Tuesday 7 September 2010

All change is personal first

I am currently working with a client on a major change initiative and as is usually the case with such projects some people wait for others to make changes to their behaviour before they will consider changing!

All change is personal first and leadership is not about waiting, rather having the courage to be the first to make changes.

To inspire and encourage personal change, all my initial work when I partner with clients on change projects is to help individuals change intention, feelings and thinking before even contemplating behaviour change.

I start with the leadership team and as people begin to make intention, feeling, and thinking changes, the behaviour changes that are needed start to become obvious. I then introduce Marshall Goldsmith’s feedforward exercise to facilitate the beginnings of behaviour change. I highly recommend Marshall’s book What Got You Here Won’t Get You There which details feedforward and many other great ideas that inspire personal change.

Feedforward is perhaps more valuable than feedback. Individuals

1) Pick one behaviour they would like to change

2) They describe their objective with someone 1:1

3) They then ask that person for two suggestions for the future that might help them achieve their objective. The only response to give to people who give feedforward is Thank You!

Sometimes people need encouragement to identify the behaviour changes they need to make. Marshall Goldsmith’s 20 transactional flaws can help with with such identification.

1. Winning too much
2. Adding too much value
3. Passing judgement
4. Making destructive comments
5. Starting with “No,” “But,” or “However”
6. Telling the world how smart you are
7. Speaking when angry
8. Negativity, or
“Let me explain why that won’t work”
9. Withholding information
10. Failing to give proper recognition
11. Claiming credit that we don’t deserve
12. Making excuses
13. Clinging to the past
14. Playing favourites
15. Refusing to express regret
16. Not listening
17. Failing to express gratitude
18. Punishing the messenger
19. Passing the buck
20. An excessive need to be “me”

Feedforward is a very powerful exercise. Try it. It will help you immensely to be the difference you want to see in the world.

Warning: Work on intention, feeling, and thinking change before behaviour change. When these four are in alignment positive changes to results are a consequence.

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