Nagging gets such a bad rap. I LOVE when Joy nags me…IF I’ve given permission 😉
Nagging can be very effective — if done right!
If you know Joy, you know she is consistent and persistent; two qualities that contribute to her affectionately earning the nickname “Mother Hover.”
My mom could nag til the cows came home. She could hover til the task was done, the phone call made, the flight booked, the invitation sent, the thank you note written. You get the point. Joy’s “persistence” definitely led to some mother-daughter spats til we realized how to shift her nagging into a valuable accountability partnership. It starts with permission.
When you grant Joy – or anyone in your life – permission to nag, their prompting and reminders shift from an annoying — and usually useless — nuisance into a beautiful partnership of integrity and accountability. And then anything is possible!
Here’s how we turn a nag into a motivating spark:
1. Ask for help — You have to grant permission.
In our case, the “ask” had to come from me. If Joy nags without my asking – she’s dictating her agenda and that’s not encouraging.
2. Set parameters around the “nag” — especially when it will start.
Just because you ask for help does not mean you want to be reminded to do something RIGHT NOW. Let’s say you KNOW you have to do something. But you don’t see any time in your schedule to do it until after Sunday night, or until so-and-so gets back to you with some information. Tell your accountability partner WHEN they can start prompting you.
3. Don’t make room for shame.
Shaming language does NOT belong in an accountability partnership. No one wants to feel belittled or talked down to. People want recognition for overcoming the struggle and acknowledgment for persevering through to completion.
No statements like:
— “that took you long enough”
— “thank goodness you finally finished”
— “I can’t believe you need someone to babysit you”
4. Watch your language and don’t bring TONE into the conversation.
Tone is a cousin of shaming and that relative is not invited! Decide if you want your partner to use certain language or a specific word to remind you of the task (your goal). They may not need to know details of the task to be done or decision to be made…just how you want to be encouraged to take action.
5. Review the partnership.
Knowing that you are having trouble with something may not be easy to admit and asking for help may be even harder. Acknowledge that and make sure your partner is capable of giving you the help you need! If he or she can’t – find a new accountability partner.
I am lucky. Joy Always Nags: and thank goodness she does (only when asked!)
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