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The Power of Habit: easy to develop much harder to undo
March 3, 2016
We are now in to March and the new years resolutions that were made are likely to feel like a very distant memory. Forming new habits seems to get more of a focus as we move in to a new year when we have had time to reflect on the past year and how we want things to move forward. Sometimes it is bad habits that we are looking to change such as not delegating effectively or not being drawn on to the detail of tasks rather than looking at the big picture.
Even if we talk about wanting to develop new behaviours and habits it is all too easy that when life takes hold that we can lose sight of our goals that we had set for ourselves.
This issue is not just for individuals who had great intentions to do something different but have succumbed to the power of the habit. Actually habit is something, which allows us to get through our day meaning that we can do things we have done before with relative ease. Although when we fall in to bad habits that we want to replace it takes hard work and practice to change something and replace a behaviour that has become second nature in to something else.
I have read a range of texts on how long it takes for a new behaviour to become automatic ranging from 28 days, 66 days or at least 2 months or even repeating something 10,000 times if you listen to Malcolm Gladwell the author of Outliers the story of success. Whilst it is difficult to put a definitive time period on how long it takes to develop new leadership behaviours and habits what is clear is that there are a number of factors which can increase the likelihood of success.
Here are a list of 5 tips, which will increase the chances of employees developing new leadership habits and behaviours.
YOU have influence over what behaviours you want to develop this will in turn build more commitment than if someone else give you feedback on what you ‘should’ be development
Share your goals with others this will build light peer pressure in that knowing that others may ask you how you are progressing with your goals
Set yourself a clear target on what you want to achieve if this is a current behaviour that you want to improve think about giving yourself an assessment of where you are now.
Imagine the steps that you will put in place to achieve your goal and articulate what this would look, sound and feel like when you are demonstrating the new behaviour
Go ahead try a different tact or try a different approach. It is easy to do something that we are comfortable with but much harder to do something different and Practice, Practice and Practice. Actively seek out feedback on how you are progressing.
Want to find out how you can help your employees to develop new leadership skills and gain greater return on investment from your training programmes: PeerPrompt is an online cloud based tool which uses the power of peer review, positive reinforcement to build motivation and increase learning retention.
Check out www.peerprompt.com, which has been developed by Matrix Business Growth Consultants experts in leadership development and innovation.