Changing Unhealthy Behavior Isn’t Impossible. We May Just Need To Try A Different Approach: “Three Keys To Change” by Alan Deutschman

I was listening to one of the audio links for my wellness coaching class today and the lesson was on change talk. Every so often when listening I’ll have a ‘aha’ moment.  Today’s moment came when the instructor was talking about change and said, “People aren’t resistant to change.  People are resistant to being changed.”

The concepts that I’ve learned from the coaching course are vastly different than those that I learned over the years of being a fitness instructor,
trainer and program director (and I could easily add and mom and wife to that list).

Changing Unhealthy Behavior Isn’t Impossible. 

The wellness coaching experience allows the coach to approach people on a completely different level.  We take off our “I’ll show you what you need to do” hat and lead people through an experience of self-discovery that rarely, if ever, calls upon the coach to tell them how it should be done or talk about how we – the expert – would do it.

Do you have people in your life that you’d like to change? 

I’ll bet we all have had at least one person that we have viewed as our ‘project’.  We recognize they have some really great attributes, but . . . . . if only.  We might want to change them a little or they might require a complete do-over.

How successful were you in getting them to change?

If your change talk includes the three F’s:

  • Fear – “Those cigarettes are going to kill you.”
  • Facts – “To lower your cholesterol you’ll need to give up the cheeseburgers and eat more vegetables and whole grains.”
  • Force – “If you don’t lose some weight, I’m leaving!”

You may not be having the success you’re hoping for.

Through the wellness coaching process I’ve learned that there is a lot more to change than fear, facts and force. Plus now I know that while I might be able to help someone change they have to do the actual work.  And, as hard as it is to admit, some of the strategies that I’ve used to promote change may have increased their resistance to it.

If you have someone that you feel needs to change, whether it is to lose 20 pounds or stop smoking, learning a new approach may help bring about the shift you’d like to see.

Learn Why Fear, Facts and Force Don’t Work

There is an amazing article called “The Three Keys to Change” by Alan Deutschman who wrote the book, “Change or Die.”  For anyone that wants to understand more about their own struggle to change or you have a loved-one that is resisting all of your great advice, it’s a must read.