If you missed last week’s blog ‘The One Question You Should Ask Everyday’ go back now, take a read through and meet us back here when you’re done. If you’re up-to-date welcome back!
This is part two of a four-part blog series on Dr Marshall Goldsmith’s seminar “What Got You Here, Won’t Get You There” that was hosted by The Growth Faculty last month.
Sometimes, environmental and psychological stimuli push us off the path to becoming the person we want to be, thats where Dr. Marshall Goldsmith enters the scene. He has been coaching executive leaders and corporates for years on overcoming “triggers” and working with them to develop plans to lead meaningful lives, change unwanted behaviour and get back on the path to becoming better people.
So, what is a trigger? According to Dr Goldsmith, a behavioural trigger is any stimulus that impacts our behaviour. You’re walking behind someone and they aren’t moving fast enough so you speed past them aggressively or, an individual sitting next to you in the restaurant is chewing loudly which prompts you to turn and give them a stare down. Maybe it could even be a co-worker that works late in the office so you log more hours too. We’re guessing you’re not too proud of the way you handle unwanted triggers? Here’s the thing, triggers will always be around us so it’s in how we change the reactive behaviour to these triggers that put us on the path to becoming the person we want to be. Changing the human behaviour is complex however and involves many layers. One of those layers starts with the reason we tell ourselves why we act the way we do and an excerpt out of his book.
Goldsmith identifies 15 reasons why we may be justifying our behaviour and why we are unable to get past the triggers that prompt an unwanted behaviour, they have been taken directly from his book “Triggers” and include:
1. If I understand, I will do – You may think you understand the concept but knowing and do-ing are two separate things. (pg15)
2. I have willpower and won’t give in to the temptation - We have an abundance of overconfidence, but our environment offers plenty of moments to falter and we shouldn’t underestimate it. (pg15)
3. Today is a special day – It’s all about instant gratification and excuse that ‘glass of wine’ or ‘piece of cake’, but let’s look at the long game. (pg16)
4. At least I am better than… – In moments of weakness we give ourselves a free pass (pg17)
5. I shouldn’t need help or structure – We presume that we are better than people who need structure and guidance. (pg19)
6. I won’t get tired and my enthusiasm will not fade – We think we will start getting better tomorrow. There’s no urgency to do it today. (pg19)
7. I have all the time in the world – Let’s just say Dr Marshall Goldsmith has been promising himself to read War and Peace for forty-three consecutive years. (pg18)
8. I won’t get distracted and nothing unexpected will occur – Do you plan your day around say a flat tire? Or accident or stalled traffic not typically but the odds of these occurring are actually very high. (pg19)
9. An epiphany will suddenly change my life – more often than not an epiphany triggers magical thinking. (pg20)
10. My change will be permanent and will never have to worry again – We set a goal and mistakenly believe that in achieving that goal we will be happy. (pg21)
11. My elimination of old problems will not bring on new problems – This belief triggers a fundamental misunderstanding of our future challenges (pg22)
12. My efforts will be fairly rewarded – From childhood we are brought up to believe that life is supposed to be fair. (pg22)
13. No one is paying attention to me - We believe we can lapse into bad behaviour because we think no one is watching. (pg23)
14. If I change I am “inauthentic”- sometime we refuse to adapt our behaviour to new situations because “it isn’t me” (pg23)
15. I have the wisdom to asses my own behaviour – We are notoriously inaccurate in assessing ourselves (pg24)
That is a lot of excuses one can make to justify behaviour to triggers. Here’s the thing though, a trigger is just a trigger until we react to it. When it comes to our behaviour, Goldsmith says – we always have a choice. You always have a choice.
If you want to read more about Dr Marshall Goldsmiths book “triggers” you can find it on amazon.com or on his website www.marshallgoldsmithgroup.com. It is a fantastic read and we highly recommend it.
If you’re interested in attending any of the Growth Faculty events take a look at our Education section on our website. www.thegrowthfaculty.com.au
Next week we will take a look at Goldsmith’s strategy behind FeedForward how we should be looking at providing insights into the possibilities of the future and not what has happened in the past.
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