Kids say the darnest thingsBY MARK CHEW
Leaders need to be creative and seek inspiration from particularly any source. Even from children.
The conversation with my baby girl went like this.
Daddy: So what do you want to eat for dinner tonight?
Alyssa: Chicken rice!
Daddy: But . . . you’re always eating chicken rice! Can we eat something else?
Daddy: Great! So what shall we eat?
Alyssa: Chicken rice!
There are a few lessons to be learned from this short story. Essentially, a child can keep insisting on what he or she wants because of the following 3 traits. And we can all learn something from these 3 traits.
1. THEY REALLY WANT IT
Do you have the child-like simplicity of ‘focusing’ in your goals and directions? How badly do you want to reach your goals?
By being focused in getting what you desire or want, you are blocking off all distractions. Most importantly, children are very specific in what they want. In this case, Alyssa wanted chicken rice. While she is open to the idea of eating something else, she still wants chicken rice.
What is your ‘chicken rice’? Have you set aside something specific in your goals so that it is achievable?
If you want to be promoted, what are the specific tasks you set yourself to achieve? Is it another skill? Is it to be more accommodating?
Set your specific goals in place. And then start massive action.
2. AT THAT MOMENT, THEY DON’T SEE ANY VIABLE OPTIONS
Children want something so badly that they would kick up a fuss if they don’t achieve it. Of course, you can say that this is immature behavior.
But look at it from another angle. Children ‘think’ that there is still a slight chance to get what they want. And they are willing to focus their attention on that slight chance.
Sometimes choices cause paralysis. When we think we have chosen something from the wide variety, we actually feel worse off.
Barry Schwartz, author of ‘Paradox of Choice’, revealed that when given free samples of jams in a store, 30% of eople exposed to 6 jams bought a jar. Only 3% of people exposed to 24 jams bought a jar.
A large array of options discourages customers because it forces an increase in the effort that goes into making a decision. So consumers decide not to decide.
Thinking about the attractions of some of the options not chosen detracts from the pleasure derived from the chosen one.
In other words, the satisfaction derived from screaming her lungs out to get what she wants, means so much more to a child.
Don’t get too distracted with too many options in life. Aim for the one that you are most passionate about.
3. THEY KNOW THEY WILL GET IT WITH PERSISTENCE
There are hard-sellers in sales, and there are those who try to understand your emotional hot buttons. No matter what method they try, it is because these salesmen exhibited ‘persistence’.
Children will keep repeating what they want over and over again. Just like a broken tape, some sales agents use this to their advantage.
When Julia’s potential client asked if the particular weight management product was good, Julia would always answer, “I lost 3kg with this product, and with a good exercise regime.”
The client would probe again, “But is it good?”
Julia would answer yet again, “I lost 3kg with this product, and with a good exercise regime.”
Julia would persistently repeat her statement at least 3 times. And more often than not, the client would finally understand.
How many times have you quit after trying out something? Did you spend time and effort? Or was it only once?
Children know that they will get what they want if they keep asking for something. Unless of course their parents are adamant in not giving in!
Being persistent helps. Walls are there for us to climb over, not to stop us.