Helping people change by changing the way they think

Although the blog has been quiet for a few days, I can assure you that there has been a lot of movement for me behind the scenes in my personal life and in the world of work.

I’ve spoken about change quite a bit before, but I’ve somewhat hit a wall in being able to influence personal change on others. Even when I write that down, I know it doesn’t make sense.

You can’t make someone else change, but what if you just want to help them out of a dark place they are in that doesn’t make any sense.

Do you persist or let them go?

homer-brain

We see this in our workplaces all the time. These are people who believe:

* It’s okay to behave badly because that’s the way their boss treated them
* That the environment/company makes them so stressed that their reaction (no matter how poor) is natural, and therefore ok
* That if someone else provokes them or attacks them first- this gives them the right to attack back. It’s all justified if someone else starts it.

We also see it in our personal lives.

With depression and other mental illnesses becoming more publicized, we all know someone who isn’t seeing things as they really are, or are seeing things in a much more negative light.

In thinking about all of this, I often try to remember some basic cognitive behavioural therapy in that there is the event, our thoughts and then our reaction.

There are some things we can control, and other things we can’t. We can’t control the event or the situation but we can control the way we think about it and that impacts on our behaviour and how we choose to respond or react.

What I’m really struggling with is how to convince people of this idea. Have you ever needed to convince people that they can change their behaviour by changing the way they think?

If you have I would love to hear your story- feel free to change individual or organizational names. I think these sorts of stories will be inspiring to others so please share your success story.

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1 Comment

Filed under Change Management, Performance Management

One response to “Helping people change by changing the way they think

  1. Hi Jessica, funnily enough I blogged on a similar theme a few months back.

    I think you’ve hit the nail on the head when you say that it is not necessarily the event we can control, but our reaction to it. In a sense ‘be the change you want to see in the world’.

    Sounds like you’re talking about some pretty negative situations, but I suppose the advice you’ve given is around the best you could take for yourself personally.

    For others, and depending on the severity of the problem, I’d recommend professional help – CBD is the cornerstone of a psychologist’s work.

    I don’t have any professional situations to share in that respect, but I used to go out with a Psychologist and she used a variety of gradual techniques to improve the situation of a person suffering from a range of ills – phobias, depression, chronic pain, and so on.

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