Change

“How do you encourage people to change?”

It’s a question that I’ve been posed more than once. It’s a difficult question to address… entire books have been written on the subject of change. So I won’t pretend to be among the many out there who have researched the subject at length and offer my own simple view on this subject with humility.

Change occurs when an individual accepts that the value of changing is greater than the risk it poses.

That’s it. Expressed as an equation it seems painfully simple…

likelyhood of change = value / risk

There are only two variables then that one can influence to encourage change – one can increase value or reduce risk. Likely the answer is somewhere in the middle.

The hard part of course is that each person has their own view on value and risk – making it difficult to say that there’s one way to address the equation meaningfully and skillfully for many. I think that’s likely what all the books and research on the subject are on about. Here’s the shortest version of the book I would write on this: You need to roll up your sleeves and talk to people and ultimately accept that they may not be able or willing to share with your what they value or what they fear.