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Hiking Poles

A way to get people to adopt new things or ideas is illustrated by hiking poles. I do a lot of hiking and people often think they want to go along.  And since they can walk without a cane they are reluctant to use hiking poles.

If offered poles at the beginning of a hike they invariably turn them down as not necessary. Later when the trail has gotten rugged and the need for poles is more obvious they are often trapped into refusing them by their earlier declaration.

My new strategy is to bring along some spare poles and not offer them until we are in a spot where the need is obvious. And then I offer them only as a temporary thing. It is much more effective this way. They are more likely to use them and possibly avoid a twisted ankle.

The broad lesson is that the leader should avoid making people commit when they don’t have all the data yet. Patience is a virtue.

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