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…

Provide the Right Tools

We’ve talked about four secrets to a successful EQ development program. To review, you have to prepare the ground, participation has to be voluntary so that people are engaged, privacy must be guaranteed, and you have to tackle issues that mean something to your client and the organization. Today let’s talk about the fifth secret: Provide the right learning tools. Changing deeply ingrained behavior is tricky business. Just telling someone who isn’t assertive to be more assertive isn’t helpful. What is helpful is having the tools needed to make it happen. One tool is access to expertise in behavior change, and that’s where you come in. Such expertise is useful in providing leaders with guided practice in EQ skills in the real world, and feedback and support when the going gets rough. Experienced coaches will know how to respond to setbacks, and to ask challenging but motivating questions — and…