Creating Long Term Change
In the Business Basics series Brad Sugars, CEO and Founder of ActionCOACH discusses how to make change long term and to be proactive rather than re-active to change.
By proactive, Brad means to make change before it happens, prevention is better than cure.
To explain this Brad uses three of the common ActionCOACH slides:
- Problem on Planet earth.
- Taps and the roadway of life.
- Identity Iceberg.
In the first slide Brad explains that you should not run away from your problems, rather deal with them sooner while they are still small, not later when they are considerably more significant.
He uses the slide to explain that at some stage you know you will have to deal with and make some changes, the question is “at what point”? He poses the question “When will you make changes, at the taps on the shoulder, the piece of 4×2 or will you wait for the Mack Truck”?
Moving on to the identity iceberg he demonstrates that just like an iceberg most of a human being is ‘below the surface’ or hidden. Just like the Titanic it is what is below the waterline that will sink the ship.
He gives a detailed breakdown of how we see the actions and decisions in the behaviours we observe, however behavioural change is short term. (He uses the example of getting fit. Day 1 is Ok, day 2 a bit sore but you persevere, day three it is cold and rainy, you are sore and so you sleep in for an extra 5 minutes. Then it is too late to go and thus the cycle is broken)
If you are seeking to make the change long term you need to look at what drives the behaviour or all the things below the waterline. Below the waterline are your skills, beliefs, values and identity.
Brad explains that if you believe you are good at a particular skill you will spend more time developing that skill because it is more enjoyable to you and you like doing it. On the other hand if you believe you are not good at something you tend to avoid it and therefore you don’t work on improving or changing that particular skill.
He adds that if you value ‘acceptance’ then you may never succeed in a sales role as you will be constantly confronted with ‘rejection’.
You identity as Brad puts it is all your “I am” statements.
The people around you, at work and at home are your environment.
If you want to change your identity you need to change your environment. If you want to change your values you need to change your identity. If you want to change your beliefs you need to change your values. If you want to change your skills you need to change your beliefs. If you want to change your behaviours you need to change your skills.
Make change now. Identify what it is you need to work on and do it now before the Mack Truck comes!