Last post I introduced you to the power behind Intention and how it helps you and your team get more done when it is clear. The trick behind using Intention to keep you and your team moving forward is learning how to conquer one of our biggest stumbling blocks- our own common sense! Results from years of research that look at what actually gets people to take action and change negative self-limiting behaviour is very clear: Common sense is our biggest adversary, our barrier and our green slimy monster that holds us back. This post is applicable to you if you are a manager or supervisor overseeing the performance of others as well, if you are simply looking for ways to improve your overall health and general wellness.
The first game changer is Attitude toward the intention. Too often common sense tells us all we have to do is change our attitude, make it more positive and we will achieve our intention. Guess what? Common sense has it backwards, attitude is important and we use IDARE Framework to show how it is connected to the successful execution of intention. However, to change attitude we need to change behaviour and this is strongly supported by years of social science research. The research shows us that attitude follows behaviour not the other way around. So, we can have the best of intentions but if we allow our attitude to dictate whether or not we take action we won’t move any further ahead than just having an intention. You see, common sense tells us we know how to motivate ourselves and exactly what we find motivating. Not true according to the research. Our attitude toward the intention is strongly influenced by what others are doing than what we think we are capable of doing on our own. A tough pill to swallow. I pride myself on being a highly self-motivated person. However, when I took stock of my environment and the people who are important me- they are no different from me and the values I share. They help make what I do easy!
To change behaviour whether your own, those reporting to you, your family members, all must know what is expected of them. Now, this is rather contrary to my coaching approach of not having any expectations of others as we know, this often results in disappointment and frustration. However, using social science research, the kinds of expectations are those that are designed to truly change behaviour by planting the very behaviour desired into the brain through repeated daily actions. After awhile the very behaviour becomes automated and the attitude towards the intention also changes to reflect successful execution of the intention. An example of planting what is expected of them is the job description. When employees know what is expected of them and have clear directions for what they are expected to do along with the appropriate resources and support, rarely do you find this employee not delivering. Rarely do you find their attitude toward the intended work to be weak or non-committal.
On the home front the same strategy works but requires more reminders ( daily in some cases!) but eventually when children leave the home nest and set up their own, you find they will turn off lights, not leave the taps running, pick up after themselves, clean their rooms and so on. So, remember, increasing performance either on the home front or at work requires clear intention and behaviour or actions that will create a positive attitude toward the intention. Next post: Game Changer number two.