Tuesday, 4 February 2014

9 ways to change your conversations and therefore change performance

I have had the honour and privilege of mentoring more than a 1000 business owners/leaders around the world since 1991. Often the journey begins with my clients doing what they know they should do that they currently are not.

“To know and not to do is really not to know.”
attributed to Stephen R. Covey in some circles and simply as Zen wisdom in other places.

Once we start doing what we know that we should do that we currently are not, we begin to overcome why we were resisting change/action in the first place. Often my mentoring is about helping people to overcome resistance. 

As we overcome resistance we can more easily modify/change intentions, feelings, thinking, and action, including our behaviours and habits.

As synchronicity would have it I received this blog post called ‘Resistance is a great sign’ from my colleague Keith Abraham at the beginning of researching and writing this article.

What I have found fascinating in observing my own and other people’s resistance is that we all have routine/ritual/habitual responses, positive, negative, and in-between, to almost every situation we encounter, yet particularly when resistance is involved.

Our brains like automatic responses because they mean we can save effort. And our brains are motivated to move away from pain and move toward pleasure, and so we develop our routines/rituals/habits accordingly.

Changing our responses to situations can dramatically change performance, particularly in the every day conversations we have about performance.

And change is simpler than we often believe. We actually love change. What we hate is the feeling we’re being changed.

There are many great insights into the simplicity of changing habits in the powerful book ‘The Power of Habit - why we do what we do and how to change’ by Charles Duhigg. Warning: simple usually doesn’t mean easy! This is such a great book it makes my list of the top 21 business books that I recommend you must read. 

My thoughts on some of Charles Duhigg’s key insights
Habits have 4 components, cue (something that triggers us), routine (our automatic response), reward (something that makes our response worthwhile), and craving (what’s driving us).

We create new habits by finding a new craving.

We can change an old habit by keeping cue and reward and changing our routine.

What I have observed over and over and over in my mentoring work is that when people start doing what they know they should do, they overcome resistance; routines/rituals/habitual responses are modified or changed; conversations about performance change; something profound/breathtaking/pioneering emerges (I never know when this will happen, I do know it always happens!); performance improves.

9 ways to change your conversations and therefore change performance.

Please read the remainder of this article here. I suggest you get a glass of your favourite beverage first. What follows is a learning program for you, including some videos from my Enhancing Their Gifts System, two from Simon Sinek, and a great article on investing wisely in time by Phil Jesson.

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian
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