Friday, September 9, 2011
Can you can change anything?
The book Change Anything: The new science of personal success by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan and Al Switzler brings together ideas and prescriptions for change. The premise is that expecting to change yourself in significant ways based on will power alone is likely to fail. Successful change is not a matter of will power but is based on a collection of skills. And the good news is, the skills can be developed.
Six sources of influence and what to do about them
| || Motivation|| Ability|
Connect with goals at crucial moments
Visit your default future if you don't change
Motivate yourself with vivid stories
Link desired behaviors to your values
Make it a game
Create a personal motivation statement
Change involves learning new skills
Start with a skill scan
Employ deliberate practice
Will is a skill, not a character trait...develop it through deliberate practice
Turn accomplices of your bad habits into friends helping you change
Know who perpetuates your bad habits (accomplices) and who helps you change (friends)
Get a coach
Hold a transformation conversation to turn an accomplice into a coach or fan
Add new friends
Distance yourself from the unwilling
Link short-term rewards and punishments to the new habits you're trying to form
Use carrots and the threat of losing carrots
Use incentives in moderation
Reward small wins
Change your environment to help you focus on goals
Build fences: things you will not do, places you will not go
Keep good things close and convenient and bad things distant and difficult
Use visual cues
Make desired behavior the default behavior
Use tools such as computers, calendars, your phone, a change log and others to keep your goals in mind
"Those who marshal the six sources of influence are ten times more likely to succeed than those who don't."
Turn bad days into good data
I like their approach of viewing yourself as a subject of study rather than as someone who shall be judged based on behavior. We all stumble along the way. The point is to learn from the mistakes and move on. That's how you change a bad day into good data.
You may look at this table and think, I know all that stuff. Nothing new here. But here's the point: knowing it doesn't help much. They key is to develop and apply the skills. There are lots of forces in our lives enticing us to our undesirable behaviors. It takes serious effort to counteract those and make change happen. The more of these skills that support change you can bring to bear simultaneously, the greater the likelihood of successful change.
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