Why No Change in Behavior?

By Web Editor | 04/09/2009 3:34:00 PM


Consultation with Inyu’s Jeanine O’Neill Blackwell

Jeanine O’Neill-Blackwell
Why can’t I get them to _____? You can fill in the blank with anything from your leadership wish list: get to work on time, pre-book or recommend products.

Why is the behavior not changing? Because telling, threatening, bribing and begging have no sustainable impact on what really drives behavior: our mental maps. Mental maps are our self-published guides to understanding how the world works—what’s important, what I should do, what I shouldn’t do. We draw our maps as we experience new things and learn our life lessons.

Mental maps will influence how different people look at the same situation differently. Two individuals working in the same guest-care role may have two very different mental maps regarding customers. One may see customers as needy, never-satisfied people. The other might see customers as holding the most valuable insights on how we improve our systems. Guess which one you will be coaching on guest care.

Understanding the mental map you are dealing with is the first step in creating change in others. If you want behavior to change, you have to shift the mental map. To change the mental map, create an opportunity for your team member to ask and answer the question, “Why?”

Telling isn’t going to work. Create an experience that allows them to discover the answer for themselves. Here’s an example of creating a mental map shift in what great customer care looks like from Tina Morschauser, owner, Rejuvenation Spa in Madison, Wisconsin.

“We give them an experience of great customer service. When a team member hits goal, we reward them with a gift certificate to a high-end restaurant (which we get in trade). We ask them to share the experience in our Daily Team Circle. We also budget $100 per year per employee for a service at a high-end salon/spa. They bring us a receipt, the brochure and a one-page review of the great and not-so-great parts of the experience.”

Jeanine O’Neill-Blackwell is the founder of Inyu Training and co-author of Hold On, You Lost Me! Using Learning Styles to Create Training that Sticks.




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