To Get Your Team To Embrace Change, Reverse The Alphabet!

change, behavior change

Many people in my part of the world will say they “love the change of seasons.” For a change of pace I’ll say, “Let’s eat dinner at the park.”  I always get grilled chicken salad for lunch, but yesterday I changed up and ordered tuna.  Changing into my jeans after work feels great!   I’ve been known to change my hairstyle and color more than once a year.

Change is good!  Change is stimulating!  Change keeps you going, vibrant!  Okay, right. So when you tell your team about change, why don’t they all say, “This is great!  I’m ready to change.”?

Things change.  It has taken millions of years to populate the earth with the current numbers, and it won’t take long to double that.  With more people, comes more thinking, and with more thinking comes more change.  We need to face it – change is inevitable.

So when you must lead change, how do you make it appealing to your team?

A friend has a great technique.  She knows that the typical “A-B-C” approach doesn’t work, that being:  explain the Actions someone needs to take, then incorporate the Behaviors (such as patience, empathy), and then provide the Concept with benefits. The reality is the listener will not hear B and C because they are so hung up on the actions.

My friend reverses it.  She goes C-B-A.  Provide the Concept along with the benefits, then the Behaviors needed, and only then the Actions needed to accomplish the goal.  By the time she gets to the Actions, her listeners are right there with her.

Try it!  It really works!

And don’t forget.  Even when your teams embrace change, make sure it sticks.  Follow C-B-A with creative behavioral embedding techniques.

Cynthia Whitmer Griffith currently serves as Performance Results Network Results Consultant for Community Banks and Credit Unions at Cohen Brown Management Group, Inc. Cynthia works with clients to assist them in establishing and growing a culture of World-Standard sales and service.

For more information on how you can successfully lead and embed change in your organization, visit, or write me at

Cohen Brown Management Group is the internally recognized leader in sales-and-service cultural and behavioral change, specializing in consulting and training processes for management, front-line, support/customer service units and call centers. Performance Grapevine provides thought leadership insights on sales training, sales management, leadership training, time management, consultative selling, behavior change, organization change, and culture change.


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