What You Permit You Promote

You asked an employee at work to complete a mission-critical deliverable. After a quick meeting to lay out your expectations, you outlined timetables and milestones to make sure everything gets done on time. You’ve seen the employee goofing off with others in the office, and you’ve even seen him close his eyes and put his head down at his desk. The delivery date is quickly approaching. You’ve not seen any results yet, and today that employee called in sick. You begin working on the project yourself…

What you permit you promote.

You told your son that he can’t go out with his friends until he cleans the pigsty he calls his room. He comes downstairs an hour later to let you know his room is done. He leaves with his friends to go see a movie. As you walk past his room, you discover that everything that was on the floor has been shoved under the bed…which still isn’t made. You shake your head and say to yourself: “That kid is rotten.”

What you permit you promote.

You placed a large order with a catering company for a holiday party. When you go to pick up your order, you realize that a few items are wrong, and some of the hot dishes are lukewarm at best. You pay the bill and grumble to yourself as you take your food out to your car.

What you permit you promote.

Ask yourself this question: How much of the frustration in your day is caused by you permitting…and thereby promoting…lazy or incompetent behaviors in others? Just because you are the boss, the parent, or the customer doesn’t mean that you control others. But you do control how you react when your needs go unmet.

For example, you have it in your control to deliver negative consequences when you don’t see good performance. You can check your child’s room before you assume that he has met your expectations. You can have a calm conversation when you are a dissatisfied customer.

And you can deliver positive consequences when you see something that you like.

What are you permitting and promoting today? Are you promoting the right behaviors? Or have you been conditioned to expect something far less because you decide that it’s out of your control or it’s just easier?

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