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A Paint Roller Helps Manage Change

life on your own termsChuck e-mailed his bigg challenge to us. He’s starting a new job next week. It’s his third job as a manager. In the position he’s leaving, he feels he made too many changes too quickly. It created a problem with his directs. He’s hoping we can offer him some suggestions as he gets ready for his new job.

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As bigg goal-getters, we often want to change things too fast as leaders and even in our personal lives. We think we need to lose weight so we jump into an exercise routine and completely change our diets. It’s too much and we end up right back where we started.

We have to be especially careful with change when it affects others. Like in Chuck’s case, any changes he makes will affect one or more of his employees.

Two of our rules for change here at Bigg Success are:

“That’s the way we’ve always done it” doesn’t mean it’s the best.

“That’s the way we’ve always done it” doesn’t make it wrong.

Change is essential to make improvements in our lives and our businesses. We want to focus on the changes that will make the greatest impact given their cost. When we talk about cost, we mean your investment of time and money – two of the five elements of bigg success

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Get out the paint roller

We heard a suggestion some time ago from a person who had learned to manage change effectively. He said that when he takes on a new leadership position, the first and only change he makes is to paint a single wall of his new office.

He feels like he’s changed something. It relieves that pressure. Everyone around him can see that he changed something. In fact, they often ask, “Why did you paint that wall? Why that color? Why just one wall?” It makes them curious.

You may make a different, but similarly insignificant, change. By doing this, you’re really buying time to find out what is and isn’t working while subtly signaling that change will happen.

Once you find out what isn’t working, you can determine which changes to make in what order based on their impact on your organization … or your life!

What are your suggestions for Chuck?

You can share that with us by leaving a comment below, calling us at 877.988.BIGG or sending us an e-mail at bigginfo@biggsuccess.com.

Thanks Chuck for sharing your bigg challenge with us and good luck with your new gig! And we thank you for reading our post today.

Join us next time as we share a remedy for one of the most discouraging thoughts you can have.

Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00362-033109.mp3

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Does Haste Still Make Waste?

(Image in today's post by anitasweb)

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Directions that Discourage

twisted_directions We saw the results of a fascinating study over at Medical News Today. The researchers tested how the directions about a task affect the perception of the task itself. They started by trying to motivate college students to exercise.

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They gave the students directions on how to implement an exercise program. Half of the students got directions in an easy-to-read Arial font. The other half received the same directions in a Brush font (think paint brush), which is difficult to read.

Then the researchers asked these students:

  • to estimate how long the exercise routine would take
  • how easy it would be
  • if they would make it part of their regular routine

The “Arial” group thought that it would take less time and be easier than the “Brush” group, who also was less likely to make it a part of their daily ritual.

It’s amazing how something as simple as the font we choose could make so much difference. Just to be sure their results weren’t skewed by the students’ preconceived notions about exercise, the researchers performed a similar experiment with a recipe for sushi.

The outcome was similar. They concluded that if instructions are easier to read, people respond positively.

Enough about fonts, let’s put all the pieces together

We need to think about the directions we give to make sure they’re not discouraging our people. We don’t want to make a simple task sound complicated by our directions. Since people equate the ease of a given task to the ease of the directions about that task, we need to think about our:

  • Message
    Be sure you’re clear in what you’re saying. Also be concise. Eliminate the fluff. Focus on writing high-impact copy.
  • Design
    Obviously, the font you use plays a role. So does      white  space     . Graphical elements are always good. You should also use headers and bullet points when possible to make your directions easier to digest.
  • Words
    Sixteen-syllable words don’t impress many people; they have the opposite affect on far more. Jargon doesn’t help either. Use words that your audience will easily understand.

Look at the following two sentences:

You’ll save money if you buy gas today.

Buying gas today could be economically advantageous.

Which one conveys the message better to you? Which words do you like? Which structure if preferable?

We often make the mistake of thinking “fancy” words said in our passive voice make us sound smarter or more professional. Usually it’s the opposite. We’re deemed smart when we connect with the audience we’re trying to reach.                

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Next time, we’ll discuss how to be a good winner (or loser). Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

 

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00257-110408.mp3

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How To Write A Great Report: 7 Tips To Make Your Next Report Stand Out

(Image by rore_d)