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As the Irish comedian said "it's the way you tell 'em"

A great example of this is with Hotel towel re-use programmes.

Ask a guest to save the planet and many just figure the hotel is trying to cut their operating expenses and hey, why should I do that, I paid for towels in my room rate.

Now, if the hotel instead says something like "Last year, over 90% of our guests joined us in our xxx green initiative. Join them in helping us" etc.

The latter generates participation level many times higher.


This approach applies to raising kids, as well.

"I really need your help. Let's make this place look better for all of us." That's a much better delivery than, "Put your toys away. It's for your own good."

I meet with very little resistance if I make a point of politely reminding them that we are all in this together.



I liked the post. I agree with the folks that say they would be annoyed if a stranger told them to do something, but I get your point.

From a project management standpoint, I think it is important to not just put a date out there and call people out when they miss it, but you have to get them to feel a part and empowered.

My wife has been bugging me for 3 years about mowing the lawn and how it isn't that tiring compared to her house work. A few weeks back I suggested we change roles for the week. That night, she was so tired and bothered at her decision...she didn't even want to talk. As we pulled away from the house the next day, she made a little comment on how we need to water today. The next week she suggested that I do the edging and such while she mows. She now had a vested interest in the lawn.

Good post!


Unfortunately, I think most people would bristle even more at a non-uniformed fellow traveller telling them what to do. It's part of the flight attendant's job to enforce rules- not a pleasant or easy part- but their job regardless, and it wouldn't be fair to palm it off on a rule-following passenger. The last thing I need while travelling is to become the object of a non-compliant person's irritation or verbal abuse.


Hmmm, I usually agree with most everything you say, but in this instance I think I would feel a bit annoyed/irritated if my neighbor turned to me and said "Please be sure and turn your cell phone off, thanks so much". I might be inclined to think "Mind your own business, bucko". But then again, being from the Rust Belt, I'm a bit edgy and got confused and angered by people smiling at me on the street in Boulder and saying "hello" just because.

Chef Shane

As a frequent traveller, I would certainly appreciate a refreshing change in attitude and the more innovative approach.
One airline in the US rapped and danced its safety procedures. What happened? Everybody watched and listened.
I think that the approach your suggested could go viral.
I'm going to start implementing it myself. Thanks for the great example.


I can see this applied in many different scenarios. We get so caught up trying to get everyone to follow when what we should do is get other to participate, as Damian mentions above. We are a long way from coming together in this kind of approach, but we have to start somewhere!

Karen, The Resume Chick (on Google or Twitter for questions, comments or violent reactions)

Alexander Conroy

I agree, but there is just no way that Airport officials are going to repeat that long winded explanation to passengers. Most of the time they act like they don't want to be there/care for their customers at all anyways. We're all guilty until proven innocent after all.

Although I agree that this method does work, it is just not practical for employees who are already repeating "take our your liquids, etc." all day long.

Maybe a recording would help...would probably be droning after a while though...


Collectively we create the world around us in all its glory and messiness. We react when someone tramples on our part, we participate when invited.

Great post!

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