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3 steps for behavior change

3 steps for behavior change

Do you ever notice the difference between intent and action? Every year huge numbers of New Year’s resolutions are committed to in January and then dropped by March, or the agreed meeting between departments and the lack of action there-after. There is a phrase I often hear and see in life that success is 1% idea and 99% execution.

When you reflect upon your own business or personal life, how much do you see the difference between your own ideas and execution? 

The Idea Wheel : Source JAMSO

The Idea Wheel : Source JAMSO

My guess is that you know someone else who also has a difference between their ideas and execution of them. This situation provides a social acceptance of not moving forward, stagnation followed by the drop of motivation and action from an idea or agreed goal. In truth everyone does this to some degree or another so to resolve this cycle of failure I can share a simple tool to help you.

Life happens through you and not too you.

One of the hardest points to accept on a personal basis is how we proportion blame. People often find ways to create excuses for their current state. The largest point of all is to understand that life happens through you and not too you. This phrase and mantra helps you assume accountability to create solutions and retain a change focus.

No matter how many people run a marathon per annum or design an automobile, there will remain the need to change plans and methods of execution based on external events.

Leaping for life

Leaping for life

The Managers and Parental dilemma

A manager is accountable for their actions and yet feel enormous responsibility for each member of their team, the same can be said for a caring parent and their relationship with their children. In both cases it is the managers and parents responsibility to work sensitively with their group to create clear paths of progress.

See my prior article on change management using the SARAH model

Step 1: Discover and define the true problem.

Often the root cause of a problem needs several rounds of investigation and questions to define the true cause. A project slow-down may be explained away as a low priority and yet the root cause could be that each member of the project does not have the relevant skills to execute the tasks fully, or in a parental scenario a child complaining about a poor teacher may have a specific learning difficulty around a certain subject.

Step 2: Define the CNS (Clear next step)

For progress to be made, clear actionable steps should be made so specific action can be understood and then taken. The most important part of this step is to avoid any assumptions you make on behalf of the individuals. Provide concise clear steps and counter steps against any external factors. This point can be used to clarify consequences, offer incentives and relate back to the big picture vision or goal plus explain how the next action will move things forward to achieve it.

Step 3: Offer or seek help

Engagement with your personal goals, work colleagues or family members can be provided through seeking helping, providing direct help or simply to offer help that is not taken. The point that you demonstrate you care and are prepared to be involved in the process is very important for progress to be made. Examples in life can be gaining professional help from experts and leaders in the field of expertise or simply offering to help structure and prioritize events so progress is made.

Your CNS

Have you recognized already some of the steps above? Do you ensure you follow each step every time? A great practice step in progress is to start small and build tall. Take a small situation at work or at home life and apply the 3 step process. Then do it again and keep expanding until this becomes the normal way of working. You will need to repeat the progress over almost 70days before full behavior change is implemented and I suggest a periodic review is important to ensure old habits have not creeped back.


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