Motivation & Change

It can be frustrating when you learn something great and you want to integrate something new into your practice, your home or in your life but the people with supporting roles want to “just stay the same”. Nothing changes. Nothing happens. The line flattens. You want to “motivate” people to change, but aren’t sure how to do that.

Motivation and change go together. Two valuable aspects of motivation are modeling and learning. If a person or a team is going to “buy into” recommended change, they need to learn the how, when, where, and why of that change. And when someone they trust and respect models the change, the learning becomes easier and more emphatic.

Most everyday occurring behaviors consist of a sequence of responses that have become automatic over time—one response occurring automatically as a result of a particular stimulus. These responses are deeply seeded and are difficult to change. This classic, “I have always done it this way!” premise can get in the way of change.

For change to occur a person needs to clearly see either the need to change or the benefit of change—and, in some instances both. Clarify the necessity of change and work with others to develop a specific learning path. While you can be the helper or instrument of change, ultimately, the other person will need to integrate the new learning. You must trust that someone is going to do what they are supposed to do whether or not you are with them. That’s what teamwork is all about, isn’t it?

When it is determined that a change is valuable-do the following: (1)focus attention on the necessary change of behavior or performance: the need or the benefit of the change (or both) (2) include the appropriate parties in continuous decision making. Think through each step to make sure that the right choices are being made, (3) reinforce steps taken toward the new process, and (4) be careful not to let old ways stay in place–old protocols that may have worked historically but no longer are effective.

Here are 3 steps to motivate a person to change and to become independent:

  • Self- monitoring: deliberately monitor and track what is presently being done.
  • Self-evaluation: compare the results of performance to the desired goal or the desired standard. In other words, what is one really doing in comparison to what one ought to be doing or what one wants to be doing.
  • Self-reinforcement: feedback—what are the strengths or weaknesses of past performance, and the feedforward—how will this evaluation affect or influence future performance.

Focus on the vision of what is desired. The person or team can begin imagining the result of altered behaviors and improved performance. This vision becomes the guiding force—the motivation—necessary for change. The imagined happenings are remembered in the mind as if the events have actually happened. This can enhance a person’s ability and willingness to carry out the necessary behaviors, such as the way team members will interact with each other, how the business systems will flow together.