Sat | May 26, 2018

A ‘Medical’ Check Up Pt 2

Published:Sunday | December 25, 2016 | 12:00 AM


Last time, we shared some of the results of a 'medical' assessment of the nation. Today, we share more findings. Remember to reflect on whether you are suffering from any of the ailments or if they are present in your family, group, or organisation.

A quick recap:




The tendency to shoot down suggestions without due reflection, examination and an appeal to facts. Common causes include doubt and fear, sheer habit, inadequate information, lack of trust, overconfidence in own judgement and absence of a feeling of belonging.

Cures include patience, being inclusive, taking extra steps to get to the bottom of objections, and to identify acceptable solutions.




All knowledge and expertise resides with this individual, and alternate views and hard evidence cannot penetrate this shield of ignorance.

Curing this condition is challenging, but hope lies in the direction of improving the quality of the evidence being presented, and being persistent in challenging their knowledge and competence.




This manifests as the absence of logic, predictability and consistency. Treatment includes documenting agreements, discussing issues fully to unearth hidden reservations, and setting up monitoring systems to quickly spot deviations.

Here are some further findings:




'Blow-Blow-itis' produces a mentality that promises much and delivers little. Announced intentions do not match results.




1. If you are bitten by the blow blow bug, shift emphasis from the future tense to the past or present tenses. 'Did' versus 'will do'.

2. When the urge comes to share intent, pause and decide to make the announcement after you have achieved what you have in mind.

3. Ask the 'Blow-Blow-itis' sufferer to present concrete step-by-step plans.

4. Put in place monitoring and accountability mechanisms to ensure desired results.

5. When faced with 'Blow-Blow-itis', focus attention on concrete deliverables and specific deadlines. Something has either been done or it has not been done.




So-So-itis takes on different forms. In essence, So-So-itis is used in the Jamaican sense of only. One common form is the unwillingness to think outside of a fixed box. When So-So-itis takes hold, your interest is limited to a very small area, and you are not open to new ideas.




1. The best medicine for So-So-itis is education.

2. Provide information that highlights the benefits of alternate approaches.

3. Share the experiences of others. Conduct mini-experiments to test other concepts.


Vaccine for your health


The good news is that there is a vaccination that works well against most of the conditions.




The Go-Go mentality is the path to good health. Go-Go is a very powerful vaccine. It prompts a readiness to respond to worthwhile calls. Agreements are quickly reached on action plans, and people with Go-Go are ready to execute them.

The problem is that the Go-Go vaccine is in short supply. Few people have received it, and its effects are not transferable like a virus.

You sneeze and those around you come down with your infection. You mingle with your Go-Go colleagues for weeks and no one is affected.

How do we get others vaccinated with the Go-Go vaccine and stop the behavioural epidemic?

1. Outline statements of purpose in a way that stimulates buy-in.

2. Present objectives and plans in easily digestible format.

3. Devise the paths to achieving the purpose so that they are engaging and sustainable.

4. Paint a clear picture of what successful completion looks like.

5. Campaign actively to get others to buy into the mission.

6. Celebrate each milestone - welcome achievements with fanfare.

7. Pursue your mission with passion, even if you have to go it alone.

Take time to investigate and identify the behavioural issues that are negatively impacting performance individually, in your groups, organisations and nationally. Diagnose and apply appropriate prescriptions. We are too heavily invested in external factors. Shift the focus to people and their behaviour to bring our individual and collective aspirations to fruition. Happy holidays!

Now enrolling for the Certified Behavioural Coach 2017 programme. Register now.

- Trevor E. S. Smith is a behaviour modification coach with the Success with People Academy home of the 'Certified Behavioural Coach' programme that is accredited by the International Coach Federation and the Society for Human Resource Management. Email: