Eat your brussels sprouts!
Posted on December 10, 2015
I have to make a confession; I hate brussels sprouts. There, I have admitted it, and I feel much better.
Now some of you out there have just thought about how you agree with me, or you have started thinking about how I have just not had them cooked correctly. I don’t care if you wrap them with bacon, fill them with cheese, deep fry them or puree them, I do not want to take a chance on eating them. After all, 100% of the people that have eaten brussels sprouts have either died, or they will die. That is all of the evidence that I need. My wife and my daughter often try to get me to eat them by asking me to try them or describing how great they taste.
Imagine what would happen if I sat down for a family dinner and there in front of me was a large plate of brussels sprouts. A plate piled high of the dwarfed cabbages. Imagine how my attitude would change and how I would just avoid eating.
Now let’s take that same meal and change the entree to something that I enjoy eating. And right beside my favorite meal there was one small (a dwarf of the dwarfed) green vegetable. Now imagine if my wife asked me to eat just half of the sprout.
I am not going to suggest that this hypothetical situation plays out however there is a greater chance for me to eat the half of the one than there is for me to eat an entire plate of them.
I was once told by a colleague of mine that the majority of individuals understand the concept of reaching goals. Failure happens because they are unable to grasp the process of moving from starting to completion. I imagine that the idea of establishing the steps necessary to move along the process resembles a large plate of brussle sprouts. That is where we as leaders must be there to assist.
In a recent meeting I had with a team member, we discussed and agreed on the desired results. When I asked how, I could help, he asked one question. “What are my first steps?”
I looked in his eyes and realized that I had just placed a large plate of green stuff in front of him, and he was terrified. I decided to stop and start over with smaller bites. We created one small goal to get him started. A half of a small bite. He was able to see the possibility of achieving the new smaller goal and he became excited.
We as leaders need to understand that feeding our team in large chunks resembles drinking from a firehose. Water might be good for us but taken in the wrong form it will kill us.
This week’s experiment is to examine how you are setting the goals for your team. Are you feeding them a large plate full of green stuff, or are you giving them small bites that they can tolerate? Is there a way that you can break down your goals into smaller goals that are easily obtainable?