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Some experts argue that since people are so poor at behavioural change, it’s better not to try. The majority of leaders can’t be coached, they add. They argue then, that the best alternative is make sure you have a good balance of personalities and then let people be themselves.
I disagree based on experience and science.
Some years ago, I was asked to lead a culture change project in a product development department. It was amazing to see how healthy all the meetings were when I attended. The feedback was, just invite Skip to all our meetings. He doesn’t have to do anything. Just having him t
Here changed everything.
This is the power of nudging. Leaders know a lot about Growth Mindset and the healthy behaviours that bring out the best in others, they just can’t be bothered or prefer leading in controlling or critical ways. The reality is that behaviour changes enormously when we think that we are being observed. It makes us self-conscious and increases the level of self-monitoring and self-control. This is why observation and feedback are key initiatives in a Growth Mindset change project.
It also suggests that changes in culture can be made with a “flick of a switch”, because we all know
What respectful communication looks and sounds like. I often describe the Safe2Great culture change process as about nudging people to bring their best self to work rather than the lazy, indifferent and worst self. We all have the ability to be lousy or great. Every day at work is somewhere on that spectrum. How can we nudge ourselves and others from our first meeting in the direction of great rather than elbow each other down the slippery slope to lousy behaviours and toxic workplaces?
Author of Safe2Great, keynote speaker on psychological safety and growth mindset