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How To Change Someone

Posted by Jody Urquhart on Wed, Feb 24, 2016 @ 06:38 PM

guest speaker on conflictYou cannot change someone who refuses to bend in your direction. However, sometimes people can be swayed if they see the value in the change for them. 
People will only change if it's to their benefit, not yours. Ultimately, if you want someone to change, you have to be armed with and know what advantage there is for them. 
There is something about the difficult behaviours that people participate in that serves them, meaning they get something out of it.  The change will have to be because it helps them and will support their future. 
Understand where difficult behaviour or attitude stems from. Most difficult people aren't being narly because they are trying to hurt you. It's really because the power of the behaviour serves the person, and is so strong that they haven't found a way to let it go. 
It's not the change that scares someone, it's giving up control. Addictions, habits and behaviours help people feel secure. When your spouse loses control because the roast is overcooked, it is because the outburst makes him feel more in control. For that person, the fit of rage is all they've ever known as a way to cope.
How can you help the person feel in control in these conflict situation? If someone is difficult, it helps to find ways to help them gain control, without giving in to them. 
Some suggestions:
Make it their idea.
Let them control timelines.
Make the message about you, not pointing a finger at them. For example, you could say, honey, when you blow up when we are out, it really makes me uncomfortable. It does make me feel really good when you try and do better.
Nobody wants to change when they feel attacked, so take away or soothe individual threats, where possible.
Create a comfortable environment where difficult people won't feel threatened to talk about their reactions.
Never try to negotiate with someone when they are in the fit of anger, wait until tempers have dropped.
Approach the subject with an open, caring attitude.
Recognize a persons strengths and good qualites right up front, to disarm them. 
Specifically state how their behaviour, response or reaction has underminded you or your team. Let them understand their impact and that you are aware of their damages.
Ask for change. Be specific.
Get confirmation.
We are only going to change when we feel loved, supported, calm and accepted. In a moment of anger, we don't feel any of those things. 
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