We use the tool of enrollment every day. Sometimes we use it successfully; sometimes not so much. Often others enroll us instead. We are always enrolling or being enrolled.
Last night, I was watching my current favorite show – Friday Night Lights. Tammy Taylor (for the uninitiated, she is a guidance counselor who was then principal of a high school) went to a poorer school to work as their guidance counselor. What she found was that the school staff was so used to many of the kids blowing off class and being disrespectful, they had adapted by ignoring it and claiming they could do nothing about it. Instead they focused solely on the children who were coming to class and making an effort. Tammy came in like a knight on a white horse and said, “We’re going to change things,” raising her sword valiantly over her head. Silence. Not surprisingly, the other teachers at the school were resistant to her attitude and all that she wanted to change. They didn’t want to help her, or get involved. They complained that they didn’t have the time; they were already doing too much.
They wanted to enroll her in doing nothing.
Then one day she heard that they were all going out for a weekly happy hour. At first she thought, “I can’t believe these guys have time to party but they don’t have time to help these kids.” Then her husband said, “Why don’t you go with them?” She said, “I don’t know them. They don’t like me.” He said, “Let them get to know you.” So she went; she gained rapport; and one of them then asked her to talk more about the program she wanted to develop for the kids.
REALITY is our model of enrollment. It starts, and it ends, with RAPPORT. Build rapport; maintain rapport. You cannot enroll anyone in anything until you have it.