Wednesday, July 27, 2011

How To Implement Change

Change is tough.  Changing your behaviors and habits is hard.  Changing the behavior and habits of others is even harder.  Or is it?

The book Switch shows how to create environments, emotions, and triggers that promote change.  Here are 3 quick principles:

1.  Create New Environments - Changing your environment makes changing your behavior much more likely.  If you're trying to eat healthy, your environment should include more fresh fruit and vegetables and less candy and chips.  You need easy access to healthier food choices in your refrigerator, pantry, and even office/desk at work.  The less choices you have to make the more likely you are to make better decisions.  As a leader, it is important to develop environments for success.

2.  Appeal to Emotions - If you have ever watched Biggest Loser, Intervention, or any other show that involves someone making a big change in their life, you know that people rarely make changes for themselves.  They are always making changes for their kids, spouses, or family.  The more you appeal to your emotions (or as a leader the emotions of others) the greater your chances for change.

3.  Develop Action Triggers - It's not enough to say that you're going to change behavior, you need to set up an action trigger to remind you.  Craig, a friend of mine, prays for his wife everyday at 4pm.  Each day an alarm on his watch goes off and he stops what he is doing and says a prayer for his wife.  The alarm simply reminds him of what he wants to do and dramatically increases his chances of doing it.  As a leader, develop action triggers to remind others to make successful choices.

How do you successfully implement change in yourself or in others?

1 comment:

  1. I really dislike change. However, I'm learning that it can be a good (or even great) thing! Great post. Since I'm transitioning right now, I'd say this post is definitely timely.