Why is Change so Hard?
What can science tell us about why people resist change? What you can do to help your staff adjust? This course discusses how to utilize behavioral psychology techniques to help overcome resistance to change in yourself and in others.
Before we can embrace change, we first have to unlearn our old ways of doing things.
Why Behavioral Science?
In this course we are going to discuss why we all find it so hard to change and why it’s particularly difficult to create culture shifts within an organization.
To do this we are going to take an operant conditioning approach to the problem, which basically means we are going to take a behavioral psychology approach.
First we need to learn how we as humans:
• unlearn old behaviors
• train up new behaviors
• how to use rewards and reinforcements to maximize change adoption
Specifically we are going to learn:
• the most effective unlearning techniques
• what the process of change is really like and what to expect
• how to train yourself and others to embrace change over time
When you understand how behavioral change occurs, it becomes easier to not get frustrated with the pace of change. Always remember, your staff, as well meaning as they are, have to extinguish the old ways of doing things in order to adopt the new ways of doing things. Which means, they are going to go through an extinction burst or blow out, which I will describe later.
Failure to manage the extinction burst process is why most attempts to change the culture fail. Leaders don’t recognize that staff resistance is really just a manifestation of an extinction burst and so tend to give up too soon instead of seeing the collective staff blow out through to completion.
This knowledge is useful in a variety of situations. It’s the same process I teach in the anti-bullying programs I offer. It also helps you to understand and manage most of your interpersonal relationships.
This 1 hour course will provide participants with:
The most effective unlearning techniques.
What the process of change is really like and what to expect
How to train yourself and others to embrace change over time.
Topics covered include:
How to unlearn old behaviors
How to train up new behaviors
How to use rewards and reinforcements to maximize change adoption
The Science of Behavioral Unlearning
The key to understanding why it is so hard to get people to embrace change is to understand how we unlearn behaviors. It turns out we as humans unlearn the same way all animals unlearn things. To do this intentionally, there is really only one protocol that seems to work. It’s called “Extinguishing a Behavior.”
You eliminate the reward. This causes a behavioral escalation as the animal tries to get their reward back. If the reward continues to be denied, eventually the animal will escalate to the point the behavior becomes almost constant. This is known as an extinction burst or blow out. If the reward continues to be denied despite desperate attempts by the animal to get their reward back – they will eventually give up.
There are more than 7 decades of research into this topic and there have been no counter examples found. This is considered established science by behavioral psychologists. All behavioral unlearning follows this pattern. The only thing that varies is how bad the escalation, extinction burst or blow out is.
If you want to learn more – join this class and get all the information you need to move forward effectively.