Actions Speak Louder

by admin on April 24, 2013

Human beings are interesting. Sometimes we forget that communication occurs in two ways – verbal and nonverbal. A good number of people believe that if they say something, it’s written in the stone of truth, never to be questioned – even when their actions say something completely different. Well, it’s not the case. Sometimes the truth is found through the eyes, not the ears.

In Denver, we had a notorious participant who said she wanted to do the ten year follow-up interview. She even seemed excited about it. A year later, and numerous failed appointments along the way, I learned a valuable lesson. People do what they want to do, and they may or may not say what they want to do. She didn’t want to the do the interview, even though she may have convinced herself she did. If she truly wanted to do the interview, she would’ve done it. ¬†Either way we were wasting a lot of time banging our head against the wall. Eventually, we called her on it and told her that she wouldn’t be able to participate (ie. get paid) if she didn’t do the interview by the end of the week (which was when her eligibility window ended). ¬†She finally did the interview.

So if you’re not trusting what your participant (or a collateral contact) is saying, just pay attention to their actions. That’s where you’ll find the truth. Then address the real situation.

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