Saturday, October 16, 2010


Mrs Mustard has returned from work with a new management tool for changing staff behaviour. I have spent too much time doubled up in laughter over the last couple of days to note what this tool is called so let us name it TCC.

T = thank-you
C = continue
C = change

In order to demonstrate how it works she chose to use it on me, always a mistake and after thirty seven years you'd think she'd know better, and this is what she said:

Thank you for washing out the tins before you put them in the recycling box. I want you to continue to do this and in future I'd like you to do it thoroughly.

You thank the person for what they've done, encourage them to continue and suggest ways they could perform even better. No 'howevers'; no 'buts'. It's all done with 'ands'.

Here's the problem. I'd much rather she said, 'Why can't you manage to wash out a tomato tin properly; are you stupid or blind?' I like straight talking. We could then establish that the problem would be solved not by more thoroughness but by my wearing my glasses to do the job. I guess it's not that which rankles but the fact that SHE'S NOT MY BOSS! And yes that was an exclamation mark; it's come to that. I didn't hit her anywhere the bruises will show unless you have a more intimate relationship with my wife than I realise.

However, having learned that this is an appropriate way to offer commentary I thought I'd try it.

Thank you for coming home from work every day and putting your bags down tidily. I'd like you to continue to come home and I'd like you to place your bags anywhere except in front of a door that might need opening in the next three minutes during the production of supper.

We'll see how that goes before I try the ones about physical intimacy.


RuthJ said...

Thank you for the warning. I appreciate your straightforward management style, and I'd like to encourage you to avoid this technique permanently ...

Seriously, can you think of anything worse than spoiling every bit of affirmation with an immediate veiled criticism?

Anonymous said...

Love it. How did it go down with Mrs M? Or didn't you dare say it?