Who Says You Can’t Get People to Change?

Even though all progress is the result of change, very few people like change. It rocks the boat. It upsets the apple cart. And it feels uncomfortable.

So most people spend most of their lives chasing after “security.” They’re chasing after emotional, relational, financial, or occupational security, but they never seem to get enough.

Of course, they never will. General Douglas MacArthur said it quite well. He said, “There is no security on this earth, only opportunity.”

If you’re a leader at work or at home, you need to grasp the full meaning of MacArthur’s comment. He’s saying you may never find a way to make people like change.

However, you can make people feel less threatened by the change. And you can do some things that will dramatically increase the chances that the other people will change.

That’s what the entire second day of my Journey-to-the-Extraordinary program is all about: relationships, teamwork, motivation, and bringing out the best in others.

So what can you do to bring out the best in others? I’ll give you a few tips below.

Before I do that, let me acknowledge the fact that I know that some of you really want to get good at your people skills. Then you need to learn and master the 6-part B.E.L.I.E.F. system I’ve created and perfected over the years and will be sharing at my next Journey on May 4-5, 2017.

Time does not allow me to type it all out right here, but in essence, it focuses on these six strategies:

  1. Belief – How to communicate the respect everyone craves. How to stamp out the negativity in others.
  2. Engagement – The five reasons people refuse to go along with you and what you can do about it. How to apply the #1 key in getting people to happily do what you want them to do. How to speak the five languages of cooperation so you melt people’s resistance to change.
  3. Listening – How to listen so you hear everything that is said and left unsaid. The nine Brave Questions you need to ask people on and off the job that build deeper, stronger relationships with anyone.
  4. Importance – The deepest craving in every person. Strategies that inspire your team members and family members to accomplish even the most demanding goals. How to use 17 recognition strategies that motivate others to do their very best … but cost you nothing.
  5. Example – A simple script you can follow that easily incites change in any team member. How to create a positive, productive, profitable environment at work and at home. How to give negative feedback when necessary and not get a defensive response from other people.
  6. Follow-Through – Ways to ask for what you want … so others feel naturally inclined to say “Yes.”

If that’s something you want to learn, you can register for my next Journey coming to Minneapolis, MN on May 4-5, 2017 by clicking here. [BTW: This is the last week for our Super Early-Bird special pricing.]

For the moment, however, here are a few tips you can use to get other people to change.

1. Turn to Your People.

To reduce the fear of change in others, engage them. People can accept a change much more easily if they have some input on the change.

Take the work environment, for example. Most, if not all, of your employees and co-workers want you to succeed. After all, they want to be a part of a successful, winning group.

So when change is needed, instead of simply announcing or demanding the change you’d like to see, turn to your people. As one successful change leader told me, whenever he got in trouble or knew that a particular change would be threatening, “I simply go to my people, explain my problem, and ask them for help. It never fails.”

2. Make Sure People Experience a Lot of Success.

It makes the change much more palatable. Good leaders look for ways to make winners out of their people. They look for ways to make them succeed rather than let them fail.

One of my long-term clients, IBM, knows this secret. They set challenging quotas for their salespeople, but those quotas can be achieved by 70 to 80% of their salespeople. That means most of their people are “winners.” It feels good and is highly motivating.

Compare that to one of IBM’s competitors. They set quotas that only 40% of their people can make, which means that 60% of their people are “losers.” That’s not the environment you want to create if you want to motivate peak performance in your employees or bring about change at home.

By contrast, a little success makes people want to do more and do better. As the old saying goes, “Nothing breeds success like success.” When people are successful at something, it gives them the interest and confidence to push themselves even further and do even more to become even more successful.

3. Make the Change as Simple as Possible.

Don’t complicate things with unnecessary procedures, complex hierarchical relationships, or confusing policies.

In one organization where I was speaking, they had nine levels of management and each level had 10 to 15 objectives to achieve. Everyone was frustrated, superiors and subordinates alike. They couldn’t even remember their objectives let alone concentrate on them. Needless to say, change was not going very well for them.

Excellent companies and effective leaders know simple is better.

Another client of mine, Texas Instruments, says having “more than two objectives” means having “no objective” at all. When Toyota learned this and wanted to make a change for the better, they streamlined their chain of command. They moved from 17 layers of people to a mere five.

4. Let People See a Reward for Their Change.

Everyone lives their lives tuned into radio channel WIIFM. What’s In It For Me?

If people can’t see some reward for the change you are seeking, they’re not motivated to do what you want them to do. The days of simply ordering change are coming to an end. People have to see the WIIFM.

Mary Ann Milko saw that happen when her daughter was getting married. The days before the wedding were hectic and the huge amount of work and change was starting to scare the groom.

One night, after she had helped prepare a large dinner for several out-of-town guests, after the dishes had been cleared away, the happy but exhausted Mary Ann said, “When this is all over, I plan to stay in bed for a week!”

A big smile came over the face of her future son-in-law. “So do I, Mrs. B. So do I!” he boomed. He suddenly saw the reward in the change.

Dr. Zimmerman’s Tuesday Tip, Issue 873 – Who Says You Can’t Get People to Change?