Developing new skills requires a change management mentality. New skills must be practiced and reinforced over time, with continuous application. The more powerful and experiential the training with total immersion in the new skills, will result in new behaviors that are sustainable.
However, you must deal with inertia, which is resistance to change. Secondly you must contend with the temptation to resort to previous behaviors in the face of difficulty. Observation and experience reveal that in a crisis, if the new skills are not firmly embedded in the subconscious, we revert to previous behavior. We retreat to what is known, comfortable and firmly established. We may discard the new information, new practices for the comfortable behaviors of the past.
If change is not fully incorporated into your rote memory or natural rhythms, you may easily relapse. Therefore, it is important to have powerful implementation procedures that are rapidly reinforced repetition to replace the memorized subconscious behaviors.
Additionally, you must firmly believe in your people and adhere to your leadership pledge to their success. In the heat of battle, turmoil or a crisis, remember that your long-term effectiveness as a leader may hinge upon the following. Your ability to be steady, call while refusing to relapse and abandoning new programs and practices for the old way of doing things.
To value and respect you
For your accomplishments each year;
Reward your focus on the bottom line,
Elicit feedback and design
Improvements to work conditions
And ways to fight the competition.
To give clear goals, not good intentions;
Form tactics that defy convention
And set a course for the clients needs,
Sometimes at warp or breakneck speeds;
But always mindful as we advance
To keep egos intact and skills enhanced.
To value and respect you
For loyalty and candor,
For personal leadership modeled
When understaffed and at full throttle,
To praise you when change is prominent,
Receptive when stress is dominant;
And listen actively to your voice,
For you have freedoms,
You’re here by choice.
Copyright © 2013 Orlando Ceaser
Reprinted from Leadership Above the Rim
How do you demonstrate to others that you believe and trust them?
What new programs have you put in place to improve the climate in your workplace?
Think of behavior changes successfully implemented and what you did to make them work.
Give examples of old habits that you have successfully replaced.
What do you do to prevent yourself from relapsing into old habits? Give an example, personal or professional.
Review information on change management to strengthen the intellectual and logical justification for your new practices.
The element of surprise is a strong reason for reflex behavior. When you are caught off guard you may tend to relapse into old ways of thinking.
Anticipation will help you stay with your new skills and let the old habits stay in the past.