Thriller was not Michael Jackson’s first album

It may be one of his most popular, but it was certainly not his first.  It took a lot of work by a lot of talented people to write, record, produce and market this blockbuster success.  One story goes that he and producer Quincy Jones decided things weren’t quite right, so they took a week to rework and remix each song.

What if they had given up after the first attempt?  What if Michael decided he was done after the Jackson 5?

Of course the point is NOT that we couldn’t live without “Beat it” or “Billie Jean”, but that perseverance can yield incredible results.  Unfortunately, too often there is a tendency to give up on something if our first attempt seems unsuccessful.  One thing I hear all the time is, “Well we told them, they should know.”

This is unfortunately a common occurrence when feedback is given once and we don’t see an immediate improvement in the behavior.  Or my favorite… someone is sent to a class in the hopes that it will fix the performance issues.  Classes can be great (I teach a lot of them), but they can also be a crutch for people “too busy” (or unsure how) to give follow-up and continual feedback.

Our solution?  First be aware that one “talking to” does not automagically mean better performance.  (How many things did you learn or remember after only hearing it once?)  Next, be patient and prepared to explain your concepts in multiple ways.  Last but not least, make sure you are as specific as possible with what you are telling people.  Saying, “You have a bad attitude” 100 times doesn’t give them specific behaviors to work on.  It is a nice piece of personal judgment that is sure to get you a little attitude in return.

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