Creating change that lasts

Posted by on July 1, 2011

It’s halfway through the year, and here at MarketWave, we’re in the middle of defining our goals for the rest of 2011. Many personal and company goals often involve changing behaviors: eating healthier, working out more, getting more clients to buy your product or attend your events. If you have any goals that involve changing behaviors, either in yourself or at work, you’ve got to grab a copy of Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard.

 Authors and brothers Chip and Dan Heath dive into the psychology behind change in this book, and after reading it, you walk away with lessons on changing behavior we can all use at work or in our own lives. Below are three key points made by the Heath brothers:

  • Put feeling first. If you want to make someone change their behavior, you’ve got to make them feel something first. Instinct tells us to educate people on why they need to change, but that’s usually not a big enough motivator for most people. As you’ll see in this video, Dan Heath explains why knowledge only goes so far, and to create lasting change, people must see a message, feel something and then change happens.
  • Change your situation. When there’s something about us we want to change, we often look for grand ideas on how to make it happen. Hire a life coach, take a time management course, see a psychologist. What we often fail to see is that by changing the situation, not the person, the desired result is often achieved. If we constantly feel like we’re not getting enough work done at the office, maybe simply giving yourself permission to shut your door to discourage interruptions solves the problem. No expensive time management course required. Check out this video for another example.
  • Don’t solve problems – copy success. This excerpt from Switch describes when you’re faced with what may seem like an insurmountable task, we make it more complicated than it is. We set out to solve this huge problem by focusing on what’s wrong, when we should be focusing on what is going right. By finding what the authors dub “the bright spot” and cloning it, we’re able to create more lasting change than if we set out to reinvent the wheel.

The psychology behind change is fascinating, and whether we want to change the world or just a bad habit, these three tips will get you on your way.

Do you have any more examples of how using one of these methods creates change?


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