The next time you are in need of a trainer or speaker to do a session for your organization, I’d suggest you consider these questions:
- What results are you hoping to affect, by what degree, and by when?
- What behaviors and processes have the greatest impact on those results?
Here’s the secret to your project’s success. Approach it as a process, not just a single event.
Behaviors don’t change easily. People need information, encouragement, coaching, practice, time, and incentives. It’s unlikely they will get most of these from a single event or as people in my line of work like to call it, intervention. There are a series of things that should be done to start making progress towards the goals.
Here’s an example. Imagine you’ve got employees engaging in malicious gossip that is hurting the team, and naturally you want it to stop. So what should be done? I can think of many things that collectively could help.
- You ought to tell the group what you’ve noticed and share with them the impact that it’s having.
- Someone should dig into what the gossip is about and try to make a determination about why it’s happening.
- The group ought to be let in on the findings of this investigatory work.
- The group can then engage around the question, “What should we do to change this behavior?”
- Maybe the group needs some skill development in the areas of assertiveness and listening.
- Maybe they need practice at working through conflicts.
- They could probably benefit from establishing group behavioral norms.
- Some individuals might need more hands-on coaching.
- A monitoring system should be established.
- Follow-up needs to happen.
And the list could go on and on. The point is that real change rarely happens with a single speech, workshop, or team building event. Change comes as a result of a purposeful process that addresses the true concerns and provides the support that people need to move from points A to B.
If you want to tweak people’s interest and get them thinking, a single intervention often will accomplish that goal. If you want to make major change, you’ll need a plan that includes a series of interventions to start moving people towards the goal. And in the perfect world, you take it one step further by creating a system that sustains the organizational culture you are working to create.
Photo by John-Morgan