#241: When People Won’t Change, Try Feinting

This is a true story about greener grass somewhere. The funny thing about true stories is that different people interpret them differently. And the same people can interpret them differently on different days.

I mean, how do you know the grass is truly greener on the other side? What makes you think the grass will still be greener by the time you get there? And what’s so wrong in lowering your expectations to match the not-so-green grass where you are?

The Donkeys of Change

How should you lead people who won’t change? By force or feinting?

This true story gives a hint.

Two donkeys had outgrown their pasture. A neighbor across the road offered the owner his bigger pasture where the grass is always greener.

The donkeys went willingly until they reached the painted double lines in the middle of the road. There they froze. No pulling or pushing could move them forward.

The next day same story. The donkeys dug in their hooves at the painted lines.

How then did the donkeys get to the greener grass? Their owner helped them step between the lines, two steps at a time, past the painted barrier.

If you lead people who dig in, even in sight of greener grass, don’t use force, try feinting. Help them step between the obstacles to change, two steps at a time, past the barriers in their mind.

Welcome to my side of the nonsense divide.

Source of true story: The Humble Farmer (aka Robert Skoglund) told me this story. He also told me it is true. But if truth be told, I feinted and adapted it slightly for my purpose. In true nonsense at work style.