It usually begins at the beginning of priesthood meeting. The Elder's
Quorum President stands up and says, "Sister Hoarder is moving and she
will need some help." In this moment we all think, "What a wonderful
moment to stare at the carpet." Whether he asks for volunteers during
that meeting or not the phone call will come later.
EQP: Brother Strongback how are you!?!?! (Translation: Wow, somebody answered!!!)
Brother Strongback: Doing good, thanks. (Translation: Why did I answer?)
Listen, like I said on Sunday Sister Hoarder is moving Saturday and she
needs some help. We are meeting at 8 in the morning and it should not
take too long. (Translation: She hasn't packed a thing and she has an
odd shaped piano.)
Brother Stongback: Sure, I'll be there. (Translation: Another weekend down the drain.)
EQP: Great! I'll bring donuts!!!! (Translation: My EQ budget is gone.)
what's an Elder's Quorum President to do? It's not so much the
difficulty of the task, it's the "unknowns" of the task. Is it going to
take the whole day? Will others be there to help? If the leader is able to eliminate these unknowns then
you will have more people willing to help, which will lead to more
people showing up, which will lead to less time the task will take.
The way around this starts with a principle
referred to during house cleaning. It’s called the “5-Minutes Room
it’s a wonderful tool when fighting against reluctant human nature. This
technique comes from Marla Cilley who likes to call herself the Fly
is the guru of house cleaning and organization. This is how the
When faced with a daunting task of cleaning a messy house set a kitchen
for 5 minutes and then work at cleaning a room as quickly as possible.
five minutes is up you are free to stop guilt free. This is designed to
get you working towards something that seems unpleasant. Once you start
confidence builds and you realize 15 or 20 minutes won’t be so bad
tricks your lazy natural man into doing something that is easier than it
appears. The hardest part is getting started or in this case the hardest
is just getting brethren to the house to help move.
So how does this technique convince more to help move Sister
Hoarder? It’s all in the invite.
EQP: Hey Brother Stongback! Like I mentioned on Sunday,
Sister Hoarder is moving and she needs some help from the brethren in the ward.
Now listen, I don’t want to take up your whole Saturday so all I ask is an hour
of your day. If you can come for an hour you will be free to leave. We are
starting at 8 and then at 9 you can have your Saturday back. Does that work for
You have now eliminated the unknowns. He knows exactly how
long he will be there. Now be sure to stick to your word. This isn’t about
tricking them into a situation they can’t get out of. When they show up and the
hour of their time is given; pull them aside, thank them for coming, and then
send them on their way. You will be surprised how many volunteer to stay a
little longer now that they see the task is moving smoothly and is near
As far as getting the odd shaped piano down three flights
of stairs….you are on your own.
For more information on this principle please reference Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard page 129