We were training the group about the difference between Understanding Conversations – where people get interested in an idea – and the Performance + Closure conversations that have people take action on it.
Eddie found me on a break, and asked, “So you’re trying to bridge the gap between my knowing I need to go to the gym and my actually going there, right?”
“Exactly”, I told him. “You already understand what you want to do, right? Now all that’s needed is for you to make a promise – to someone – that you will do it. And then schedule one or more Closure Conversations with that person to follow up on how it’s going.”
“In fact,” I said, feeling impish, “We will be back here in 3 months. You could promise me what you will do, and then you and I can talk about your results at that time.”
Eddie suddenly realized that he was being invited to make a promise for action and report on how many times he actually went to the gym in the next 3 months. He seemed both intrigued and uncomfortable with changing his ideas about getting fit into promises for making them real. He didn’t promise, but I know he’s looking at doing that.
I asked Eddie if I could share our conversation with the whole group and he said that would be fine. It was a good example of the difference between Understanding Conversations and Performance + Closure Conversations. In telling the group, I added one idea: Maybe we should take a “BEFORE” picture of Eddie today.
We didn’t do that, of course. Eddie needed time to think through how he can bring gym-going back into his life on a reliable schedule. But he now has the support of the whole group in making this change. One of those people might make a request, and probably several of them will have Closure Conversations with him for follow-up and support.
I’m thinking that Eddie will going to look more trim and fit when we see him next time.