If you use social media with any sort of regularity, you’ve surely come across an I’ll bet I won’t even get one like post. The post is accompanied by an image intended to tug at your heart strings and compel you to click the “like” button. They usually feature a photo of a World War II veteran celebrating his 100th birthday, or a bald cancer patient undergoing chemo, or an abused dog covered in scars.
I realize the expression tug at your heartstrings is a cliché, but this is exactly what these images do. They reach out and grab the deepest part of our souls and pull our emotions out of us. Who isn’t moved by these images?
The problem with the I’ll bet I won’t even get one like posts is the tactic used to illicit action. They try to guilt us into acting. They manipulate our emotions by making us feel shame if we don’t click the “like” button.
Manipulation and shame are not tactics good teammates use to illicit action. Good teammates don’t blame, shame, or complain. They inspire.
If you have to manipulate your teammates’ emotions by guilting them to act you will never get their best. Their actions will only be fueled by obligation, and never by commitment. If you’re lucky, your teammates will meet the minimal expectation. But they will never reach a point where they are inspired to champion a cause.
In Building Good Teammates: The Story of My Mount Rushmore, a Coaching Epiphany, and That Nun, I recounted the story of the advice Warren Buffett gave to U2 frontman Bono for how to get Americans to join the battle to end poverty in Africa.
Buffett told Bono: “Don’t appeal to the conscience of America. Appeal to the greatness of America.” In other words, Bono would fail if he were to guilt Americans into helping with his cause. How can the citizens of the wealthiest nation in the world stand by idly and not care about this problem? Instead, Bono needed to inspire Americans. You’re the greatest country in the world, if anybody can help solve this problem, it is you.
Guilting teammates into service is compliance. Inspiring teammates to serve is commitment. Commitment always produces better results than compliance. Good teammates are rooted in commitment.
By the way, those I’ll bet I won’t get one like posts are manipulative in more than one way. Cyber-security experts have discovered them to be a form of “like-farming.” Scammers prey on users’ emotions to “like” their post. Since social media algorithms reward popularity, the more “likes” a post gets, the higher the probability of it appearing on someone else’s timeline.
When the post gains sufficient popularity, the scammers go back and replace the original content with malware or some other type of harmful content. If you’ve ever shared one of those posts, go back and look at your history. You may discover you inadvertently liked a page or shared something you didn’t intend.
As always…Good teammates care. Good teammates share. Good teammates listen. Go be a good teammate.
By the way…
Do you have a long commute? Building Good Teammates: The Story of My Mount Rushmore, a Coaching Epiphany, and That Nun is now available as an audiobook.
Click here to listen on Audible
Click here to listen on iTunes