Do you do #miniexperiments in your life and work? I love applying the scientific method 🤓 to things that I want to change.
Mini experiments are perfect in relationships where you feel stuck and are continuing to get the same (annoying) result.
Next time you’re experiencing something that you’d like to shift, do a mini experiment.
I did this with a boss early in my career. Our 1:1s were painful. I would spend almost a day preparing for these weekly meetings, during which I would propose these big and brilliant ideas (to get his permission) and he would freak out, cut me off, sometimes yell at me, and I would return to my office defeated.
It was easy to hate him, but once I took responsibility for my piece, I realized... I was overwhelming him! He didn’t want big (potentially risky ideas). He wanted to know I was doing my job well and that everything was ok. It was only after the ideas were successful that he was psychologically able to get on board.
My mini experiment with him? STOP ASKING FOR PERMISSION for big project ideas! I was sharing too much! I started prepping for 1 hour (instead of a full day), started giving him current status instead of all the ideas, and started trying out new things (and then caught him up AFTER they were successful). It transformed our working relationship.
Here’s how you can do it too, with a boss, a partner, a friend... anyone.
❇️ 1: Ask a question.
Where does he start getting agitated in our meetings? What am I saying that seems to irk him?
❇️ 2: Do background research.
What do his other direct reports do for their meetings?
When I walk by and they are laughing and “bro-ing” out - what did the others do to prepare? (P.S. my most successful colleague shared that the boss was checked out and didn’t want anyone to create more work for him. Ohhhhhhh! 💡! Make it easy on him! Duh!)
❇️ 3: Construct a hypothesis.
Success with him = sharing less, not asking for permission in advance, and not overwhelming him.
❇️ 4: Test your hypothesis
This was the hard part, at first. I had to go against all of my Type A tendencies and not do what I felt was right.
I nervously walked into his office, sat down, and simply ran through a status update of where things were. No big ideas. No detailed change plans to run him through. Not even a ton of my hypothesized rationales. Just status.
He asked a few questions. I answered. And we were done.
HOLY SH*T! It worked! THAT WAS SO EASY!
So I tried it again the next week.
The following week, I added in something new. Quick status update + a recent success I had with the Leadership Development program I was leading at the time. He was thrilled.
It was working!
❇️ 5: Analyze data + draw a conclusion.
The data showed that by saying less and not asking for permission in advance but instead sharing impact, I was able to improve our 1:1s, improve our relationship, and get more of what I truly wanted (which was the support of my boss).
❇️ 6: Share results.
See above 😉
Where can you run mini experiments in your own life? Comment below!