Tag Archives: ask questions

Counter-Intuitive Response

In the sport of snow skiing, control is achieved by counter-intuitive thinking. As speed increases, and the skier becomes “out of control,” conventional thinking causes the skier to lean backwards. This disastrous response moves the front edges of the skis off of the snow creating less control and increasing speed. The counter-intuitive response is to shift the body-weight forward, creating leverage on the front edges of the skis, giving the skier the ability to turn out of the fall line, resulting in skier control and a decrease of speed.

I see many managers attempt to gain “control” of their teams using force, command and control, threat of firing. Those of us with children know the futility of these efforts. The counter intuitive response is to ask questions instead of telling, to ask for commitment instead of demanding. It takes more time, requires more patience and has a longer lasting impact. Sometimes it even works with children.