Getting from "yeah" to "yes"

Some Jane's Walk organizers talk about strategies to help people get past the "thinking about maybe leading a walk" stage

Sameer Vasta, April 14, 2015

Arts & Culture Jane's Walk, Akron, OH, May 2014. Photo: Phyllis Jividen.

 

With the Jane’s Walk global festival less than a month away, organizers around the world are working hard to get walk leaders to post their walks on the website. There is, as always, a lot of interest in leading walks, but turning that interest into a listed walk can take some effort.

It’s an issue that comes up in all parts of life: How to turn interest into action? How do we remove the barriers, mental or physical, and make it easier for us to act on our ideas?

Luckily, Jane’s Walk organizers around the world have some thoughts on how to get from a “yeah, that’s a great idea,” to a “yes, I’d love to lead a walk.” Here are two of them that came up on a recent conference call about ideas and best practice.

The Laptop Party

Lior Steinberg has participated and organized Jane’s Walk events in Tel Aviv and Stockholm, and this year, he’s bringing a new way to get walk leaders signed on in Groningen, Netherlands. Lior’s idea is simple: set up an in-person “party” with a few computers where people can come and fill out their walk details and meet other walk leaders.

Lior explained the need for an in-person, café-style approach for signing up: “People really like to join and lead a walk, but can’t bring themselves to get to the website and actually do it.” Having people there to help them set up their walk page, upload photos, and navigate the system helps them get past the unfamiliarity of the website, a barrier that can lead to procrastination: “It’s not a platform they are used to, not like creating a Facebook event, so we have to help them where we can.”

The fact that it’s also a social event isn’t lost on him: “It’s also a great way for people to meet each other — everyone loves a cappuccino.”

Keeping It Small

Nadia Halim, the Global Cities Coordinator for Jane’s Walk, suggests giving people small, easy-to-do tasks to help them go from idea to action: “Approaching them with a small, specific request can get them to commit."

Even encouraging potential leaders to just use the “Create A Walk” widget to set up a title for their walk and nothing else (for now), fits into the notion of “here’s something you can do in the next five minutes.” It makes commitment easy and simple, and removes the barrier of feeling overwhelmed with too much to do.

Phyllis Jividen, City Organizer for Akron, Ohio, echoed a similar approach to overcoming the barrier of feeling overwhelmed with too much to do. She reminds her walk leaders that when posting a walk, “you can go back to it — you don’t need put everything all at once.” Keeping the scope small makes the task much more approachable.

What are some of the other ideas you use to get from “yeah, I should do that” to “yes, I’ll do it”? How can those ideas motivate you and others to lead walks in your city? Post your thoughts in the comments, or drop us a line!

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