With everything you have to do, you can add “TRAINER” to your job title. And while you’re probably not getting paid for this work, it impacts your results every day.

“Consider the possibility that we are constantly training those around us how to act, how to behave, simply by how we respond to them during crucial moments.” (From our upcoming book, Stomp the Elephant in the Office, (Wister and Willows, 2008)).


Do you wish people would behave or function a different way? (Duh.) If so, what are the chances the reason they are acting a certain way is because you’ve trained them to act that way?

When the average person receives  bad news, they respond in destructive fashion. They kick, scream and yell. Meanwhile, the recipient is taking copious mental notes.

  • How many people have trained those around them NOT to make decisions, because in the past they’ve judged decisions as good or bad?
  • How many parents have trained their children to lie by getting angry when they learned the truth?
  • How many people have trained people to give a minimalist effort, because when they gave a strong effort their results were criticized?


Effective people make cultivating information a priority. They know they can’t take appropriate action without full information. When they receive bad news they respond in a way where the other person:

  1. learns from the event,
  2. gets better as a result of the experience, and
  3. learns they can come to you with similar information in the future.

Whether you’re getting paid for it or not, “training” is in your job description. How are you training those around you to act?

What is the difference between what “might be” and what “can be”? You decide.

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