It’s critical that you engage people’s emotional side (elephant)  in a change effort.

This post is focused on the elephant.  The elephant is the part of us that wants things to stay the same and does not want to be embarrassed.  The elephant is the part that enjoys comfort food, even when the rider is telling the elephant that we are cutting back on what we eat.   Generally the key to solutions in most change efforts is to start small: shrink the change.  Change one habit at a time.  Allow time to let it become a habit.   21 days is what I have heard is the time it takes.

The key question is what small change are we working on and how will we turn it into a habit?

Direct the Rider: What looks like resistance is often a lack of clarity, so provide crystal-clear direction.

Motivate the Elephant: What looks like laziness is often exhaustion. The Rider can’t get his way by force for very long. So it’s critical that you engage people’s emotional side – get their Elephants on the path and cooperative.
Shape the Path: What looks like a people problem is often a situation problem. We call the situation (including the surrounding environment)
the “Path.” When you shape the Path, you make change more likely, no matter what’s happening with the Rider and Elephant.

Other Posts in the series.  Click the category 190forever

Jim Sutton
Facilitating Performance Improvement in the digital age

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