P&C planning mistake no. 5 – We talk about what matters to us, not to them

Who’s ever been in a relationship where you are not on the same page? It could be the ‘big ticket’ items like; leaving clothes on the floor or; stacking the dishwasher; or being too busy to give you time.

When we have a conversation we assume our partner cares about our perspective.  It might sound like;

“I have to pick up your mess” or

“I’m the one that ends up putting your dishes away” or

“I am sick of waiting around for you to give me time”

We hope they care about what matters to us. 

At work our relationships are different. We don’t choose our colleagues. So, selling the ‘why’ people should attend training, or ‘why’ people need to develop their self-awareness OFTEN doesn’t land. We say the training will be awesome but they don’t really care. Why is this?

As drivers of people and culture we care about engagement. We care about attraction and retention. Other pockets of the business not so much. Finance care about financials, Sales want to land more sales, Engineering want to design sustainable solutions.

We care about our PROGRAMS. But we need to care about their PROBLEMS. If we want people to attend the programs we design, and have invested time and money in, then we need to help them care about them. So let’s talk from their perspective – not ours.

As an ex-Accountant, I care about how programs impact the bottom line. I need to find case studies to prove that. That’s where the conversation is for senior leaders. They want a profitable business.

If the programs we are driving make their job easier (not yours) then show them. Will it result in less meetings, faster implementation, more loyal customers, reducing people drama? Will it mean they are able to reduce conflict, or make faster and better decisions or help them improve their career aspirations? This is something people will come to – not better workplace engagement. That’s your job, not theirs. 

How could you have different conversations (and better communications) with your people about how your programs will help them?


There is ONE SPOT LEFT for my Creating a kickarse culture workshop on April 27th. Get your ticket here. Grab it before someone else does, you’d be crazy not to.