Team Players Don’t Push Back

How would you feel if your Request for Services was responded to with PUSH BACK?

I recall the late Joe Harless on the stage at a 1985 NSPI (now ISPI) Conference.

He was complaining about how some in attendance – and in general – were offering advice to others about saying “no” or pushing back on clients’ requests for training.

He said – something to the effect of – and in his own whiny voice …

“And when your client asks you for help in developing some training, do not, repeat, do not say (in a whiny voice)

“Are you sure it’s a training problem!?!”

Instead, say,

“Yes – I can help you – and I can help you even more
if we can do a little analysis first!” 

That was his reply, his advice, to the client and to all of the assembled. At least that’s my cognitive recall so many years later – and we should all appreciate what that means.

He went on to say things to the effect that saying “no” would start off the relationship/effort poorly.

That saying yes started one on the right path in the relationship.

Here’s Joe’s article about this – in NSPI’s (now ISPI’s) PIJ back in 1985 – here.

See my 2012 blog post on this – here. And an updated post from earlier this year – here.

I think anything that can feel like PUSH BACK starts the relationship off on the wrong foot, so to speak.

I have detailed my Request Intake Process and my Interview Guide in a new mini-book, published in March 2022.

And one on Instructional Analysis.

See all of my books on my Amazon Authors Page – here.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t be cooperative – and help the client come to a logical business decision based on Data – Analysis Data.


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