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Understanding Habits

Chris Batten June 9, 2022

To make the changes you may need to for the advice contained in this course and the book to work, you will need to commit them to habit—and to help you with this I thought it would help for you to recognise how habits are formed and then commit to unfreezing your current behaviour, adopt the new and then refreeze them into new habits. 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 fact it is so tough to do most people are destined to remain mediocre. Make no mistake we control our own thoughts and therefore our own actions, those who truly desire success will make the change. The rest will think about it and or talk about it and leave it as a good intention that never sees the light of day!

In short, if you commit to doing something and repeat that action a significant number of times, it will eventually be committed to your subconscious mind and become habit, that must be your aim with all the new habits 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 because 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 course new habits for you. So, you are going to have to think and work at adopting these tips as habits.

One of the toughest things you’ll ever have to do is change old habits. It takes real committment and a positive can-do attitude all of the time.”

Chris Batten, Author and Founder of The Rainmakers Club

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 process could take some time to complete. Once you are there, you will see the difference it will make to you and your business and indeed your personal life, no matter what your position in the business. The following diagram illustrates the dynamics of forming new habits. My advice is to start small and confirm to yourself that this works and then try to build on that with more positive habits. Much, if not all of this will come down to having the right attitude, so important in life and business. Concentrate and have some patience, as I said it won’t happen overnight.

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 design your own programs that will take account of this process and coach others in your business to change their habits into more productive actions for their own benefit and the benefit for 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 period of my career I was involved in developing people on a regular basis. 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 my mentor during that period of my life for the answer. 

She helped me to understand that those who were in need of change were not underperforming because they lacked knowledge or training but that they had adopted some very bad habits, many before they even joined our team! 

With that in mind she asked me some questions, that 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 lack of training or knowledge it was the adoption of bad habits over a period of time that were the issue. Because they were habits no matter what the individiual might agree to; regardless of how much they whated to deliver, when it came to the actions they reverted to habit! That is the challenge we all face all of the time and that is where the difference between mediocre and excpetional performance lies.

If you as the manager know this, more over, know that the last thing you should do is manage (rather, you shouldl ead), then 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 personal goals. For that to happen you’ll need to have a conversation about personal vision and goals, which is agood 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 intosubconscious routines, the new habit is formed.

If you understand how habits are formed and changed you will change the way you lead your people and how you control and develop your own performance. But a word of warning this only works when it is backed up with true and onsessive desire.

“To get the full buy-in from yourself and or your people, you need strong desire. Those tha tneed to change need to see how the change can diredctly relate to theb obtainment of their own vision mission and goals.”

Chris Batten, author and Founder of The Rainmakers Club

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 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 done it is always far better to understand the way to start the journey, which involves smart communication, a two-way street. It would have been far better to start the process of acheiveing the right habits from the very begining with an open discussion about the individiuals personal aspirations. Next work them back to individual actions, which is the Rainmakers way and would ultimately create greater results for all concerned.

Things can still go wrong but at least you know you have the buy-in and now you can help to lead your team members to success, with coaching, flexibility and good communication from all.

The other side of this is your own personal mental attitude, which has a significant affect how you act and perform. I know much has been written about this and some of the finest works date back to the 1930’s, my personal favourite being the books of Napoleon Hill.  

“I have no doubt in my mind that we influence outcomes based on what we think and therrefore what we do and how we act.”

Chris Batten, Author and Founder of The Rainmakers Club

What cannot be argued is 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 for a lack of confidence. It’s more like the prevailing wind. If you can maintain a positive ‘can do’ attitude for most of the time good things will happen. The people you choose to spend your time with is also an influence over the results you’ll experience. Take care with the selection of your people. If you select right, you’ll get the right results.

The people you select must be of the same mind as you, a subject covered in great detail by Napoleon Hillin 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, people who share our vision and values.

Once you understand how to deal with habits you can start to rebuild your own activities into habits of success. 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 too. 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.