Four tips to create behaviour change in business

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Written by Jo Mousley on 14 November 2017 in Features

 Jo Mousley shares four tips for smooth behavioural change.

It’s not breaking news - if you want better results in your business, it comes down to yourself and your people. However, if you’re looking to change how your business functions, to get those results it’s about changing attitudes and behaviours.

Changing behaviours in your business can be a huge challenge but when carried out correctly, you will enhance the performance of your company and achieve those vital results.

Start with yourself

If you want to help change the attitudes of your people, you must start by looking at yourself. We all demonstrate a mixture of four core behavioural styles but have our own behavioural preference. This is made up of the subconscious behaviours we display day to day, as well as under pressure.

While we can’t change what’s in our DNA, having a deep understanding of our own behavioural style helps us in turn to understand other people behaviours and working preferences. By understanding both, we can flex and work to improve behaviour, performance and results.

As author and successful business man, Stephen R. Covey once said, “Seek first to understand before being understood.”

While we can’t change what’s in our DNA, having a deep understanding of our own behavioural style helps us in turn to understand other people behaviours and working preferences.

No one’s perfect

Yes, it’s important to recognise you and your people’s strengths. However, identifying development areas and any needs to change is just as vital if you want to reach your full potential.

While there is no right or wrong. It is about playing to your strengths and realising your development gaps. Acknowledging and working on these gaps will help you in building more effective relationships with your team, colleagues or clients which in turn will help you achieve greater performance.

The benefits of changing behaviour

Behaviours drive performance – So now that you are aware of your behavioural strengths and development areas you’re probably thinking so what? Exploring those two areas is part of the journey of understanding why should you change.

Change, in this context, can be large or small. You may want a complete overall of your company approach and values or have a consultation with your people to reassess their strengths. The important thing is to recognise change is needed and start making positive steps.


Read more about performance management here

One final and critical point, is that a person cannot ‘change what they don’t acknowledge’. So acknowledgement is the first major step to change, and acknowledgment will generally only occur if the person becomes aware of how what they are doing or not doing is in some way impacting on them. 

Usually, if there is no perceived impact in ‘staying as you are’, then the person won’t change.

Practice and feedback

Many people recognise the need for change but don’t know how to. Having the right tools and chances to practise in a no risk environment is key to transforming behaviour and performance. Feedback is also critical, so practise, get some feedback, practise again, and so on.

This concept is best summed up the Olympic gold medal winning rower Ben Hunt-Davis in his book, ‘Will it make the boat go faster? in the following quote:

“Coming from the sporting world into the corporate world I found it amazing that people don’t seem to practice. People just go and do the real thing straight off. In the boat we spent 99.9% of our time practising in a safe environment. Clearly you can’t do that percentage in the business world, but if you spent say 5% of your time practising, wouldn’t that increase your payback more than 5%?”


About the author

 Jo Mousley is performance development director at PDW Group.


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