Because I am asking you to make some changes to enhance your performance, I also want to give you more information on how habits are formed. I hope that knowing this will provide you with more success in adopting new practices from this program and dumping some of the old ineffective habits that are holding you back from exceptional and sustainable results.
To make the changes you may need, to take full advantage of the advice in thisn program and your membership, you may well need to commit to changing a few habits. To help you with this, knowing how habits are formed and then understanding how to unfreeze your current behaviour, adopt the new, and then refreeze them into new habits is a great starting point.
Sounds easy, it’s not! It takes time, effort, commitment and good old-fashioned hard work, like most things in life that are worthwhile! In short, if you commit to doing something and repeat that action a significant number of times, it will eventually be saved to your subconscious mind and become a habit. That must be your aim with all the new practices that will help you either enter into or maintain your position in the world of exceptional results.
These actions will go from being something you do. You are forcing it to become something you do because you know that you have to; eventually, it will just get done without even thinking about it. It will become habitual.
Habits are formed in this way, and you can improve any aspect of your life if you understand this. Have the strength of mind and the will to see it through. You will need to call on this again many times to make the tips in this book new habits. So, you will have to think and adopt these tips as habits.
One of the most challenging things you’ll ever have to do is change old habits. It takes real commitment and a positive can-do attitude all of the time.
Perhaps the best way to do this is to take a few at a time and commit them to habit, then add more, but be aware that this could take some time to complete. Once you are there, you will see the difference it will make to you and your business or personal life, no matter your industry or position.
The following diagram illustrates the dynamics of forming new habits. my advice is to start small and confirm that this works and then build on that with more positive habits. much, if not all, of this will come down to having the right attitude, crucial in life and business. Concentrate and have some patience; as I said, it won’t happen overnight. Remain aware of the danger zone we spoke of earlier and do not give up early. Habit-forming also takes advantage of the accumulative effect of the activities you undertake.
Looking at this from a leadership point of view, knowing how habits are formed can create a revolution in the management of people. Once you understand this, you can coach others in your business to change their practices into more effective actions for their benefit and the benefit of the business overall.
Some years ago, I was put into a position where I was in charge of a sales force of four hundred advisers across the UK. During this career period, I was involved in developing people regularly. I was not always getting the results I had expected. People weren’t responding in a way I had thought they would, and I was uncertain why. This happened on more than one occasion, and in the end, I turned to one of my mentors during that period of my life for the answer.
She helped me identify that those in need of change were not underperforming because they lacked knowledge or training but had adopted some inappropriate habits, many before they even joined our team!
With that in mind, she asked me some questions, and in fairness, she answered herself immediately for effect. Will extra training work? No. Will discipline work? No. Why? Because in these cases, this was not a lack of training or knowledge. It was the adoption of bad habits over some time.
If you as the leader know this, moreover, understand that the last thing you should do is manage (instead, you should lead), you have more than a fair chance to turn this around.
I learnt that the best course of action is to unfreeze the bad habit through coaching, not training, then reintroduce the right actions as a must-do. Or better still, show the individual that this action will enable them to achieve their own goals. For that to happen, you’ll need to have a conversation about unique vision and goals, which is a good practice in any event.
Then coach the individual in the specific activities you require, and they should now be motivated to achieve. They will need to create multiple repetitions and slowly but surely build these practices into subconscious routines; new habits are formed in this way.
If you understand how habits are formed and changed, you will change how you lead your people and control and develop your performance. To get the full buy-in from your people, get them to relate directly to your mission with their personal vision and goals; we will cover this in more detail in the next chapter.
Instead of just talking it through once or twice, you need to introduce a system that gets the person thinking about the activity on numerous occasions during their day. Use non-intrusive or offensive methods to unfreeze the old and replace it with the new. make sure this is done on multiple occasions over a period of weeks. This will then freeze these new behaviours into the norm. Of course, rather than understanding how to repair the damage, it is always better to know how to start the journey with the proper habits, which involve excellent two-way communication
It is always far better to start the process with an open discussion about personal aspirations for each individual and work them back to individual actions, which is used to form the habits you require in your business. This is the Rainmakers way and will ultimately create more significant results for all concerned.
Things can still go wrong, but at least you know you have the buy-in, and now you can help lead your team members to success with coaching, flexibility and good communication from all.
Even with the proper habits, your mental attitude needs to be constantly monitored and adjusted. This is because it will significantly affect how you act and perform. As I have already made clear, I do not doubt that we influence outcomes based on what we think and how we act.
What cannot be argued is that we do tend to attract a series of events in our lives that mirror the way we are thinking about ourselves. I have never met a successful person without self-belief. That’s not to say we don’t all, from time to time, suffer from a lack of confidence. It’s more like the prevailing wind. If you can maintain a positive ‘can-do’ attitude, most of the time, good things will happen.
The people you choose to spend your time with also influence the results you’ll experience. Take care with the selection of your people. If you select correct, you’ll get the right results. The people you choose must be of the same mind as you, a subject covered in great detail by Napoleon Hill in his book ‘Law of Success.’ Too many of us spend too much of our time with the wrong people rather than looking to surround ourselves with exceptional people who share our vision and values.
Once you understand how to deal with habits, you can rebuild your activities into success habits. The more people around you who know this and want to make the change, the more chance you all have of a successful and happy journey, most of the time.
Don’t forget, on balance, the harder you work, the luckier you’ll get. Not just hard though, be smart too. Working smart means making time for you personally and your family. That is the smart way! Sadly, this lesson is all too often learnt the hard way; the key is to learn from others and avoid the mistake yourself.