How to achieve sustained change in anything

I recently finished a book (for the second time) titled “Change or Die”, subtitle: Could you change when change matters most?.  The book is well researched and the data the author includes is compelling and fascinating.

One of the major studies of the book looks at people who have had coronary-artery bypass grafting.  Coronary-Artery bypass grafting is a type of surgery that improves blood flow to the heart. Surgeons use CABG to treat people who have severe coronary heart disease.  The research shows that two years post surgery that over 90% of patients have not changed their lifestyle.  They are eating and living the same way they always have.

The research also looked at a large manufacturing facility of autoworkers.  The facility was on the brink of shutting down. Which would have resulted in everyone losing their jobs.  As we all know our prisons are more full than ever before.  And in 2002 the Justice Department was issuing longer sentences and more arrests, but the re-arrest rate of people who had been previously incarcerated went up from 62.5 percent to 67.5 percent.

All of these studies have one thing in common. The people involved in each of the studies needed to make changes or they would ultimately die, lose their livelihood, or might as well be dead.

Many of us are pretty logical thinkers for the most part aren’t we? At least we think we are.

However, as rational as we think we are, the three things that you would think would motivate us to change rarely does. In the book the author calls them the three F’s.  Facts, Fear, and Force.

I am sure you don’t need to read the book to have seen first hand that the three F’s don’t always work to motivate someone to change.  My guess is you, or someone you know, has used one of the three to persuade someone else to change.  And the chances are they, or you didn’t get the change you were looking for.

So what is it that creates sustained change, and how can we implement it.

The book uses the three examples I mentioned above and shows how applying processes allowed the groups of people facing crisis make the necessary changes and sustain it.

The three ways to create sustained change are:

New Hope: In many cases, people have lost hope or desire in whatever it is they are dealing with. Whether it is an illness, a potential loss of a job, or a life of crime. In each of these scenarios what is required is for someone to sit down with the individual and show them a new beginning, a new way to a different outcome, a possible solution.

New Skills: After a person has been able to see a new vision of their future. They have been inspired by the hope of a new outcome. They must get some new skills. This is critical for change.  You can’t get somewhere you have never been without learning something new. So training and follow-up is required.

New Thinking: New thinking has a lot of parts to it.  It requires a person to have a new environment in which they operate.  They must be around people who help them succeed and hold them accountable to this new life they are wanting.

New Hope, New Skills, and New Thinking are not easy and have many facets to them each.  However, if your desire is to make sustained change you can start by developing hope, getting some training and follow-up, and then surrounding yourself with the right people in the right environment.

As a corporate trainer, it is my job to work with companies and individuals to create sustained change.  Many times someone in the organization realizes that something must change.  Where I help the organization the most, is to show the people within the organization that they are capable of making the changes and then create the kind of training and FOLLOW UP ( I capitalize this to show its importance) to make sure it happens.  It is impossible to change anything without the right kind of follow-up.

One of my favorite quotes in the book is “People don’t resist change, they resist being changed”.  You have to help people change themselves.

Is there an area in your life where you need to make a change?  Are you willing to get the necessary resources to help you make the change?

Contact me if I can help.

To your success and your future.










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