First, a person has to consider the source. If a spectator advises a boxer—as he enters the ring—to let his guard down, the outsider probably doesn’t have the pugilist’s best interests at heart. The timing of the advice betrays a concern over a wager, not the boxer’s safety.
Second, a person has to consider the setting. A young football player letting his guard down as he digs in to protect his quarterback is not good mental discipline; yet the same player must have the discipline—if he doesn’t want to repeat the same mistake on the next play—to hear the coach’s advice.
No matter the timing, an employee’s guard must come down to hear an executive. A true coach sets the right environment so that an employee will be most receptive to the message. To get a person to let down their guard, a consistent, predictable, and positive coaching action works best, not words.
Peter E. Greulich, Writer, Public Speaker and Self-Publisher
Peter E. Greulich
Pete has been studying IBM and early American corporate history since his retirement in 2011. These are his thoughts and musings, and of those whose biographies he has read with links to articles and book reviews on this website.