SPEECH ACTS IS A TOOL TO TURN WORDS INTO ACTION

ACTION IS BORN OUT OF Commitment

How committed are you to what you are presently doing?  In other words, do you own your work 100%?  A lot of you will say yes, but that is just the story that you are telling (yourself and others) – the truth may be that your “heart” is not really in it.  Your internal “context” is obligation.  You are doing what you are doing because you “have to” – NOT because you choose to.  This is NORMAL, but not optimal.

Remember Freeman’s story, in the training, about doing the dishes?  Just to remind you, his wife was reading to their two small children in an adjacent room – his wife and kids were all giggling as his wife read the funny story.  Freeman’s “chores”, in the family, included doing the dishes – he would tell you that he was fine with doing the dishes – that was his “story”, but his behavior told a different story.  Suddenly, his wife stopped reading and came into the kitchen and asked, “do you know that you are banging pots?”  Freeman’s first response was to deny it, “I’m not banging pots,” he replied.  “Yes, you are,” his wife retorted, “you need to make a choice, to do the dishes or not to do the dishes, but please stop banging pots.”

This was a seminal moment.  In that moment Freeman realized that he was in “victim consciousness” – he was doing the dishes because he “had to” do the dishes, NOT because he “chose to” do the dishes.  At that moment, he made a choice to own his work – he chose to make dishes his joyful contribution to the family – he closed the doors, put on music, and made dishes his private time.  Years later, Freeman’s personal “dish doing time” remains a positive and rewarding part of his day. 

Speech Act Action Steps:

  1. Check your level of commitment and/or ownership of whatever tasks you are doing – generate an empowered context by declaring your commitment(s).

  2. Use speech acts to solidify and express your own commitment(s) and to elicit commitments from others using requests.

Susan and Freeman are the co-founders of Group to TEAM Leadership Solutions Inc, a global consulting company specializing in helping organizations build a culture of TEAM beginning at the level of the individual. Click the button below to schedule your free 20-minute assessment call and bring them in to your organization.