Every month, I give my dogs a flea treatment that involves pouring medicine on their back along their collar line.  

They. Hate. It.

Invariably, it causes them to thrash and roll and act as if I have just doused them in acid.  It is a ritual that we all dread.

So last weekend, they were chomping away on the bones I acquired from a butcher.  They seemed oblivious to everything, so I slid up behind them and applied the medicine.

They did not flinch.  Instead, they kept chewing and wagging and enjoying that moment in life.

Think about how you can create a setting so compelling that your employees become engrossed in their activity and fail to notice the negative aspect that you introduce.  Can you turn an envelope-stuffing party into a social event?  Or make a project a competition to put the focus on the goal instead of the task at hand?  Perhaps you can promise an early dismissal if the chore is accomplished on time?

Completing an unpleasant task doesn’t need to cause a ruckus if the environment is right.

— beth triplett

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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