People are motivated by 2 instincts pursuit of pleasure and avoidance of pain and no prizes for guessing that it is the avoidance of pain that is the stronger motivator.
I remember hearing a story….Sam and Peter are talking and in the background Peter’s dog is howling. Sam asks Peter, “Why is he howling?” Peter replies, “He is sitting on a nail.” Sam asks, “Why does he not get up?” Peter replies, “It doesn’t hurt enough.”
The question is, “Is the nail hurting enough for you to change?”
Behavioral change is not easy… and can only occur by an awareness and concerted effort.
So how do you ensure that you change the things that you know you need to get to the next level?
- Sharpen the nail: Focus on the 4 aspects ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcz1aZ60k7w ) i.e. The pot of gold, the crutches, the mermaid and the alligator. For change to occur the Alligator has to be snapping on your heels or the pot of Gold has to be big.
- Get feedback on what you need to improve in: Ask people for feedback. Listen to the feedback with an open mind. You need not accept it or reject it on the spot. Ask them about ideas on how to improve. Tell them that you will carefully think about the feedback and thank them sincerely for the same. Make sure you do not convey that you will implement all feedback given.
- Look for common threads in feedback by different stakeholders: If your spouse, your supervisor, your peers and your reports are all echoing the same thing. Then it is an area you NEED to work on. Decide on the 2-3 areas you will work on. These have to be the areas that will give you the maximum return on time invested.
- Mine the suggestions they gave you: Go back to the stakeholders, ask them for suggestions… Brainstorm on how to improve. That should be the focus on the conversations not a crib session on past sins.
- Then make an action plan: What will you do? By when? And how will you track it? You need to have an action plan that you can commit to.
- Determine the milestones: What are the small wins that you need to achieve to reach the big win. Change occurs a bit at a time. Let’s say you want to reduce your impatience. This is a discipline you need to maintain every day,
- Focus on what you can do not on what others will or need to do. That’s key. You are the only person you can control. And therefore, your goals and action plan can be only in terms of what you can control.
- Do “belief work”: work on your beliefs. Understand beliefs, thoughts and actions are entwined. So you need to work on all three simultaneously. Affirmations work. So does visualization. These 2 are staples in my training sessions on effecting #personal change.
- Make yourself accountable: Find a partner in growth who will hold you accountable. Another key element. I have personal experience on this. The only time I was able to lose weight was when I joined a dietician. Apart from all the gyan on diet, what worked was the accountability. I had to keep a journal of everything I ate or drank and explain it to her. It was easier just not to eat or drink.
- Do not get discouraged. You have built habit over many years, give yourself time to change. Whenever we fail and we will, we need to pick ourselves up. Dust ourselves and try again. Here a partner in growth is vital.
- Reward yourself whenever you meet a milestone. Yes, celebrate the day you are not impatient. Winning battles leads to winning the war.
Now the process is very simple. The practice of the same is not so. When we conduct learning interventions…we build in all components to help change stick. Awareness is the first step. Knowledge is critical. However execution is everything. And for that we implement many strategies…more on those later.
Lovely Kumar is a facilitator, trainer, psychometric assessor and is co-founder at Larks Learning Pvt. Ltd. She has a unique background which combines economics, management, advertising, sales, teaching and training. She has worked with a range of corporates and academic institutions. Additionally she has obtained international certifications in training and psychometric assessments.
Learn more and reach Lovely Kumar for training workshops or DISC assessments at www.larkslearning.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or 91-9899108659.