TAKE THE TWO-WEEK CHALLENGE
Published by GoldenProfessionalCoaching.com
Marshall Goldsmith is the master of behavioral change. In his book called “Triggers, Becoming The Person You Want To Be.” Goldsmith suggests, can we increase our motivation, demonstrate commitment, focus on positive action and reinforce the idea that goals are achieved incrementally by asking ourselves daily active questions that help inspire us to work toward our goals.
What is the two-week challenge one might ask?
To understand the challenge, we need to understand the concept of a Trigger. Inside of each of us, there is a leader who always wants to behave appropriately no matter what the environment. Yet certain environments cause us to be followers and inappropriately behave when faced with a Trigger. Consider when you last encountered an unpleasant trigger. An embarrassing moment occurred to me when I called the school and asked to speak my child’s teacher. The secretary informed me that the teacher did not take phone calls. I explained that she had told me I could call at any time. The secretary insisted all she could do was leave a message for her to call me. When I did not receive a return phone call for two days, I was exasperated. I contacted the school secretary again, and instead of calmly thinking of what circumstances may have prevented a return phone call, I got very irate. That is not my typical behavior and certainly did not win me any favors in the long run.
Thus, we can consider the definition of Triggers to be stimuli that prompt a behavioral reaction. They can be beliefs, behaviors, or environments. Identifying your Triggers is useful in all your interpersonal relationships whether at home or the workplace. Being able to work consciously and proactively with Triggers in today’s ever-changing environment, and knowing how to identify, anticipate and adequately respond to them is critical to career success, strengthened relationships, and becoming the best version of one’s self.
The typical cycle for a Trigger looks like this: Trigger – Impulse – Response
To create behavioral change, we must take a moment and become self-aware of how we are feeling and what a proper response should be to this moment. We make many excuses for ourselves to misbehave. In the end, we are the only ones that can change our behavior. We have to decide to change and be accountable for our results
“Between a TRIGGER and our response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. It is in our response that lies our freedom and growth as leaders.” Victor Frankl
When we add two additional steps to our Trigger response process, we can find our freedom from circumstances.
Trigger – Impulse – Self-Awareness – Choice – Response
Marshall Goldsmith’s program of accountability requires us to ask ourselves (or have someone ask us), a series of engaging questions that are designed to incite a feeling of personal responsibility and demonstrate effort. Asking oneself a specific set of questions each night reflects a dedication to behavioral change. It also provides a mechanism for receiving feedback on current practices. The real key to the queries’ effectiveness is having another person, such as a friend or loved one, respond to the answers and challenge any trouble spots to determine if there is a causal link between behaviors and an environmental factor.
Marshall Goldsmith recommends that we begin at a minimum with six active questions listed in his book. He also advises us to add specific issues that relate to the critical goals in our life and or career. What is important to note here is the development of these questions. Questions that say, “ I have done my best to listen to my staff” are a passive question and give the leader an out. All inquiries should be formatted in an active voice. This question should be formatted to read; I set aside one hour each day to listen to my staff’s needs.
The Two-Week Challenge
This week I was fortunate enough to offer a workshop on Triggers to the Retail Value Chain Federation (RVCF.com) at their spring conference. We spent about two hours discussing the topic and then agreed to ask ourselves our own set of eight to ten questions every day for two weeks. We determined we would rate ourselves 0-10 on each question each day for two weeks, and at the end of each week, we would average the questions to see if we had improved. Why two-weeks you might ask? It takes a minimum of two-weeks to form a new habit.
Watch for more feedback on how we did.
“THE ONLY PERSON YOU ARE DESTINED TO BECOME IS THE PERSON YOU DECIDE TO BE!”
Ralph Waldo Emerson