Change And The Brain - Deepstash

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Why change is so damn hard, according to science

Change And The Brain

Change And The Brain

Our brain makes strong connections based on repetitive thoughts and actions in order to expend less energy. Change makes your brain diverge from those established connections, so it resists.

Constantly redirecting our natural tendencies, to new ones, our bodies eventually adapt and adjust.

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Why Change Is So Hard

Changing is necessary and takes energy but our brains tend to try to conserve energy as much as possible. So we have mental biases that influence our behaviors and make us shy away from opportun...

Make Change a Team Effort

 “Role Modelling” is one of the main factors behind successful change in organizations and consists of inspiring change by example.

While leadership will ultimately give you sign-off, the rest of the team will determine its success. So in an organizational setting, you must convince everyone of the necessity of change. 

Know Who You’re Dealing With

In a collection of individuals, one bad seed can kill all the hard work you’re putting in. You must understand who you are working with so you can tailor your message and actions so no one becomes a bad seed. To do this, sort your team in the following categories:

  • Fast Yes: those on your team and ready to work to implement the change.
  • Slow Yes: slightly skeptical but still open and can see the value in what you’re doing.
  • Fast No: quick to dismiss change but clarity and decisiveness can change that and turn them into strong supporters.
  • Slow No: look like they can be persuaded but have already decided against you and will stall and undermine. Here, convincing by example is the best route.
Pre-Contemplation

In this stage of change, individuals are aware of the behavioral change they desire; however, they have no conscious intention of altering their behavior. They may be strongly influence...

Contemplation

In this stage of change, an individual acknowledges the problem and begins an internal debate about pursuing change. A lot of time may be spent in this stage as many may not be ready to commit to changing.

People often get stuck in this stage going back and forth between measuring the benefits and costs of behavioral change. A thorough cost-benefit analysis followed by a troubleshooting session can be helpful here, especially if it is done in written form.

Preparation

In this stage of change, individuals commit to the intention of changing in the immediate future and have accepted the costs and benefits. What determines the success of an individual in this stage is their commitment to exploring, planning and insuring.

Set up contracts with yourself, by setting specific measurable goals, and detailing how you will accomplish the task at hand, including contingencies in order to stay on track. 

A Long, Hard Look in the Mirror

Apologies bring us face-to-face with the fact that we have something to apologize for, triggering a sense of guilt and shame. 

Saying sorry puts one’s shameful beha...

The Chance to Move Forward

When people focus on their core values, they seem to become more willing to sincerely apologize. 

By understanding the many barriers to an apology— the indifference to another’s pain or the fraying of a relationship—we can glimpse what’s holding us back from saying “I’m sorry” in a particular situation. 

From there, we have the opportunity to change course and let the healing begin.

How to Make a Good Apology

A high-quality apology has three elements:

  1. It accepts responsibility for the wrong and doesn’t even hint that outside forces, or the victim, caused the offender to do what they did.
  2. It’s unqualified. If the apology contains a “but,” it fails. There’s time later—after the injury has had time to heal—to bring up any qualifications that might be relevant to future interactions.
  3. It offers to make amends to avoid the transgression in the future.