Your team member says they will work on the change you suggested.
However, you have some doubts as to whether or not they will make the change, and if they do, you wonder how deep it will go. Will it be temporary, for the sake of their job, or will it be a true transformation? How can you know?
Furthermore, how can you help them, or coach them, to make the change?
Over my 26 years of counseling and coaching, I have observed that clients who have made significant changes in their lives have several traits in common:
Those who want to change are humble. They take full responsibility for their weakness. There is no minimizing, blame shifting, or rationalizing. They offer a clear, “Yes, I see that. I need to improve that.”
This is often followed by an awareness that their behavior has had consequences. A humble person looks to make amends when possible.
People who want to change will commit to the change. This is not a surface level commitment, but a commitment that goes to their core. Sometimes you can hear it in their voice, but most of the time it will be their actions that show their resolve.
Along with humility and commitment, they show open-mindedness. They know they need help, so they listen for truth in order to determine how they will make the change. Sometimes that means being willing to try things that are different. They open themselves to new ideas from trustworthy sources.
4. Seeking Out Knowledge, Understanding, Wisdom, and Insights
As implied above, their open-mindedness leads them to seek out knowledge, understanding, wisdom, and insights from whatever trustworthy sources will get them there.
Some will research, hire experts, seek out mentors, etc. The idea is that they want to have a plan for how to make the change happen for them.
5. Action Over Words
A striking thing I’ve noticed about those who really want to change is that they emphasize action over talking about the change. I want to be clear. It is not that they don’t talk about the change they want to make. They definitely do. However, talking about the change is usually the conversation starter, and those observing them can see them testing tangible actions to determine what helps them with the change.
As implied above, those who really want to change take intelligent risks as they try new things to effect the change they are looking to make. Intuitively, they know that not everything they try will work, but they will give it everything they’ve got, even at the risk of being crushed if the change doesn’t happen.
Those who really want to change get up faster when they fail. They are willing to take more risks in order to get it right and see the change they want to happen.
7. Develop A Great Support Network
When someone wants to change, they develop a great support network. Sometimes they may not be aware that they are building a support network, but often, in the process of seeking guidance, they find that those who give guidance become their supporters.
To make a real change, they need to be encouraged and know that there are others behind them when they feel weak.
They also need those who notice that the change is happening and will celebrate with them as they go.
As leaders, we can champion our team members who want to change just by encouraging their desire and drive to change. If we see they are lacking in any of the above traits, we can encourage them to pursue it.
Some people start off with a half-hearted commitment to change, but through our coaching we can encourage them to fully commit to the process.
The great news is that as your team members learn how to make real, lasting change, they will become addicted to growing. This will move them more and more towards becoming a high performing team.
Chew On This:
- Who on your team will you coach towards a real and lasting change?
Ryan C. Bailey is an Executive Coach who helps business leaders develop in-demand high performing teams.