Welcome to Business Leadership
You’ll find the 20% of leadership information that produces 80% of leadership results in this newsletter. This is well-researched leadership information that, when consistently implemented, will produce bottom-line results.
Change is Pain
Change is literally pain; the same parts of the brain light up when a person experiences change as when that same person experiences physical pain. Now we can stop wondering why change management in organizations is so darn difficult. How often in organization have you heard people express frustration over other people’s inability to change and yet feel perfectly justified in their own frustration when asked to do something differently? Welcome to change management.
And now the good news
People can and do change. People can and do learn new things at any age. How we can assist getting people from point a to point b is straightforward and it is not overnight. No magic wands or miracle pills here, just sheer dogged persistence.
First, focus. “We provide best in class customer service.” Say it, write it, do it—repeatedly. Also be sure that each person has a new customer service behavior to focus on practicing again and again for the first 30 days of the change initiative.
A common personal example of change is deciding to exercise or eat differently. Let’s say you decide to take up exercise and buy yourself a shiny new gym membership. Week one, you’re very excited about this new commitment and go to the gym every day for an hour. At the end of the week, you’re sore and it’s not as much fun as you thought it would be. The second week, you decide every other day is enough but you’re friends invite you to dinner and you skip one of those days. Week three it’s rainy, exercise seems boring and you just don’t feel like going. Week four, forget about it.
Or week three, you decide to go to the gym regardless of the weather. You think about how much stronger you will feel, how you will stabilize your cholesterol, and how you’ll feel better about how you look. You persevere through week three and now week four doesn’t look that bad. Week five you start looking forward to exercising.
Most people give up week two or three-stopping short of the 30 days the brain needs to grow the new neural pathway to make exercise a new habit. Those people who focus on the benefits and make it to week five start to feel good about the activity. Their brain has caught up with them.
In organizations, give each person in the organization 30 days to focus on practicing a few behaviors and encourage them to keep going during weeks 2 and 3 when they hit the inevitable snag. Those who keep practicing the new behaviors will arrive at week five and begin to think, “Hey, this is easy. What was I worried about?”
- Focus on the positive “We greet each customer with a genuine smile.”
- Encourage and reward especially when people are frustrated
- Give every person the 30 days it takes to change
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