July 5, 2016

Change Behavior with Five Simple Steps


Many of us want to cultivate change and growth, but think the process is too lengthy and arduous. Not necessarily.

I’d like to introduce you to an effective tool I’ve been using with professionals in coaching sessions and with teams in strategy meetings. If you want to change your individual and/or organizational behavior — not an easy but certainly an achievable objective — answer the following five questions and get going on a five-step action plan:

In order to accomplish goal X (boost my finances, strengthen my team, manage my time, reduce my stress, improve my fitness, update my brand, enhance my personal relationships, redecorate my home or office, advance my academic or professional development, step out of my comfort zone, raise my quality of life, etc. etc. etc.)

1. What do I need to START doing, that I am not doing now, to enable me to accomplish my goal?

2. What do I need to STOP doing, that I am doing now, that’s keeping me from accomplishing my goal?

3. What do I need to do MORE of in order to accomplish my goal?

4. What do I need to do LESS of in order to accomplish my goal?

5. What do I need to CONTINUE doing, that’s helping me to accomplish my goal?

If you’re working on a personal plan, you could write all of this out on one notebook page or even on one index card. I’m a firm believer in simple and straightforward structures to achieve success. If you’re facilitating this discussion with your team or family, you can have one poster-size sheet per question, and have each team or family member respond to the five questions.

Behavior change is about creating new, helpful habits, removing old, hindering patterns, and being consciously consistent in our thoughts, words and actions. This simple, yet sophisticated, five-step tool is ready for you to apply for maximum benefit — share your experiences in the comments below or reach out with any questions or ideas.

Lee Broekman is a communication coach and trainer. Her company Organic Communication, brings interactive, never boring, always edifying presentations and programs — focused on communication, collaboration and innovation — to your firm or organization.