Do You Want to Encourage Change in Others? Try These 3 Things! by Kelli Porcaro

7 years ago

Do You Want to Encourage Change in Others? Try These 3 Things!

Have you ever noticed HOW you try to influence (or should I say make) someone change their behavior (i.e. kids, spouse, co-workers)? Most people will try to use one of three things.

  1. Facts: If you don’t clean your room dust mites will get in the carpet.
  2. Force: Clean your room now or else!
  3. Fear: The dust mites will crawl all over your face at night.

This typically does not result in long-term change. At the core, when people feel pushed, they resist or push back. To influence change, you need an emotional connection, otherwise known as empathy. But in the heat of the moment it’s hard to empathize! So grab your impulse to pounce and instead:

  • Shift your thinking and emotions.
  • Suspend judgment.
  • Be curious. Seek to understand. What’s obvious? What’s hidden?

Try it!

Chef Gigi
So in this case would I say something like: "Is there a reason you don't want to clean your room ? " and have a discussion ? She could come up with something like: I can't clean it because..... ( And I'll learn the real reason why? And take it from there? )
Kelli Schulte
Kelli Porcaro
Ahh...great question @chefgigi. To which I am going to say there is no one right answer! : ) But there are lots of options...and that certainly is one of them.

The idea here is instead of standing face to face pushing for your daughter to do something, you would stand shoulder to shoulder, side by side interested and curious in what she is thinking and feeling beneath the surface.

Of course there are times when there are hard and fast rules that they need to follow, but sometimes it's more interesting to have a conversation to find out what is going on inside that is leading to the resulting behavior (messy room, missing homework, lack of follow through, etc). How is she feeling? What's going on elsewhere that is influencing that feeling? What does the messy room represent? Is this an isolated situation, or is there chaos and disorder in other areas of her life? What's behind that?

The other thing about this example that I love is this. A lot of times, it's about us, as moms. We have our own agenda.I know for me, I want the room clean because in a way it feels like a reflection of me as a mom. Or maybe I run away with my thoughts (I do this all the time!) and think omgosh, when my daughter is married and living in her own home she's going to be featured on a new reality show called Messy Moms in the Midwest.

That's where I have to catch myself and pause. My kids have their own agenda too. So instead of REACTNG with facts, force, or fear, I need to INTENTIONALLY RESPOND by focusing on the moment, using empathy to connect with where my kids are today so I can better understand what is influencing their choices.

Long answer...but I hope that helps! Thank you so much for asking!!

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