All leadership comes down to this: changing people's behavior. Why is that so hard? Science offers some surprising new answers...
What if you were given this choice? How would you react?
This article offers some interesting comments on the science of behavioural change. Even when somebody's life is on the line, the numbers show that most of us will not change our habits.
So how to enforce change in somebody's behaviour? Or more importantly, change our own behaviour?
Here are some take-home comments I zoomed in on...
- Instead of trying to motivate with the "fear of dying", inspire a new vision of the "joy of living" - convincing them they can feel better, not just live longer. That means enjoying the things that make daily life pleasurable, like making love or even taking long walks without the pain caused by their disease. "Joy is a more powerful motivator than fear".
- Radical, sweeping, comprehensive changes are often easier for people than small, incremental ones.
- Don't go it alone. Accept help and support - in fact, look for it. "If you look at people after coronary-artery bypass grafting two years later, 90% of them have not changed their lifestyle" - conversely when buttressed with weekly support groups with other patients, as well as attention from dieticians, psychologists, nurses, and instructors, over 77% of one group of patients did successfully change their lifestyle.
- The cumulative weight of experience makes it harder to change.
- People think they're leading an interesting life when they haven't learned anything in 20 or 30 years. What happens if you don't work at mental rejuvenation? People who live to 85 have a 50-50 chance of being senile. While the issue for heart patients is "change or die," the issue for everyone is "change or lose your mind."
You can read the full article here: