We've lived in our house for nine years now, so I was at first a little surprised when, a few weeks ago, my wife told me that she wanted to learn how to cut the lawn. There are very few hard and fast responsibilities on who does what in our house, but taking care of the lawn was one of few that existed, and I had no problem with that.
At first I was bewildered, though I quickly came to a conclusion about why she was asking: Her new Fitbit. I've had a Fitbit for a while now, but my wife recently got one just several months back. While we're not cutthroat about it, there is a little bit of competitiveness between us as to who can get the most steps daily and over a running seven day period, both of which are readily available on the app.
Steps And Cutting Lawn
Cutting the lawn adds about 7,000 steps, so her cutting it instead of me could swing the difference a full 14,000 steps in her favor.
When I confronted her about her motivation, her quick blush told me that I had hit the nail on the head as to why. So, I pretty much just ignored the request. It helps that I actually enjoy cutting the grass. It's one of the few chores that really doesn't seem like a chore. It's good exercise. It lets me listen to music. And after I'm done you can see the difference.
She asked a few more times, and each time I sort of deflected it with different reasons. I pointed out how busy she was or how I was already dressed to go out and do it, or some other way of getting to go outside and just keep doing it myself.
It all worked until she finally came up with….
The Perfect Pitch
One day I was heading out to go cut the grass and she asked me again if I'd teach her. I gave her my standard chuckle and comment about Fitbit steps when she stopped me with a new angle.
She commented that I should teach her because it gives us more options in case I couldn't do it or if we were restricted on time. She even used examples of when we had to do it before a vacation and rain had stopped us or made it where I had to do it at a really weird time (I think once I was outside around 7:45am getting started).
This made sense. It was, in essence, the perfect pitch!
I realized that she had me.
So, I told her to go get shoes and socks on and an hour or so later, she had cut the grass. I even had her fill up the mower with gas before she got started. After all, preparation is everything!
It reminded me that, sometimes, you can't just sell the idea that you have and point out how it will benefit you, but you have to point out how it will help the person you're pitching it to. Once she did this, she had me!
Applying The Perfect Pitch In Life
Think about it, this principle applies in many areas:
- Applying for a job
- Applying for a promotion
- Making an offer on a house
- Proposing a new purchase
The list goes on and on.
So, because of the perfect pitch, my wife knows how to cut the grass. Some might wonder if I'm worried that she'll now start doing it regularly and take control of the Fitbit steps. The answer to that is, of course, no.
Why am I so confident?
Well, I can always hide the gas can. 🙂
Readers, have you ever failed to convince someone of an idea until you changed your strategy? Have you ever tried to highlight how it would be of benefit to the other party? Let me know in the comments below.