How to Get People to Change - Lessons I’ve Learned From My Mother!
I think most of us would agree that change is important for any organization. Without change businesses would likely lose their competitive advantage and not be able to meet the needs of their clients.
As the world evolves, client’s needs change and their demand for new products and services are created. Knowing this why is so hard to get people to change?
I learned from mom many years ago that people will change if they are inspired to change.
For a big part of my mom’s adult life she did not have a driver’s license. It was only after she was 50 years old that she got it. Not only did she get her license but also at the time she had to drive in major cities such as Toronto.
What exactly inspired my mom to change? Unfortunately it was my dad getting sick, not being able to drive and the possibility of losing that independence and having to rely on someone else. Even though for years my brother and I constantly told her she should have her license she did not have the inspiration to do so. People won’t change because you tell them to. They won’t change because that’s the norm or that’s what others are doing but they will move mountains if inspired to do it.
My mother who now lives in a small community in the East Coast of Canada is 75 years old and she has been one of my greatest inspirations when it comes to be willing to change. I have learned so much from her in life and she continues to show me that no matter your age you still have to be willing to change. I can’t just get in a car and have coffee with my mom I need to get on an airplane and travel for 5 hours so she was inspired enough to get a computer and learn to Skype so we can see each other everyday. I believe we all have the ability to change. We just got to want it.
So if we want to change behaviors and habits, what is it we have to do as leaders?
- Help them understand the “why” behind a change. Just telling them they should doesn’t always work. They need to be inspired.
- Help them understand the price of not changing.
- Make the connection to what’s in it for them.
- Seek to understand by taking the time to truly understand their fears and anxieties.
- Take baby steps with the people that are fearful of the change to get them beyond what they are comfortable with.
- Create an environment that inspires them and gives them the confidence to take that small leap.
In summary I want to share with you one of my most favorite quotes about change. “People will not change until the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of changing.”
The Author, Bonita Argent, is a Vertical Growth Advisor with Sitkins International.