How Do You Modify Behavior?

If you want to modify behavior, you have got to communicate what behavior modification you want.

Feedback is critical to changing behavior.  You need to be continually giving both positive feedback and feedback on areas of improvement to your managers if you want them to become better Leaders.

The fact of the matter is that the more feedback we get . . . the better we become.  Humans are just wired to think they are perfect, and we all have blind spots that we can’t see for ourselves.  It often takes someone who sees us in action to give us feedback so we can modify a destructive behavior before it takes us down.   

We all have a reputation, and we are pretty much responsible for what it is.  Actually we have many reputations.  We have one from the person that we got back to when we said we would . . . and we have another reputation with the person who we forgot to get back to.  I see so many people who have rigid personalities, and I know it all ends up with their not being very successful in their lives.  Most people who are not happy with their lives actually brought most of it on themselves with their rigid know-it-all, unwilling-to-change attitude.

Many of you have asked me how to handle a boss who needs behavior modification.  While often it is the “boss” who needs the behavior modification, that one is a little tricky.  I would start by making sure that your behaviors are in good form, and we can worry about the “boss” later. 

I have finally begun to learn that I can’t make people better leaders—that is their responsibility     . . . but I can help them by giving them feedback on their behaviors so they know how they are being seen by others.  

Hopefully I have gained their trust, and they will believe me when I do give them that feedback.  If there is one thing that you can do to help your career, I would say that it is understanding yourself and especially knowing those blind spots that you have.  There is no doubt that two people can see the same thing differently, but you don’t want to be too far out in left field.  Hopefully you are making it easy for those close to you to give you honest feedback, which is for your own good.   . . . Lee

  1. Hi Lee – My manager taught me on of the best lessons around receiving feedback. If it affects my performance and I can do something about it, then I need to hear it and act on it.

    Thank you for sharing your leadership experience, insights and tips for all of us.

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