How to Encourage People to Pick Up the Slack

The situation of a neighbor slacking on a certain aesthetic task is quite common. People often complain about their neighbors not mowing their lawn at an appropriate time, not shoveling their driveway during a storm, and not clipping their overgrown bushes.

Bringing the respective topic in question up in conversation is a tricky undertaking. Since our neighbors are consistently close in proximity, making them feel disrespected is a legitimate risk. In your effort of addressing the things your neighbors fail to, your reminders may give birth to negativity which will be difficult to evade down the line.

This article is about becoming proficient at navigating the specific scenario of encouraging someone to pick up the slack.

This article uses lawns as the pillar to center its advice around. Remember though, the topic in question can be interchanged. The principal things to focus on in this article are the methods used rather than what those methods are being used for.


Entice Commentary About Your Own Lawn

Though you may not want to hear it, your own lawn (or whatever else) better be in perfect order prior to commenting on anyone else’s lawn. Operating with even an ounce of hypocrisy will yield unfavorable results. Preferably, your lawn should be so neat and tidy, that starting a conversation about it is easy to do.

The initial goal you should operate with is to simply incite a conversation about whatever subject you want your neighbor to attend to. If it is their lawn that’s bothering you, then a conversation about lawns is called for.

An easy way to start a conversation about lawns is to bring attention to your own lawn prior to diverting that attention to your neighbor’s lawn.

In your interactions with your neighbor, you can bring your own tidy lawn up by exclaiming how much time you’ve been spending on it. While working on your lawn, your neighbor may step out into their backyard and see you working in yours. A conversation about your own equivalent of whatever it is you want your neighbor to attend to is easier to start when you’re actively working on that thing.


Be Willing to Share Your Lawn Care Secrets

The level of honesty you operate with in this phase of the process tends to directly correlate with how your results turn out.

As you open up a conversation about your own lawn with your neighbor, you’ll be pressured to give up some of your tips and tricks.

You may use a special fertilizer which keeps weeds from popping up and spreading roots. You may know a good place to buy the flowers you planted along your fence, and you may have a good recommendation as to what trimmer they should use for their front lawn.

Don’t hesitate to share your secrets.

Your honest disclosure of the lessons you’ve learned on your journey toward cultivating a perfect lawn will only help you achieve the goal at hand. By sharing your honest tips and tricks you’ll do well to get your neighbor’s confidence up. They’ll be armed with the proper knowledge and motivation to start working on their own patch of land.

The revelation and dispersion of your lawn care knowledge will get your neighbor up to par and help them effectively compete with you. They’ll feel less behind in their efforts to maintain a healthy, aesthetic lawn. They’ll thereby feel that you no longer blow them out the water. They’ll be enticed to try competing with you, as they’d now know the things you know about caring for a lawn.


Switch the Conversation to Their Lawn by Assuming the Best Case

Next, look to make your neighbor the topic of the conversation as you find talking about your own lawn and disclosing all the lessons you learned cultivating it.

Since you would have worked hard on maintaining the lawn you brought into conversation and shared secrets about, your neighbor’s lawn will seem unimpressive compared to yours.

Try to lessen how unimpressive your neighbor’s lawn seems as you make it the topic of conversation. The easiest way to bring your neighbor’s lawn up as a topic of conversation is to speak to how he / she can implement the knowledge you shared themselves.

While sharing your tips and tricks about your own lawn, begin walking your neighbor through regarding how they should proceed to use that knowledge on their own lawn.

Assume the best case for why your neighbor’s lawn doesn’t look like yours. If they haven’t voiced reasons as to why their lawn is unmaintained, assume there to be a good reason.

The “best reasons” are often external factors which prevent people from working hard on their lawns, driveways, or other tasks. Things like long hours at work, bad weather, general busyness, and family obligations could all have prevented your neighbor from attending to their lawn.

Remember to first assume the best case for why they haven’t maintained their lawn and only then address it. Even if you don’t voice the fact that you’ve assumed an external factor to be responsible for their lawn’s uninspiring state, your words will be backed with that nonjudgmental notion.

The point of this phase in the process is to prevent your dialogue to contain even the slightest bit of judgment.


 Encourage Them by Downplaying Difficulty

The scope and depth of the knowledge you share with your neighbor about their lawn will be overwhelming for them to digest all at once. Be sensitive to their capacity to understand the tips and tricks you share with them. If you haven’t noticed by now, the advice on this page is predicated on you being a warm guide toward an improved lawn.

Your neighbor should feel both motivated and warmly encouraged to take action on their own lawn. Rather than being forceful and cold in your attempts. Your act of sharing your honest knowledge and assuming the best case for why your neighbor’s lawn isn’t up to par will do well to warmly guide them toward taking action.

A thing to note however: You should downplay the difficulty of the actions you talk to them about.

Be tuned into how overwhelmed your neighbor is whilst speaking about all the things they should do with their lawn. Consistently remind them that though things seem overwhelming when they’re verbally laid out, they’ll quickly grasp the workload as they get started.

Let them know that spreading fertilizer isn’t difficult if they get the proper spreader. Educate them on the fact that a good lawnmower may seem expensive at the moment, but will save them money over time due to its reliability.

You have a job to put cracks in the barriers on the way to maintaining a good looking lawn in the mind of your neighbor. When they come into contact with those barriers, they’ll be easier to break through.


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Disclaimer of Opinion: This article is presented only as opinion. It does not make any scientific, factual, or legal claims. Please critically analyze all claims made and independently decide on its validity.