• 01 June 2022

    Creating New Habits - or Behavioral Coaching

    One of the most powerful way to change behaviors is behavioral coaching. 
    It can be valuable in a number of situations:

    • As part of general leadership coaching, you want to find the one behavior that will make the biggest difference in your performance. 
    • You have a behavioral blind spot that is holding back in your career. For instance, arrogance.
    • You have a limiting belief, perception, or attitude that is holding you back. Behaviors are expressions of our beliefs, perceptions, and attitudes. 

    Behavioral coaching has the advantage of being measurable. We can observe and monitor results. 
    It also entails getting feedback and advice from colleagues. 

    During this process, colleagues comment on the specific behavior in question as well as other things they notice. A way of progressing is to debrief their feedbacks with your coach each month.

    The approach has two parts. 

    • First, choose a behavior. Make sure it is simple, specific, and measurable behavior to start doing, stop doing, do more, or do less.
      Example: Specific behaviors under the umbrella of arrogance might include interrupting, making dismissive comments, rolling eyes, folding arms, sighing loudly when others speak, raising one’s voice, and making personal attacks. Different people express arrogance in different ways.
    • Once you choose the behavior, the second step is to make the new behavior a habit. 

    The theory is that you become more aware of the process of taking an action, from initial cues and triggers, to automatic and sometimes unproductive and accurate thoughts, to effective behaviors. One such approach is called the Triple A framework, for: become AWARE of the trigger or temptation to behave automatically or ineffectively; choose to AVERT or move away from the impulse to act automatically or ineffectively; and then choose a more effective ALTERNATIVE

    There are many other ways to achieve change. 

    One way is anchoring the behaviors to negative and positive emotions - This technique comes from Neuro Linguistic Programming.
    For instance, some people use elastic bands on their wrist as reminders; they tweak themselves with the band when they are tempted to go back to the old behavior. 
    the positive side, you can imagine how your career will progress after achieving your goal and how you will feel. These positive feelings can help you stay on track. Another way to use the elastic band, is to put it on the left wrist after doing the desired behavior and on the right one after making a mistake.
    Other ways involve journaling, self-talk, positive affirmations, pre-planning, etc.
    Finally, it is important to reward yourself every time you use the new behavior: Positive reinforcement so that your new behavior will be associated with a positive state of mind. 

     If you miss a day of habit-changing, be considerate, don’t give up or get angry. Note it. Accept it. Move on. Behaviors can’t change from one day to another. This process takes time, energy, and determination.