Ever secretly envied a team member who hogs the limelight. Their physical presence or tele-presence draws attention while you can’t get enough air time? Or have you ever wished to be endowed with super organisational skills like that colleague who has everything under control, including that wild thing called the inbox?
Motivated to learn new tricks and acquire habits we secretly admire in others, is a well adaptive behavior for adults. After all how we behave and communicate affects our success in myriad of ways. Enhanced communication aids us in…
- In our career seeking abilities
- In maintaining productive inter personal relationships
- Overall Job performance
Yet trying out new behavior that does not come naturally to us is tricky and rarely sticks. It’s not cynicism when leaders say that it’s hard to get their people to change their behavioral style. It is the hard truth.
Changing behaviour permanently is hard primarily for two reasons. Firstly, because our schemas (organized thought, behavior and how we respond to the world) have been deeply ingrained and learned from a very early age. Secondly, trying to change a behaviour because it seems to work when others do so, keeps us externally focused. And if that in itself is not frustrating, in adult learning experience no change becomes permanent unless its from the inside.
In my work as an executive coach who focuses on communication and leadership skills I support people in finding that passion so they get motivated to do the right thing for the right reasons. Which means we often work together on behavioral changes hinged on client values and motivation. Following a ‘3 step process’ makes this change sustainable as it’s inside-out.
Here is what happens when we take this process one step at a time.
I have seen people light up from the inside when they become aware of “how they show up” to others. (Its the Johari Window’s part of what others are aware of, and you aren’t). It may or may not be in contrast with your own self-knowledge. But the knowledge you would have so far about your behaviour is tentative. The knowledge you get now is from an objective source and is scientifically backed, making it almost feel like a revelation – one which has a powerful effect and is aha-worthy. I call it the step of “being acquainted with your own style”. And I have seen many people get “aha” moment at the first stage of “acquaintance”.
The second step in the process is to “own” your style. Each individual’s unique style comes with it’s strengths and weaknesses. Many strengths have been over used and have become a source of weakness.
Owning the good, bad and the ugly aspects becomes easier, because of the first step of self-validation. A development plan starts to take shape in step 2 and it is internally driven after seeing what’s working and what’s coming in your way.
Clients usually select one crucial aspect rather than floundering over many. That sharpens the results. At this stage you know what you are trying to change is an adaptive style, instead of tinkering around with a well-ingrained natural style of behaving and communicating.
This is the final step and a critical one called “leveraging” your strengths. To be naturally gifted with a unique style gives you an edge over others, makes you an invaluable team contributor and a part-creator of the whole system. When you know what comes easily to you, you also know what areas will bring out your natural passion. And you automatically draw yourself towards those projects, conversations and events. That helps you be in the right place doing the things where you shine bright.
The 3-step process for personal and professional success in creating long-term behaviour change is …“Acquaint yourself to your Style – Own it – Leverage it”. Following this process gets you to do the things that feel right for you and bring you results, without the frustration.
Join me in the public workshops held in Mumbai, India for professionals and initiate a journey to creating a personal change that impacts your professional life positively and manifold. Email at firstname.lastname@example.org for details of the workshops in your area. Click this link for the October 2016 workshop.
Author (Harmeet Anand) is an ICF certified coach, a facilitator by profession and has international executive and life coaching experience. She is trained on many assessment tools including the DISC, has conducted workshops in Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, India, Vietnam and Indonesia supporting clients get even more success in achieving their goals by understanding their communication and behavioral style, owning it and leveraging it.
Image courtesy – unsplash.com