Ask any wellness consultant, and they’ll claim they know how to help you change your behavior, but few move beyond lip service, because few really know how to achieve the desired results.
That’s a shame—because, as someone who desires to get and stay healthy—there is nothing more important you can do than change your behavior—to stop the bad, unhealthy behaviors like smoking, eating fried foods, and excess sugars, and start more of the healthy behaviors like preparing your own food, and exercising at least 30 minutes every day.
Many of the ways we’ve been trained to change our behavior don’t work because they’re too complicated, and they rely on will power which has proven time and again to be ineffective. Until now….
Introducing ‘Influencer: The Power to Change Anything’
Influencer is a groundbreaking new methodology for behavioral change. Based on years of observation and research, it was developed by some of the brightest minds in managing change, including the folks who’ve been working with Steven Covey, the author of ‘The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’.
The greatest thing about Influencer? It really works! See the case study below.
Managing change the right way!
Years and years of Influencer research has revealed a simple formula for managing change:
- Clarify measurable results
- Identify one or two key vital behaviors you wish to change
- Diagnose why these behaviors are not happening, and then
- Marshal four more sources of influence to overwhelm the problems that will lead to the results you are seeking.
Choose at least four of the following The Six Sources of Influence are (1) personal (2) social, and (3) structural—and are affected by (a) motivation and (b) ability (simplified below):
|Personal||Make change desirable||Practice change|
|Social||Influence your peers||Provide resources and education|
|Structural||Provide incentives||Create cues and reminders|
The Six Sources of Influence
The first part of managing change with Influencer is to motivate people to change: you need to (1) make change desirable; people are going to resist it if they don’t want it. Then you need to choose a leader to (2) influence their peers; people travel in herds so it’s important that people respect your leader’s opinions so choose wisely. Then you need to provide incentives; people like to be rewarded for good behavior.
The second part of change of managing change with Influencer is to make sure people have ability to change: (1) practice the desired behavior; with practice people will change. Then provide (2) resources and education; people like to know why they’re changing their behavior. Finally (3)create cues and reminders; people have very short attention spans these days, and unless you stay in front of them, you can rest assured they will forget.
The beauty of ‘Influencer‘ is that it’s simple and accessible. You can clearly see this in action in the video case study: “All Washed Up”.
A real world experiment:
What does it take to get people to change? Every year, 100,000 people die in hospital acquired infections. People get sick at the hospital. One of the culprits is hand hygiene. If more people washed their hands, it could save lives!
In the video below, the folks at Vital Smarts took the toughest subjects: kids. Altogether there were 80 kids broken into groups. They gave them a challenging puzzle to put together, and then gave them a tempting distraction: cupcakes. The objective was to get the kids to wash their hands before they eat the cupcakes.
The desired vital behavior: “Getting kids to wash their hands before they eat the cupcakes”
Be sure to watch this video. You’ll see that 2 or 3 sources of influence alone are not effective. It seems like the kids invented every reason under the sun not to wash their hands: “I don’t wanna do it. My friend didn’t do . There’s nothing in it for me. I can’t do it. Can’t do it alone. I forgot.”
|Personal||Don’t want to do it||Can’t do it|
|Social||My friend didn’t do it||Can’t do it alone|
|Structural||Nothing in it for me||Forgot to do it|
“All Washed Up”: The kids aren’t washing their hands!
- As you can see in the video, the kids are told that there was a sick kid who touched the puzzle. That didn’t influence the group. The kids still made a bee-line straight for the cupcakes. Personal motivation was not enough.
- Then the hand sanitizer is moved closer to the puzzle with a sign that says: “Wash hands before you eat the cupcakes”. This is still not enough to influence the group. Even though they changed the environment, it was not enough.
- Then the kids practice washing their hands ahead of time, and you can see it beginning to work. With deliberate practice it starts to work.
- Then one of their peers, not even a leader, says: “Wash your hands”, and the change in behavior occurs. When you apply peer pressure with the other sources of influence, it worked!
Research has shown that if you combine at least 4, preferably more sources of influence, then the chances of success goes up 10 times. If you give people, even kids, the motivation and ability, they will change their behavior!
This is just one example of many. The possibilities for effecting positive change are limitless!
|Personal||Didn’t want to get sick||It was easy|
|Social||My friends did it||We all did it together|
|Structural||I got a cupcake||There was a sign reminding me|
“All Washed Up”: The kids washed their hands!
What’s the bottom line?
Influencer works. It’s simple, accessible, and proven.
Everyone should be learning how Influencer can be used to drive rapid and sustainable change.
Credits: “Influencer: The Power to Change Anything” by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler
Your turn: ‘What one behavior would you like to change?’
“If you could wave a magic wand, what are one or two behaviors that–if you were successful in changing them–would completely transform your life?”