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What’s In It For Me?

We’ve talked before about the issues that individuals (and organisations) face when looking to implement changes in the shape of new tools or techniques.

Removed from the buzz of the education session or seminar (where the new technique has been learned) and back in the reality of the ‘day job’ it becomes hard to make the time and take the opportunities to apply the new techniques.

What often happens in this situation is that we think ‘On this occasion it will be easier to do it the old way’ or ‘It will be easier to do it myself’.  As a result we end up not using the new skill for a period of time, and so we forget some of the elements, or lose the enthusiasm.  Then we revert to old ways, and nothing changes – with a resultant waste of money, time and effort.

We use ‘coaching cafes’ as part of our development programmes to embed learning.  In these, one technique we use is to ask people to identify the benefits they will get from applying the new techniques in the real world.  It takes around 30 days to establish a new habit, so unless you find a way to keep reminding yourself of the benefit of what you are doing, and as a result, make time to use the new tool or approach for this kind of period, it is very unlikely that it will stick.

The approach we use in our programmes is as follows:

  • Describe how things could be if you implemented the use of the new tool or techniques. What would the benefits be for:
    • You
    • Your direct reports
    • Your peers
    • Your team
    • Your organisation
  • Once you have identified all the things that would be better as a result of the change, identify which one or two of these most resonates with you. Some people will relate more to elements that impact on people; others will relate to elements that get things done better/quicker etc.
  • Record the benefits that most resonate in a way/place that will be a visible reminder for you about the reason for making the change.
  • Commit to taking action to turn the theory of what you have learned into practical actions in the knowledge that you will achieve the benefits you have identified.

Remember -‘If you don’t use it you’ll lose it’.

What tools or techniques have you learned recently that inspired or excited you and that would make a difference if you applied them to your day to day leadership practices?  Before it’s too late, take a few minutes alone or with a colleague/group to identify the WIIFM for you and commit to doing something to apply your learning so that you can gain the benefits.


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