“Well, I was more aware of my behavior,” Terry reported.
“Asking questions is hard. I’m used to telling. Asking questions takes a lot of thought,” he continued.
“Remember to start with who, what, when, where, or (if you’re careful with your tone of voice) why, and how?” I encouraged.
“I had a lot of meetings last week; did pretty good, but blew it in a meeting with my junior staff.”
“What happened?” I pressed.
“The group presented their project report. I made the mistake of saying what I was thinking.”
“What did you say?”
“How the **** did this get past senior management?”
The four D’s of change
When comes to personal success everyone has self-limiting behavior. What limits your personal success? What behavior(s) hinders your influence with others?
Transformation takes time and must be supported. Here are four qualities that will help you tap into your ability and willingness to learn and change.
1. Desire – What do you want and how bad do you want it?
Imagine a slab of nougat topped with caramel and peanut bits all wrapped in milk chocolate. Can you see the Snickers candy bar? Rip open the wrapper. Sink your teeth into it.
What do you want now?
Desire is ignited by desperation. This is that end-of-the-rope, I’m ready place. “It’s time.”
Understanding enhances desire. You see it. You grasp what life could be like. The benefits of change are greater than the resistance.
Then, desire is given to those who ask. It’s a grace issue. You need help getting there. Everyone does. Where do you go for help?
Why the opposition to change? In addition to a lack of desire either a high pain tolerance or coziness with one’s comfort zone encourages living in the stuck place.
A strategy for change begins with desire … “I want it.”
2. Discipline – How will you get there?
Discipline is encourages self-control. As desire creates the hunger for change, discipline provides the systematic method or process to support the new behavior. Personal development demands intentional effort.
3. Determination – What you must do, you must do.
The resistance, while acknowledged, remains active. Awareness, desire, and discipline must be joined by resolve.
Remember Teddy Roosevelt’s 1910 speech, “Citizenship In a Republic” and that famous quote:
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
Desire. Discipline. Determination.
4. Delight – The joy of victory!
Think of a behavior change you’ve made in life. Remember how hard it was to be consistent in the beginning? Today, it is one of your positive behaviors. Celebrate!
The journey took you from dreading the change to desiring it; to exercising discipline with determination; and now, it’s how you show up. It is leadership strength.
You are enjoying the Snickers.
Terry saw his Snickers. He understands his communication habit of “telling” people what to do is limiting his influence. He wants to change. He has the tools. He is quite determined. It’s part of his leadership developmental plan.
He saw the Snickers, tore the wrapper, and took a bite. Delight!
What change do you crave?
Here’s to your Next Level,
Where do you desire to change? How will you get there (discipline)?