- Encouraging colleagues and partners to make a change can be difficult —no one denies this.
- When we ride the motivational wave, reframe incentives and identify goals, we increase our chances of success.
- Whatever you project, in turn you will create. Be an influencer.
It can be challenging to make changes in your approach to the job, even when you know that they’re needed. It takes energy, motivation, and planning.
As you surely know, encouraging colleagues and partners to make a change is even more difficult. You’re dealing with a whole different viewpoint, and then there’s the fine line between motivating and nagging. Pushing too hard can be damaging to relationships, and thus counterproductive. Also, nagging generally doesn’t work, and neither do motivational speeches.
I’ve written on change management before: Epic Change Management Relies on These 2 Little Words.
You have to acknowledge the fact that change comes from within, so your contribution has to come along with some motivation and interest that already exists in the person you’re looking to help.
#1: Ride the Motivational Wave
If a change is right for someone, they know it. They just might not be feeling motivated at a given moment. Your efforts will be much more fruitful if they come at a time when something happens to naturally motivate the other person, when their interest in change peaks. That’s when you can offer information on what you think is a positive move to make. Remember: Be a Doer, Not a Talker when it comes to influence.
Change is often made in response to some pain point that occurs. People are motivated to overhaul their spending habits right after tax season, for example. That high point of motivation is the time to start a new savings account or make an appointment with a financial planner.
So if you’re trying to encourage a colleague to use more technology, watch for situations they encounter where problems could have been avoided by the use of a digital tool. This is not an “I told you so” scenario.
For example, if a colleague has lost a client because their competitor was quicker with supplying requested market information, that’s a good time to show them how technology can give them instant access to relevant, organized information in a usable format.
#2: Reframe Incentives
A basic principle of behavioral psychology is the fact that we fear loss more than we crave rewards. So the prospect of losing something we already have is a more powerful motivation than the idea of future rewards.
When you discuss the use of technology with your (motivated) colleagues, try to point out what they’re risking by not adopting new tools. Remind them of the influence of the millennial demographic on how business works.
This generation has a marked preference and expectation for service that utilizes technology to be more efficient and accessible. Ask your colleague to consider the number of clients and leads that fit this demographic and the likelihood that their business will go elsewhere.
#3: Identify Goals and Issues
Having clear reasons for making change is essential. Along with good preparation, it gets us through the times when motivation is flagging. If you can help your colleagues to recognize the problems they’re encountering that would be eased with the use of digital tools, you can help to create and encourage that motivational wave.
Share your own experiences, show your colleague the results of using more technology tools in your own work. Use those tools in collaborative work to demonstrate their usefulness and give your colleagues some exposure to using them. This ties into the importance of a company culture that supports professional development and empowers the staff at every level.
The bottom line for me —and my complete belief— is that we mirror everything that we go through in our lives back to ourselves. So whatever you project, in turn you will create.
If you want the truth, be truthful. If you want to motivate, be motivating. If you want respect, be respectful. Whatever you project, you’ll receive from who you’re leading.