Can we change our behaviour?
Can we change our behaviour?
The answer is so obviously Yes” that you might think this was going to be the shortest Daily Paradox on record. Alas, “Yes” is not the whole answer; “it depends” is nearer the mark. Market researchers and forecasters of all kinds have relied heavily on past behaviour as a predictor of what is to come. Someone who smokes forty cigarettes a day is very likely to go on doing so whatever the proof that it is harmful. But many actually gave up.
We resist changing our behaviour for several reasons. Addiction is one, comfort with what we know is another, laziness another still. But a major reason, often underestimated, is fear of loss of personality. Knowing who you are – even thinking you know who you are – is our best source of confidence. ‘You get what you see’ and ‘take me or leave me’ express a self-confidence we’d all like to exhibit. But true confidence is to know we can always do better.
Many clients who come to us searching for their Tree become quite scared when they see it. They thought it would be a simple aspiration to become a tycoon or leading politician. But the Tree we all seek is an opportunity as much as a destination. Like all (real) trees it needs finding first, then tending and watering, if it is to flourish and blossom. The process of helping anything or anyone grow involves creativity by both the helper and the helped.
A mid-career lady aged 45 was looking for a change of direction. Undeniably successful in a very niche market she had created her career with such success that her company could not bring themselves to promote her. There was no replacement for her and grooming one would take years. They paid her well, showered her with praise and behaved like good employers should. But she had stopped learning and feared her job was a dead end.
The analysis of her PASDAQ™ opened up a whole new area to explore. Her title was Sales Manager but her Tree was not selling – not even her specialised product and service range, it was the people she had been selling to. A highly specialised group with characteristics that could be tapped way beyond what she was actually providing. Her knowledge, skill, experience were as much about her customers as about what she offered them.
To reach this Tree she needed one skill that she was short of – imagination. Creativity doesn’t come from the air, it comes from acute observation and from a habit of perpetually trying to associate apparently different situations. That requires a change of behaviour. It can be done. Like all processes there is a discipline attached to it. Like all disciplines, once acquired it is relatively easy to maintain.
Will our client succeed in reaching the heights she is capable of? That she can do so is beyond question. What will decide her future is whether she has the courage to step outside her comfort zone. If she does, the rest will follow.
We have seen it happen many times.