We make it more likely by sharing a vocabulary

2 min read : You can make it more likely that your team does good work together by having a shared vocabulary. My family has started using the phrase make it more likely. Rather than tell our five year old that crying isn’t going to get him what he wants we’ll ask “how can you make it more likely that we’ll let you watch television before dinner?”.

We’re not saying no, we’re not even saying maybe, we’re asking him to consider and reframe his problem.

I interrupted an episode of My Little Pony to vacuum and remembering how annoying this noise pollution was on my childhood tv programs. I told him that he should turn the tv volume up to 25 while I was making a racket. I asked that he remember to turn it back down to 15 when I finished.

As I brought the the vacuum cleaner out I could hear the volume going up. After a few minutes industrious work I noticed that he was poised, holding the remote. “I’m going to be a wee while with this. You can put the remote down you know”.

He held the remote up showing me his finger hovering above the volume button. “I’m holding near the button so I make it more likely I remember to turn the volume back down”.

He changed his environment, adding in a new behaviour to make it more likely that he’d perform my desired behaviour. He knew that by doing so he’d get what he wanted, which in this case was being left alone to see whether Rainbow Dash could perform the sonic rainbow at the Cloudsdale Best Young Flyer competition.

We collaborated to reach a mutually agreeable outcome!

He’s five and our only attempt so far at building a human so it’s too early to say whether this will work out.