from the


from the Top of the Mind


from the
Top of the Mind

“Dr. Crawford’s presentation was the highlight of the conference and a much needed reminder for all of us (especially nurses) to keep it all balanced. Bill’s psychology background surely protruded through his messages and I know it was well-received by all!”

Nancy Perovic, RN, BSN
University Of Chicago Hospitals, Chicago, IL

 youtube  facebook itunes  google+  twitter  pinterest  linkedin

Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline or in the module Content settings. You can also style every aspect of this content in the module Design settings and even apply custom CSS to this text in the module Advanced settings.

“In order to influence others to do and be their best, we must make a distinction between whether we are going for trust and cooperation…or obedience. Trust and cooperation create solution-focused conversations and build successful relationships…obedience is what you teach your dog.”

~ Bill Crawford

Going For Trust & Cooperation Versus Obedience

As a featured speaker for Vistage and TEC, two organizations that provide education and peer support to CEO’s, I have many opportunities to speak to leaders around the world, and one of the most common complaints I hear from them is that people just don’t get it! Or, that the people in leadership positions don’t understand why you just can’t tell someone what you want them to do and have them do it!

While this is understandable, in order to help them be effective as leaders, they must, at some point, become clear about whether they are going for trust and cooperation, or obedience. Why? Because getting people to obey you is not as effective as engaging them in a way that brings out their best and creates solution-focused conversations, both now, and in the future.

On the other hand, (as this week’s quote suggests,) obedience is what you teach your dog. With a young puppy, you teach obedience because you want the puppy to grow up to be an obedient, adult dog. You are not looking for the dog to make complicated decisions based upon the changing world around us, but, instead, to just follow simple commands, such as sit, stay, come, etc.

With people, however, unless you plan to make every decision for them ALL OF THE TIME, what you want is for them to access their best judgment, now and in the future. The term, “micro-managing,” specifically refers to a leader who doesn’t trust those around him or her, and, thus, has to be involved in even the most minute decisions. Unfortunately, not only does this breed resentment in those being micro-managed, it results in exhaustion for the leader, and keeps them from looking at the big picture.

So, how can you engage others in a way that results in their accessing their best, while, at the same time, influencing them to follow your lead?

• First, you have to ensure that what you want them to do is good for them as well as good for you. Often, we are so focused on what we want to achieve that we don’t stop to consider how this is going to be beneficial to those in our organization (or family). Knowing what is important to those we lead and how that aligns with what is important to us is crucial to effective leadership.

• Second, those who look to us for leadership must believe that we both understand and care about them. You have probably heard the phrase, “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Letting people know that you understand their perspective (even, or especially, if they are concerned about something) allows them to drop the need to defend that perspective.

From a neuropsychology perspective, this means that you don’t want them to be in the “defensive brain” or the “resistant brain,” but rather to come from the intelligent, cooperative brain. Therefore, your listening to learn what is important to them, and letting them know that “you get it” is the first step in maximizing the potential that they will be open to what you have to say next.

• Third, you must be willing to ask questions, or make statements that engage the upper 80% of the brain (the neocortex). Neocortex statements or questions are almost always about the future and the solution, and contain what is important to them, as well as, what is important to you.

All of this is designed to create solution-focused conversations that bring out the best in all concerned, and lay a foundation for more solution-focused conversations in the future.

The bottom line is that we must understand what truly motivates others to hear what we have to say, and then act upon it in a way that allows them to access their clarity, confidence, and creativity. To do this, we must understand how to access their cooperative brain versus drive them into their resistant brain. Is this more complicated? Yes, just as leading people is more complicated than training dogs!

~ All the best, Dr. Bill

Dr. Crawford's Info Packet

Download Information on Dr. Crawford and his presentations