So why is it so hard to change behaviour or create new habits? As Donald Hebb famously noted, “neurons that wire together, fire together”. This means that even thinking about a behaviour you want to change, may actually reinforce it instead of changing it.
So, what can we do? The first step to take is that you must believe change is possible. You need to develop a growth mind-set and recognize that it will take effort and deliberate practice to have sustainable meaningful change.
Why? The brain is a gigantic pattern recognition machine. It scans long term memory for any sign of threat or reward. We are conditioned over 1000s of years of evolution to move away from threat and towards reward. To the brain, business changes are no less a threat than meeting a hungry lion on the African plain. To change people successfully, we need to work with people individually and in the team environment.
Some people and change facts to consider:
- So, if you want long term change People think emotionally first, then rationally second
- In built biases in our brains effects how we think and see the world and old prejudices die hard
- We find it hard to act against our interests if we perceive we are under threat
- Change is pain for us and we are happier when we feel in control and have say in things
Get people involved at the emotional level. We all want to feel that we have some kind of control and that doesn’t mean we need to have the last say. Work with people to address any fears they have around status or job certainty. Or how much control they will have in the future or whether they will be treated fairly. And importantly, whether their relationships with others be lessened or marginalised.
Learning Objectives could include:
- Understanding why and how humans think and behave the way they do
- Understanding the key role of mind sets
- Creating strategies and plans for how to influence people to change
Business Outcomes could include:
- Creating and implementing effective strategies for change that actually works
- Deploying approaches and tools to successfully develop growth mind set and deliver behavioural change amongst your people and teams
- Implementing a culture which is agile and able to pivot when change occurs