Switching from an if-then conditional model of communication to a first-then will bring out the best in your people. When working in an if-then model, you are placing a condition on your charges to achieve the goal. Depending on the mind-set of those involved in achieving your goals, you may or may not achieve your objectives.
If you sell so many units, then you’ll receive a bonus.
When you state an objective in this manner, you are placing a condition dependent on a number of variables over which you have no control, mainly the team member’s, child’s, or student’s mindset. The reward becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy of failure for some and a disappointment for you.
But when you switch the communication to “first, you’ll sell so many units, then you’ll receive a bonus”, you have taken away the conditions of the outcome for both of you.