How to Push

If you are a team leader or parent, do you have the experience of pushing your team member or kid to do a task?

In traditional Chinese culture, there is a proverb: “You can never wake up a person who pretends to sleep.”

The first thing, you should identify if it is an attitude problem. If so, stop teaching and mentoring right now and make your team member or kid calm down until he wants to continue to learn. I used to speak to my kid like this: “If you do not want to learn right now, you can do anything you want, but before midnight, you should finish everything. You have two choices now: continue learning or take a rest for 10 minutes.” Usually, she would take some rest and come to me and request to continue.

Another thing I would like to mention, it’s about criticism. If you find people are not doing well. There could be three reasons. They are concentric circles.


The innermost circle is “belief”. People maybe have the distinct belief in you.

The middle circle is “Attitude”, as I said, it’s not that he doesn’t know how to do it well, it’s that he doesn’t want to do it.

The outer circle is “Action”, it’s what he did. It is an objective fact.

When talking about criticism, the rules are:

  • You cannot even touch anything of the belief;
  • You cannot criticize attitude, but you can draw their attention;
  • You can only criticize the action.

For an example. If one of your team members was late for the meeting. You’d better just tell him: you are late this time, don’t be late next time. If you wanted to judge his attitude, such as “you should rectify your working attitude.” Then you’re wrong.

Now, you may have a question: How can I push if I don’t criticize?

There is another proverb. “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather make them long for the endless immensity of the sea”.

How to push then?

In my opinion, first set a goal; Then let the whole team long for that goal; Next step decomposes the goal into some small tasks with the team. Making sure you know how to estimate every task and let the team know you know.

Then you will suddenly find that you don’t need to push anymore. The team will carry the ball and run with it well.


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