You can stay the way you are! – ?

The trainer has organized a transfer exercise in the seminar so that the participating manager can translate what he or she has heard and said to his or her working environment. Unfortunately, this transfer does not always work to everyone’s satisfaction. The manager takes it upon himself to change special points in his own behaviour, to organise himself more efficiently or to introduce new methods. But this often does not work as ideally conceived in the seminar. Then the environment was often “to blame”, which hindered  the application of new approaches. But that is only half the story.

Basically, I do not believe that further education can change personality. Very few seminars and training sessions are really suitable to effect profound changes in behaviour. An input of new concepts supplemented by discussions, exercises and role plays, paired with reflection, can achieve only a superficial effect on humans. Perhaps suitable impulses can stimulate participants to reflect. But make them change their behaviour? You need much more.

In order to bring about real changes in day-to-day management practice, you need a personal “continuous improvement process”. Here are the essential steps:

  1. You need a clear desire to change a particular behaviour. According to Duden, the word “will” goes back to the root “uel” “want, choose”, from which the adverb “well” originates.  So “wanting” and “well” probably belong together. But “getting to wanting” is often the biggest hurdle. For what we want and what would make us feel “well” do not always seem to be the same.
  2. Change means agreeing a “trial period” with oneself. In this way, mistakes are inevitable. Learning implies setbacks and recapitulations. Through self-feedback and self-knowledge I get to the bottom of my “mistakes”. The “contract with myself”, in which I observe my behaviour in terms of efficiency, works best. What will I achieve with this behaviour for myself, others, for the area I am responsible for? What how do I set the situation up, what responses do I trigger? It takes courage to hold a mirror up to yourself relentlessly.
  3. It helps enormously if the manager has a sparring partner with whom he can regularly talk about his successes (and failures) and from whom he can receive feedback (from outside). This can be, for example, a colleague on the same level whom the manager trusts, or a good friend. (The topic of “collegial trust” is described in detail elsewhere). Feedback from outside helps compare one’s self-image with that of others. Where there is a gap between the two, specific work is necessary, e.g. with personal coaching.
  4. A good trainer and coach supports self-exploration, e.g. by maintaining the necessary distance to topics and problems. With the help of professional counselling, as well as tasks and methods supporting self-knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and opinions hidden in the depth can be examined and worked on. On the one hand, the objective goal that the client wants to achieve with coaching will be in the foreground. But the human aspect is not neglected either. The manager learns to look at himself with a benevolent gaze, to evaluate and, where possible, to change.
  5. ­­­­It takes time and patience, because effective behavioural change goes hand in hand with changes in attitude. Taking time for yourself regularly for a few minutes a day, e.g. through meditation, yoga or other physical exercises, martial arts, mindful breathing and other consciousness-generating exercises support this personal change. To create a diamond, you need time and pressure, but not time pressure.

Everyone can and will stay as he/she is. But if previous leadership behaviour does not achieve the desired effect, only willingness to change, feedback and consistency will bring about the desired change.

Autorin: HFI
Übersetzung ins Englische: BCO


  • DuDarfst: Bildrechte beim Autor

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