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Friday, January 05, 2007

The Three Keys to Change

Could you change when change really mattered? When it mattered most?

Yes, you say?
Try again.
You're probably deluding yourself.
That's what the experts say.
They say that you wouldn't change.

Here are the odds that the experts are laying down, their scientifically studied odds: nine to one. That's nine to one against you. How do you like those odds?

Finally, we often believe that people can't change or that they "resist" change. We think that this is simply human nature. Our most distinguished experts--the MDs and PhDs and MBAs who run the health care and criminal justice systems and the largest manufacturing corporations--think that it's naive and hopeless to expect the vast majority of people to change.

In this excerpt from the introduction to his new book, Change or Die: The Three Keys to Change at Work and in Life, Alan Deutschman discusses the framework to successfully change yourself (or perhaps to change how you work.)

Change or Die is a short book about a simple idea.

There are three keys to change, which Deutschman calls the three Rs: relate, repeat, and reframe.

1. Relate
You form a new, emotional relationship with a person or community that inspires and sustains hope. If you face a situation that a reasonable person would consider "hopeless," you need the influence of seemingly "unreasonable" people to restore your hope--to make you believe that you can change and expect that you will change. This is an act of persuasion--really, it's "selling." The leader or community has to sell you on yourself and make you believe you have the ability to change. They have to sell you on themselves as your partners, mentors, role models, or sources of new knowledge. And they have to sell you on the specific methods or strategies that they employ.

2. Repeat
The new relationship helps you learn, practice, and master the new habits and skills that you'll need. It takes a lot of repetition over time before new patterns of behavior become automatic and seem natural--until you act the new way without even thinking about it. It helps tremendously to have a good teacher, coach, or mentor to give you guidance, encouragement, and direction along the way. Change doesn't involve just "selling"; it requires "training."

3. Reframe
The new relationship helps you learn new ways of thinking about your situation and your life. Ultimately, you look at the world in a way that would have been so foreign to you that it wouldn't have made any sense before you changed.

BOTTOMLINE: These are the three keys to change: relate, repeat, and reframe. New hope, new skills, and new thinking. This may sound simple at first, but it's not. Unfortunately, no one has been teaching us what we really need to know. People try alternatives to try to change, but they more often than not - fail to realize their goals. The reason isn't that they don't want to change or can't change but rather they don't understand change or have the right tools to effect it.

Six Disciplines is the first complete program to help individuals in small and emerging businesses to understand how to change, providing the right tools to effect it, and coaching to make the change process repeatable. This leads to achieving sustainable business excellence.

(CHANGE OR DIE. Copyright © 2007 by Alan Deutschman.)

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