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Friday, March 6, 2020

Lean Quote: Attitude is a Little Thing That Makes A Big Difference

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.

"Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.  — Winston Churchill

Anyone who has worked in or led an organization's transformation understands change is not easy. People commonly resist change for a variety of reasons.  Although you intend for the change to result in a positive outcome, change is often viewed as negative. For your plan to be accepted, you must anticipate and overcome any negativity, anxiety and/or resistance.

In his book How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie gives nine suggestions of ways to handle people when you need them to change.  Here are his suggestions on how to approach people and influence them to change: 

1) Begin with praise and honest appreciation. Begin by finding a common point on which both can agree, something the other person has done well and for which specific praise can be given.

2) Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly. This is the difference between sayings, "You're dumb!" and "What you did was dumb and I know you're better than that!" Try not to zoom right in and focus on mistakes. Be gently and make suggestions rather than focusing solely on what has been done wrong. 

3) Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other man. We’ve all made mistakes. No one is exempt from this rule. Demonstrate that you too have made mistakes, and you can recover and do better. 

4) Ask questions instead of giving direct orders. This is a powerful principle to develop creative thinking. Be polite and make requests not demands. 

5) Let the other person save face. A "cornered" animal will fight back; so will we. Give a person an opportunity to save his or her self-image. 

6) Praise the every slight improvement. Make sure the person knows when they’ve done right. People want to be praised, so this will encourage behaviors that allow them to receive praise. 

7) Give people a fine reputation to live up to. Set them up as a successful and productive person, when they hear tour expectations they are more likely to attempt to make them happen. 

8) Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct. Do not set them up for failure. Encouragement is a powerful tool that influences people to make changes. If they believe they can succeed, they can and will. 

9) Make other people happy about doing the thing you suggest. This is accomplished by sharing the benefit to those who will see the result of doing the thing you suggest. Giving someone ample praise when they have made a change or exhibited a good behavior will make them happy to complete asks that are requested of them. 

All in all, the key takeaway is be positive when approaching people who need correction. Kindness and encouragement will get you much farther than anger and


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