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People will live up, or down, to the standard you expect from them

People will live up, or down, to the standard you expect from them

 Time to Read:  Longer than 1 minute, shorter than 90 seconds

People will live up, or down, to the standard you expect from them

I had a surreal moment at my London Business Forum event in London recently when I was presenting on ‘NLP Stripped Bare

During 90 minutes I shared 21 areas of NLP, with around 50 specific how-tos in total. At the end an attendee called Jane came rushing over, hugged me and said:

“Thank you, thank you, thank you that was wonderful”

I thanked her in return, and asked “Do you think the very fast, punchy how-tos worked, or do you think there were too many?”

To which came this brilliant reply:

“I loved the one you said about giving people and teams a standard to live up to, not down to. That was so good I didn’t really listen to anything you said afterwards, and forgot all the ones you shared before”

The number of funny one liners I could have said to that were many, I settled for:

“What a pity you couldn’t only have come for that one, you would have saved yourself 89 minutes”

Fortunately she laughed, and then explained that she had been leading a team of 6 people for several weeks, and that she now realised she found fault too often, and she was now going to do the opposite.

My how-to is simple – people, and therefore teams and organisations, which are collections of people, will live up, or down to the standard you expect from them.

If you say to someone “Thank you for always helping other team members” – from then on the person will do just that, even if they haven’t before.

You may know this from your own experience – like when someone says to you in a concerned way “are you ok? You don’t look at all well” – and even if you hadn’t felt unwell before…

Back to Jane – 48 hours after the event she called me – “Hi David, I had a meeting with my team today and I went around and specifically praised each one of them for things they do well. Actually, truth be told two of them I told a white lie to – they hadn’t been doing the things I said particularly well, but they are now”

With my love and best wishes



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4 Responses to People will live up, or down, to the standard you expect from them

  1. Agree 100% David. Just last week I declared a posibility that we could get 20 Leaders to join together and deliver a compelling story about the future vision with detailed plans of how we will get there. The standard was that we would ALL have one connected compelling and powerful story by the end of the week …. the reality we had it by midnight Wednesday, yes there were some missings but wow did it pack a punch ……. something that would have been impossible and we knocked it our the park! And now we have a new standard to live into 🙂

  2. Funny how some things stick in the mind and others don’t. You hear something and that’s it, you are transfixed!

  3. We also talk in the language that the other person speaks in.
    If they are brash, then we are brash back. If they are eloquent, we try to copy.
    Human nature.

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