“Nobody gets muscles by watching me lift weights” Arnold Schwarzenegger

Sounds pretty obvious but we are all guilty at times of understanding a management or behavioural concept but find it difficult to put it into practice. How many times have we been on an instructive course or read an inspiring management book and afterwards changed nothing.

I remember some time ago listening to an audible version of Patrick Lencioni’s brilliant flagship book “The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team”. At times it was toe curlingly embarrassing as I heard descriptions of some of my own behaviours and how they could be destructive within the team environment. Perhaps even worse a former colleague, guilty of some of the unhelpful behaviours himself, declared the book to be brilliant (it was) and we should all try and change our behaviours where appropriate. He then carried on with his own unhelpful behaviours.

Similarly a little while ago I spent some time with an MD who had been to see Jim Collins of “Good to Great” fame. The superlatives flowed freely and no doubt he gained many invaluable insights from his day out. When I enquired what would have changed in 3 months time as a result of the time he and others had spent with Jim Collins a blank look crossed his face before he admitted that

14801438 - 3d people - human character, dumbbell . weightlifter . this is a 3d render illustration

nothing would.

This is not to take anything away from Patrick Lencioni or Jim Collins but more an illustration to indicate how simple a concept may be to understand but how hard it is to implement. Do we all need to do some ‘heavy lifting’ to change our less helpful behaviours? If only there were a simple way to change our behaviours when we wanted to.

Perhaps there is……

Firstly we need to understand the behaviours we either want or need to change. Perhaps we can get into the habit of asking clients, colleagues and family members how to be a better manager, colleague or husband/wife and father? How can we help them to be better at their job? Rather than defend or explain (which often is the case and discourages others from honest feedback) the best response is probably a simple thank you, sincere interest and possibly encourage further feedback . Sounds easier than it is.

This may help to understand how other people see our behaviours or traits or indeed as in my case, when I asked a colleague, “how can I help you do your job better?”, you may discover behaviours of which you were unaware.

Marshall Goldsmith, the worlds most renowned executive coach, recommends drawing up a spreadsheet of ‘Activity Based Questions’ relating to the behaviours you wish to change. Using a simple spreadsheet you can mark yourself, out of 10 say, giving you an average by the end of the month.

Personally I have never found self discipline easy, and I have at times found it difficult to follow a process. Following a life threatening illness though this simple routine helped me on the road to a full recovery and also led to the discovery of some irritating habits which I hope I have eradicated.

If you wish for further information call me on 07525 857389 or email me on ricbandrews@gmail.com


Who am I? A chap living in Nottingham, United Kingdom who perhaps has a much higher level of enthusiasm than ability leading to an interest in many things but mastery of none. A father of three no longer dependent children, or so they tell me, and husband to a one-time nurse who now works with me (or rather I work for). I attempt to take photographs and occasionally fluke half decent shots though thank goodness I no longer have to buy film. I endeavour to practice karate but with advancing years spend more time instructing them participating but actively participate in the more gentle tai chi. Professionally I have spent the last twenty years in recruitment – not always the most highly regarded ‘industry’. For my part I take great pleasure in helping companies to find the right people and a lot of satisfaction out of seeing them thrive and succeed. More recently I have spent a lot of time helping people who have, or fear they may, lose their jobs. For many putting a CV together is so difficult and then finding opportuniteis can be a major challenge. Interviews can be a different problem altogether but with a little help most people can perform a lot better than they otherwise would.

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