Spring! Time to Refresh Your Communications (and your lawn mower)!

Publication 13, Issue 4

It’s the time of year when you take your Toro lawn mower out of winter hibernation to begin the landscaping season and, oh my, it’s “kaput”!   As an Organizer, I would have checked out the mower in March, even if there was snow on the ground, so just in case it didn’t work, I had 30 days or so to get it “up and running”!   Larry, my Revolutionary mate, always tells me I take the “fun out of things,” go figure!  So the mower comes out on Saturday and it doesn’t work!

My Larry, also a Steamroller, isn’t going to let a lawn mower get the best of him, so bring on the diagnostics – 15 minutes or so – and bam – he learns the mower needs a new battery!   So, on the Internet he goes and after 30 minutes or so of research, the battery is ordered!  I, on the other hand, would have been looking on the Internet for a new mower, but Larry solved the mystery with a $23 battery!  And therein lies one of the many differences between Organizers and Steamrollers!   Plus, as an Organizer, I don’t have all of his patience – something I work on every day!

But that’s not the whole story!

Part of my work is coaching managers to modify the Golden Rule when they communicate – “communicate with others the way they would like to be communicated with, not the way you like to be communicated with.”  I talk about listening to the words that people use or watching their body language in order to determine “who’s who” on the playground. And while that’s easier for some than others, I challenge managers to practice by looking around in their everyday lives – whether at the grocery store, the dry cleaners, or at their children’s school, to try to figure out “who’s who” – so when they are at work it becomes second nature to them.

Well, there’s another way to figure out “who’s who” at your workplace!!  In the written word!!  Larry happened to leave the replacement part invoice on the kitchen table, and I started reading it to figure out what it was and voilà – I saw the Playground Personalities© in the customer reviews. Amazing!

Here goes!

Peacemaker – (writes from the heart and acknowledges) – “This item is for our lawn mower. We could not find it close to our residence, great price and good product.”

Organizer – (writes logical comments with specific data points) – “The battery was compatible with Toro specifications, arrived on time, performed as expected and I would recommend this battery to others.”

Revolutionary – (writes super short, vivid comments) – “Great Price!”  “Love It!”

Steamroller – (writes in a storytelling style, offers opinions) – “The battery was listed as a replacement part for a Toro. It didn’t fit my mower, the company was very good about returning it. I suggest (opinion) in the future they state which model their battery fits.

What can I say?  This stuff really works!  Do some spring cleaning in all of your communications – writing, speaking and reading.  You’ll begin to have flawless dialogues and your life will be more peaceful and productive!

Happy Spring!

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