Terry Thompson, Surrey, BC, CYBF Mentor, tesh@shaw.ca

There is a key factor when assessing the probability of a person (including you) changing behaviour as desired. It is the person’s history of making important behaviour changes, particularly big ones. If the person has a history of positive behaviour changes which usually requires awareness, planning, self-motivation, hard work and discipline then the probability significantly increases. If they don’t – well I think you know the answer to that one.

How do you use this knowledge of the concept of behaviour change and assessing its probability of happening? As an author of self-help writings my main concern is how to increase the probability that you will actually use these writings in a way that benefits you. It is no secret that a very low percentage of people effectively use self-help materials and, in my opinion, one of the main reasons is a lack of understanding of behaviour change and assessing the probability of it happening for them.

This series of articles will discuss the various key activities that I believe are essential to becoming a great manager. In order to increase the probability that you will effectively use these materials I would recommend the following:

1. Read each article.

2. After reading the article answer the following:

a. Do you agree with the points made in the article?

b. What is the value to you of the points made in the article?

c. Do they require a behaviour change on your part? If so, determine the amount of behaviour change that they require.

d. What is your own ability (or the person you are managing’s ability) to make behaviour change (i.e. low, medium or high) based upon your (or their) history?

3. After reading all the articles and answering the questions above, determine a plan as follows:

a. If you or the person that you are managing have a history of being able to make significant behaviour changes then prioritize points according to value of the point to you.

b. If you or the person that you are managing have a history of only being able to make low to medium behaviour changes then prioritize the points according to those with the highest value that also involve low to medium behaviour changes. Leave those points that require more ambitious behaviour changes to later unless it is absolutely critical that they be addressed earlier.

Remember that you are not a psychologist or psychiatrist. Where behaviour change involves simply making a person aware of the need and the reasons for it (and they have a history of making significant changes with this type of information) even significant change is probable. Where it involves more than that the probability of big behaviour change is very low and you will need to take that into account before deciding to even try.

Should you have any questions or feedback regarding the content of this article please email me at tesh@shaw.ca ©

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