Hiring Wisdom: It’s Always Smart to Think First, Then Act

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I often have the groups I speak to do this exercise …

I ask them to pair up and have the person on the left make a fist. Then I give all the folks on the right five seconds to get their partner’s fist open.

Most struggle and strain to no avail. Then I say, “Can you think of any other way to get your partner’s fist open?” When I’m met with silence, I suggest they simply say to the other person: “Would you please open your fist?

I’ve changed this up lately though, and folks are coming up with more varied and interesting ideas.

Now I say, “Imagine your partner has tightly closed his/her right fist. I’ll give you 30 seconds to think about how you would go about getting it open.” Now besides the “brute strength” approach, people are saying things like: “I’d threaten her by holding a pitcher of water over her head and counting to 10,” or,  “I’d stomp on his foot.”

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Your takeaway from this: Take the time to think before you act.

This was originally published on Mel Kleiman’s Humetrics blog.

Mel Kleiman, CSP, is an internationally-known authority on recruiting, selecting, and hiring hourly employees. He has been the president of Humetrics since 1976 and has over 30 years of practical experience, research, consulting and professional speaking work to his credit. Contact him at mkleiman@humetrics.com.