The 2 Words You Need to Train Your Staff Never to Say

by Sean Foster | June 24, 2021 | Newsletter

When you get a new staff member coming on board you need to mould this thinking into them, and if you are not doing this already with existing staff, then start today. You need to outlaw these two simple words ‘You’re Right.’  

Reflect on the conversations you have had, either in group or 1-1 meetings. How often has a staff member said to you (or to another staff member), ‘you’re right’? And to cap it all, you (or they) took this as confirmation that you are on the right path and have merely moved on. 

‘You’re right’, is lazy, non-value-adding, shallow thinking. Ban it. 

The substitute is easy to implement, but because it is a little unnatural to us all, we need to focus our own attention on actioning our response. 

Rather than ‘You’re right’, what we really want in a response is something along the lines of: 

  • ‘I get it, you like …….., because or ……., and that is important because …..’, or 
  • ‘I appreciate your feedback but why exactly do you …….’ 
  • ‘I think I am on the same page as you, I also really like …….., and the reason is because ….. However I have one concern and this is ……, how do you think we could mitigate this?’ 

Get it? A natural response is ‘You’re right’, but that is a closed-ended statement. We need to install a behavioural habit in everyone to never assume that they fully understand someone else’s perspective or how they got there. In addition, everyone needs to actively avoid group-think. 

As a leader in your business, as long as you focus on this habit, it will be relatively easy to implement. You need to coach it, talk about it and definitely set the right tone, right from the beginning with new staff. I would summarise it as follows: 

Rule 1 – ask staff what they think, rather than asking for their approval (for example: do you like this?) 

Rule 2 – any response must include them expressing their thoughts/feelings as well as an explanation of why they feel this way 

    If you are ready to implement open-book in your business now, then call me now: 029 427 4980 – there are some valuable tools that I would happily share with you. These will make your implementation process so much easier.