What beliefs and behaviors are holding you back the most personally and at your organization? Frequently for leaders, a personal limiting belief or behavior is also affecting their organization.
Learning to uncover your blind spots to growth can benefit from having a third party conduct “360 interviews”. Then comes the hard part: following through on changing those behaviors.
Frank Wagner, Ph.D., is one of the world’s thought leaders in behavioral change and leadership coaching. He shared with me scientifically proven strategies that have a profound effect on helping anyone change behavior. I recommend management and sales staff be the first to use the following two strategies for building new habits that will foster growth.
The first exercise is a powerful energizing meeting opener, team builder and brainstorming tool that will help anyone to both connect a more powerful and positive association with changing a behavior as well as get ideas on how to accomplish the change. Instead of “Feedback” it’s called “FeedForward.”
Putting FeedForward to Work for Your Organization
- Break out larger groups into circles of three to seven people.
- Have each person read out the following statement to their circle, filling in the blanks with their top behavior to change and a benefit.
- “When I get better at _____ a benefit will be _____.”
- After everyone in the circle has read their version of the above once, they read it again, filling in a new benefit.
- Repeat the above around the circle four or more times so that each person has publicly announced at least four benefits to their changing the behavior.
- Have everyone grab a notebook and pen and pair up with one other person to ask them, “What is one idea I could do to ______” in regards to the new behavior or habit to work on.
- Write down the idea they give and say “Thank you” with no comments or judgments about the idea.
- Allow the other person to ask for an idea, and they do the same, just listening to the suggestion, writing it down, thanking and then…
- …move on to another person to pair up and repeat the process.
- Encourage participants to pair up as many times as possible and consider a competition for whoever gets the most ideas.
- Ask participants to share just one word to describe the exercise; you will hear words like “fun, invigorating, creative, brainstorm, etc.” It is a very future-focused exercise.
- Then, optionally, individuals could share with their small group circles what they learned. FeedForward helps to anchor a positive energy as well as get new ideas for making your first area of change.
A second tool of a daily review is so deceptively simple that most people will not follow through and do it. But it has been tested many times by psychologists, and it consistently works if followed out with an accountability partner on a daily basis. Even without a partner, it still gets people to improve in their top areas.
The daily review is as simple as writing the following type of questions on an index card.
“Have I done my best to…” and then fill in your daily habits/behavioral change goals. So, for example, “Have I done my best to eat well, exercise, telemarket to new prospects, praise each member of my family, avoid regrets, etc.”
The key to implementation is to have a partner with whom you review your success or failure at the end of each and every day. In doing this with my business colleague, I saw habits change on several fronts, and I know you and your teammate can as well.
About Mark Faust
Each Tuesday, turnaround consultant Mark Faust will be sharing his expertise on how to turn around your small business. His blogs will be filled with practical insights and basic turnaround strategies designed to guide you through crisis leadership and change management. You'll be able to tap into tips on everything from profitability issues, business continuity plans and pandemic pivots to operational processes, marketing and customers additional value.
As one of the companies he helped grow, we know first hand how inspiring his leadership is and just how well it works! Mark has also agreed to make his best-selling book ‘Growth or Bust’ available, free of charge, to any small business to help them create their own effective turnaround plan. We’ll be sharing that with you soon.
You can learn more about Mark and his company, Echelon Management, by clicking here.
Looking for more small business help?
At InspireHUB, we’ve been blessed with a network that includes some of the foremost leaders in the world. A few years ago, we had the pleasure of meeting Mark Faust. Mark has over thirty years of experience in helping companies turn around through his company Echelon Management International. The brands he’s helped include John Deere, Apple, Bayer, IBM and P&G. He also helped me personally and professionally with InspireHUB as we morphed to become the company we are today.
His insight and expertise are invaluable, but realistically, the majority of small businesses would never get access to a “Mark” due to the size of their budget. Having someone like Mark literally can be a life-saving exercise for any size business. What impressed me the most about the work Mark and I did together was the bulk of it was not business tactics and strategy; it was about myself as a leader. Understanding what motivated me, where I found my hope, what would INSPIRE me to wake up every day and work on this business.
Here's how Mark helped transform InspireHUB and how he's going to do the same for YOUR small business ...
In most strategic thinking sessions I facilitate with clients, it is discerned that there isn’t just one business that the management team is leading but several business units. Each unit has a need for a unique strategy, unique set of objectives and a unique “driving force.” This is obvious with conglomerates like GE, but it isn’t as obvious for service companies and manufacturers. Even farm owners usually have a set of three to six business units.
My mentor’s mentor was Ben Tregoe, a Harvard Ph.D., former Rand Corporation think tank member and business thought leader who crafted the concept in strategy referred to as the “Driving Force.”
The Driving Force provides focus, the basis for competitive advantage, guidance on the scope of products and markets, indication of “must-have” key capabilities, a communications vehicle, a means of unifying an organization, a source of decision-making criteria and a means of evaluating competitors’ strategies. The Driving Force also acts as a filter for new growth opportunities that appear and guide the phasing out of products and markets.
You will find that every one of your business units has at its strategic core one of the following Driving Forces ...