How to influence mindset and behavior change?
Changing people’s behaviors can be done in one of two ways,
You can force behavior change through management decree or
You can change the mindsets of people so that their thinking results in new desired behaviors.
We have seen both approaches used by leaders at different organizations. Not surprisingly, altering mindsets is more effective at sustaining change over the long term.
When the necessary time and effort is invested, a person’s mindset can lead them to take actions (behaviors) necessary to foster momentum and a critical mass of commitment throughout the organization. There are a few fundamental methods that can help accelerate people changing their mindsets and ultimately their behaviors.
I will change my behavior if ...
1. Role Model
It is important for leaders to understand how a mindset and its associated behaviors can either enable or hinder successful implementation of the company’s strategic initiatives. Leaders will need to model new behavior patterns, often in high-profile ways, in order to achieve the desired future state.
2. Fostering understanding and conviction
This is where the case for change plays a key role. The change story should paint the picture of a future that is more attractive than the present, and demonstrate clearly how the desired change in mindset and behavior will enable people to accomplish it.
You can't lead without influence, and you can't have influence if you're not a leader
3. Developing talent and skill
People are more open to changing their mindsets and trying out new behaviors if they know leaders are willing to invest in their futures with the organization. One way to do this, while at the same time demonstrating goodwill, is by providing training and skill-building programs to help people adapt to the changes.
4. Reinforcing Mechanisms
Change is easier for people when the environment around them is altered so as to reinforce new behaviors.
For example, updating individuals’ safety goals and align with the future state, then holding the individuals accountable can go a long way toward creating the desired mindsets and behaviors change.
Finally, don’t underestimate the power of a positive mindset, as it has the potential to change performance by creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.
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