is an alternative way of thinking to the one they’ve already decided is best. And rather than articulate that because they know it to be a stupid position or can’t face the work involved, they attack the idea. It’s easier than knuckling down and listening.
The Believers. Now, here we have to be careful because there are actually three strands. There are the Believers who believe regardless of the efficacy of the argument, so they’ll believe no matter what is said, if they are convinced by the speaker. Then there are Believers who are the Consciously Incompetent, who know that there is something that they don’t know – and want to know it. And the final subset are the ones who’ve had the training and have applied it to the degree that they know it to be good stuff.
That last set is very present on LinkedIn, but there’s something they could do that they aren’t doing. They aren’t letting anyone else know that the stuff is good.
Some possible reasons. They are naturally well-organised ‘time-managers’ and don’t realise that others need this input. Or perhaps they think it’s a great secret and don’t want anyone to know because it makes them appear really effective. Or they think that the cost of training their peers and staff in such material isn’t cost-effective.
So they are Believers but not Advocates. I like the by-line I use for my LinkedIn page – Advocate of the Seven Habits – because it underlines my willingness to communicate something I believe in. I would ask others to do the same, but not only in terms of their chosen profession.
I would encourage people to look at the provision of training in the sub-skills of ‘work’ – sector specific or in a more general sense – like communications, self- and time-management, administration practices, even mindfulness (ugh) if it makes their staff more productive and less stressed.
As the greats have said (and I paraphrase) – Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and he’ll produce enough fish for his employer to sell at a massive profit through enhanced effectiveness and efficiencies.
Go on. Train your staff or just buy them a book about ‘stuff’. Many have, and many have benefited as a consequence.
Be the right kind of Believer.