Don’t just change outward behavior

Last time we talked about making sure you provide the right tools to your clients in order to facilitate real behavior change. Today we’ll go beyond behavior change, because behavior change alone is not enough. Let’s talk about secret number six: Change thoughts and feelings, not just behavior. Ironically, behavior change programs that focus only on behavior usually fail. Change efforts must include attention to the building blocks of behavior — the way we think about a situation and our emotional response to it.  Emotions, thoughts, and behaviors are interdependent. To get a sustainable change in one, you must change the others. For example, leaders who believe that people are fundamentally lazy are likely to feel annoyed with them, which will come out in those leaders’ behavior — the way they look, speak, and respond to people. Alternatively, leaders who believe that people are fundamentally motivated to perform will probably…

A woman with a chef hat and apron, looking very stressed. A metal pie pan is at the bottom left.

Is EQ a Constraining Resource?

All organizations have one or more constrained, or more accurately, constraining resources, resources that limit what can be accomplished. To illustrate, imagine that in a moment of poor impulse control, you agree to bake fourteen cherry pies for a company event. You have lots of cherries, lots of flour, mixing bowls, spoons, an oven that holds seven pies, and one, only ONE, pie pan. That pan is your constrained resource. We often think of constrained resources as tangible. For example, the auto industry is currently in a jam. It can’t get enough computer chips to make cars. Show rooms are nearly empty. Want a car? Expect to wait several months. As Rudyard Kipling said, “For want of a nail the shoe was lost. For want of a shoe the horse was lost . . .” But some resources that organizations need are intangible. You can’t see them, but they can…

Anxiety Tolerance and EQ

Are you anxious? Maybe not at this moment, but sometimes? Certainly. Everyone with a working brain has anxiety.  The only question is what we do to manage it when it comes to call. Anxiety is uncomfortable, so we usually prefer not to experience it. But our automatic (unconscious) brain doesn’t just prefer not to experience anxiety – it downright hates anxiety. Left to its own devices, it tries to eliminate anxiety every chance it gets. But that can create problems, because anxiety is actually often quite useful. (Yes, really!) That means that we have to learn how to recognize anxiety so that we can then determine whether it is best to tolerate and use it, lower it, or get rid of it. Why does the automatic brain hate anxiety? Well, the brain has a lot to do. It isn’t just sitting up there in our heads thinking about this and…