People Need To Be Reminded More Than Instructed

May 11, 2023 | Article, Over-Communicating Clarity, Over-Communicating Clarity Public

Patrick Lencioni says, 

“I’ve recently come to the conclusion that I should stop reading so many new books and magazine articles. Instead, I should go retrieve the top ten books and articles that I’ve already read and start re-reading them again and again. After all, I’ve forgotten most of what I’ve learned in those books, and I’m certainly not using or tapping into more than a fraction of what they have to offer. Instead, I’m pursuing more and more new material, which only crowds out the space in my brain to recall and put to use the tried and true goodness of what I’ve already learned.

Why do we do this? Perhaps we want to stay current. Or we don’t want to feel out of touch. But I think it is based more on pride of knowing things than in the real pursuit of excellence, integrity, and discipline.”

When I’m with teams, I see this dynamic all the time. Some of them are expecting me to say some earth-shattering insight that blows their mind. Others are hoping I’ll just tell them what to do. No matter where they are coming from, few are hoping, ‘Boy, I hope we cover the exact same stuff we talked about last time!’

This is not about being redundant. This is about staying focused on the most important things and using the Clarity we have created. Did you build trust the last time your team met? Great, keep building trust. You’ll always have more to build. Did your team determine the single greatest priority for the organization? Great, let’s measure our progress and determine how to get across the finish line. Have we communicated well with our employees about all this? Yes? Great, now go do it 7 more times. It will take that much for them to really remember it and put it into practice.

Lencioni continues, 

“Don’t think that the irony of all this is lost on me, an author who writes a new book every few years and who wants people to buy and read them. But I cannot deny that one of my favorite quotes comes from the author Samuel Johnson, who said that ‘people need to be reminded more than they need to be instructed.’ I suppose what he really meant was that we already have plenty of information. We just need to use it.”


Building Your Organizational Health Roadmap

Starter Questions 1. What do we do (your business definition, your ‘what’)? 2. Why do we exist? (your core purpose, your ‘why’)? 3. Who are your key competitors? 4. What are your competitive advantages? Decision Point Where does organizational health fit in your...