Change the behaviour of others in 2015

6th January 2015

Happy new year! Here’s the first tip of 2015. It shows how to change other people’s behaviours this year…

A few years ago, it became illegal in the UK to smoke in public places. So there were notices everywhere – pubs, clubs, hotels, public buildings, stations, airports…

The logic was clear. If you want people to change behaviours in the long term, you must repeatedly remind them of the key messages until it sticks.

It’s the same in business. If you want your team/department/boss/stakeholder to change behaviours, you have to repeatedly remind them, too. But many organisations don’t do this. Or, at least, not enough:

  • One-off roadshows to explain your new vision won’t make your messages stick
  • Information cascades with minimal follow-up result in messages becoming diluted/lost
  • Single presentations don’t transform people’s ability, desire and confidence to change
  • Sending one email called “for your information” doesn’t change… well anything

When you want others to change behaviours, are you reminding them often enough?

Action point

For your next key communications, prepare both the communication and the follow-up, not just the communication.

For communications you’ve delivered previously – maybe before the Christmas break? – but not yet followed-up… follow them up! Ask how they’re progressing. Offer help. Share successes. Build momentum.

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