2½ hours late – a sorry state
Ben, Sheet Metal Foreman for a full-service mechanical and plumbing contractor in Wilsonville, OR, told Session 6B of Turbo Leadership Systems’ Leadership Development Lab:
“A week ago, one of my key team members showed up at the GAPS Elementary School job site; his first day on the job 2½ hours late! In the past, I would criticize and condemn a late employee with caustic comments. Dog on him all day. Instead of my old approach, I used my newly-learned tailored version of the DARE+ method.
“I asked him the classic Turbo DARE+ question, ˜What happened?” He responded with his excuses, which were pretty weak. We talked about his tardiness in a rational way. As the day progressed we had further talks. One in particular was a sincere conversation about how great he used to be, and how he had been one of the most reliable guys in the company. We talked about why that had changed. As we worked side by side, he kept talking and I kept listening. Then I said, ‘seems like you may be blaming another foreman for your own mistakes!’ I related it to when he ran a job and how frustrated he was when his workmate continually showed up late.
“We kept talking, and before the day was over, he vowed that he wasn’t ever showing up late again. He said he had that ‘fire in the belly’ back inside of him. He has been showing up on time more upbeat and positive every day since.
“The lesson I learned from this experience is that using DARE + in my tailored terms thoughtfully over the day, helps slow me down so that I don’t over-react. It sure works better than my old snarky, cynical, carping approach.
“The action I call you to take is figure out a way to use the DARE+ method the best way you can, make it your own. DARE+ will help you focus and slow you down. You will hold people accountable in a positive respectful way. You will show you care about them as much as you care about high standards.
“The benefit you will gain is better communication and understanding between you and the person you’re talking to. You will be able to help a team member get the ‘fire back in their belly.”
As I listened to this story, I felt certain that there were two winners. Any time you can help people stop making excuses, you help them. Anytime you can help them get the “fire back in their belly”, you have done them a great favor. What do you think?
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