Build Participation: Leaders, Do You Prefer Immediate Yeses? | #leadership

Leaders if you want to build participation, don’t expect people to say yes immediately. A quick yes may be what you prefer but it’s a false sense of comfort. Here’s what you lose by expecting an immediate yes and what you gain from giving much more information up front.

Build Participation: Image is sculpture of man thinking on a dock.

Build Participation: Do You Expect & Prefer Immediate Yes? Image by Niemand Weibes via Flick Creative Commons License.

Image by Niemand Weibes via Flickr Creative Commons License.

To Build Participation Don’t Expect a Quick Yes

Building participation in any undertaking or project requires you to do lots of work. It takes commitment, planning, and clear communication. If you expect a quick yes from those you want involved, you are showing them that you are not committed to doing the hard work. Well if you’re not committed, why should they be?

Ask Yourself: Why Do You Prefer a Quick Yes?

  • Money. You want others to create outcomes that bring profits. Well, are they going to get some of that money in their pocket? If no, then don’t expect a quick buy-in from them.

  • Your passion for the project. Well if you are passionate then do the hard work of igniting that passion in them.

  • Deadlines. If you want to build participation to meet deadlines, paint a clear picture of the obstacles and hard work they must do to reach those deadlines. Also, what’s in it for them?

  • Your personality type. If you are a driver (that craves end results), be smart enough to adapt to other types to build participation in your project. Not everybody is a driver. If you are an introvert, remember that people can’t read your mind. Communicate more. If you are an expressive, listen more. Give people time to think about what you are asking and time to speak.

Who & What You Lose by Expecting Quick Yeses

  1. Critical thinkers and analytics. These folks are essential to the success of most undertakings. Yet they need to use those same skills before saying yes.

  2. True commitment. If employees and team members say yes right away, they may pull away once they see what they must really do to succeed.

  3. The value of their questions. To build participation, learn from the questions people ask before they say yes to you. They will likely uncover issues you didn’t even think of!

  4. The trust that comes from relationships. When you expect a quick yes from others, you throw away the trust you could otherwise develop while building participation.

  5. Easy collaboration. Even if people jump on board with a quick yes, they may still expect you to be more collaborative once the work begins. When they realize you aren’t, every day becomes a struggle between you and them.

To Build Participation Communicate Clearly & Completely

To build participation in your undertaking, project, or change, first consider the purpose, the goals, what you expect of others, and everything they will question before saying yes. Let them know up front that you value their questions before they jump on board. Be absolutely clear about the deadline for them to be involved. Dancing around this just so you won’t seem too pushy sets them up for failure. If you have a fixed date for moving ahead, be honest about it. Clear details empower people; confusion and misleading information traps them.

If you want to build participation, participate with people before they decide!

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Posts:
Introverted Leaders: Essential Communication Responsibilities
Leaders, Don’t Force Struggle to Create Change
Leading Change Requires Networking Your Inspiration

©2021 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

Get more inspiration and actionable tips for high engagement results!


Buy Kate Nasser’s new book Leading Morale (


Comments are closed.

KateNasser on Facebook KateNasser Blog KateNasser on Twitter KateNasser on LinkedIn KateNasser on Pinterest