This is a continuation of the February 1 post.
By the time the soaked clothes in our suitcases had been sent to the laundry to be dried, I was already thinking if I had handled the situation more cleverly my luggage would have been safely stored on the train in someplace other than my shower.
After all I have always prided myself for being very good at getting people to do what they are absolutely certain they do not want to or cannot do. I learned how to do this from masters and had the strategies clear in my head long before that evening in Paris. They work whether traveling or at home.
- Help whoever you are dealing with understand that they can and want to do something that minutes before they would never have imagined doing.
- Either anticipate the situation and have a good strategy worked out before hand, or if the situation comes up unexpectedly have the right reaction without having to think about. It.
- Keep in mind the basic rule of human motivation and action: “People do what they perceive to be rewarded and do not do what they perceive to be punished.” It is their perception not yours that counts.
- Believe with unwavering certainty there is a solution, even if you do not know what it is.
- Change the point of the exercise from why it is impossible to, “surely we are creative enough to figure it out.”
- Do whatever is necessary to avoid time pressure. If you know you are going to have a problem start very early. If the problem comes up unexpectedly, buy time to calmly together come to a solution.
Now three and a half years later I absolutely believe that there was someplace, an empty compartment, a maintenance closet, someplace on that whole long train other than our tiny compartment where the conductor could have safely stored the luggage.
On the platform of the station in Paris if instead of, “What do you mean no baggage car!!” I had said, “Oh how stupid of me!! Please help me,” there would have been a very good chance that the conductor would have come up with a solution.
Had he even wavered, Yolanda who invariably rises to these occasions would have chimed in with, “Michael, don’t bother the man. I’ll sleep on the luggage.” There is not a Spanish conductor in the whole system who has a chance against that. Almost certainly, within minutes, and no more than 50 Euros the luggage would have been safely stored.
If you have any, “Getting (or not getting) people to do things,” stories, please share.
Navigation and Notification Update
Speaking of getting things wrong, even though I pride myself on picking good people, I finally figured out that I made a bad choice on the programmer to do the navigation, search and programming for the blog. Last week I retained a small Costa Rica company for this. I very seldom make the same mistake twice in a row, so I’ll take a chance and predict that we will have both navigation and notification at least ready for you to test no later than the end of the day, February 27.