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Why changing is so difficult

Behaviour changes are difficult and almost always take longer than we think they will. Dr. Kelly Goldsmith of the Kelogg School of Management has found out why people give up and has found five causes. If you can see these causes before they become causes, you can use them to increase your chances of successfully and positively changing your behaviour.

1. Ownership
One of the classical mistakes we can make in developing leadership and executive coaching is to say: ‘Here is your solution!’. To achieve successful and positive changes in behaviour, personal ownership is essential. Only you can make the changes happen. The bottom line being: No one can do this for you.

2. Time
We’ve got the tendency to be optimistic when setting goals for change. Behaviour patterns have worn in for decades. You can’t change this in just a few months. Take about 50% extra time than you had planned to achieve your goal.

3. Difficulty
Time and time again, we prove not only to take too little time but also to underestimate the difficulty of the changes.

4. Distraction
Try to plan ahead with your ‘distractions’. Business has never been faster or more hectic. Hectic has become the new ‘normal’. If you don’t factor this in, you get sucked up in the chaos, which makes change difficult.

5. Maintenance
Changing behaviour is almost never a ‘quick fix’. It needs hard work, perseverance and then it still wouldn’t fix all of the problems. Even if you have changed, you often have to maintain them over the years.


By Paul Donkers

"my purpose is to help improve strategy execution, to create high performing teams and coach for effective business leaders"

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