If You Do It I'll Do It

I am partnering with a new group of trainers, coaches and consultants. We had our first in-person meeting the other day at an interesting restaurant venue I'd actually been to before with the kids. It's called the Conservatory. It's housed in a neat old building that has a variety of fast food options from Italian with pizza and meatballs to BBQ, sandwiches and soups.  Everyone in your group can get a different kind of food for lunch and grab a table in the common area to enjoy lunch together.

Since I'd been there before I knew they had beer and wine too. We were seated at the table sharing and enjoying our different selections when I decided a glass of wine would be perfect with my Italian meatballs, so I got up to find the wine. When I returned to the table with my glass, several others at the table commented on what a great idea that was and some ended up getting wine too. It was like I broke the ice or the boundary and it made it ok for everyone else now.

It's actually very common for people to be thinking about doing the same thing - but not stepping out there or taking a chance until someone else does it. Check out this story regarding a paper airplane game. 

One of the most results-producing and fun exercises I’ve made a part of my presentation games is the paper airplane game. The point is to get participants to think outside of the box, and open up their creative thinking while enjoying a fun game with a little competitive spirit mixed in.

Groups are divided into teams of four or five players with each team given a stack of different colored paper. A starting line and a landing zone are marked on the floor with masking tape. The team players are not allowed to cross over the starting line when launching their airplanes. Only planes that are completely in the landing zone count, and the goal is to be the team with the most paper airplanes in the landing zone at the end of the time. Teams are given two minutes to play the game. 

The first time I played this game, my inclination was to pick up the entire pack of paper and throw it into the landing zone. But I told myself it was the paper airplane game and we had to fold planes before throwing, so I proceeded to fold planes. Then a minute later another team picked up their entire pack of paper and threw it over the line to win. I was appalled they’d “stolen” my idea! Of course, they really hadn’t; I was just upset with myself for talking myself out a great idea. 

Until we see others do something we hold ourselves back. We watch what they are doing and model their behavior. 

So - what are you holding yourself back from doing? Are you waiting for someone else to do it first? What will it take for you to be the first one? What are you missing out on by not taking that first step?

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