Overcoming Obstacles to Behavioral Embedding

Now that our son is grown and out of the house, it’s great when my three little nieces visit so I can get my “kid fix.” But talk about problems with coaching and up-skilling! My husband is forever reminding me to use my management skills to get the little one to stop smearing gravy on the tablecloth and the oldest to turn off the light and go to sleep. We have the ability, whether with kids or with clients/members/teams, to effect Behavior Change.

Here are some guidelines:

When you are asking someone to do a behavior they haven’t done before or are not comfortable doing, make sure they’re absolutely Clear about what you expect them to do, Capable of doing it (at the very least, you’ve shown them how), and Motivated to do it (with goals and/or incentives).

Don’t let time management issues prevent behavioral embedding. Let’s face it. Every manager is well intentioned, but life gets in the way. You plan on role playing with your teams, or helping them on some upskilling, but clients have issues you need to deal with and employees have urgent (not always important) tasks they need help with. So Time Lock, Prioritize and Batch Process your work for efficiency, so you have time to embed those desired behaviors.

Avoid emotional reactions. Expect that team members may be resistant to your coaching, but take it in stride, regardless of how rude or offensive you perceive the little darlings to be.

Enlist all levels of management in the Behavior Change process down to the branch manager who has the biggest opportunity to effect change and is closest to our clients and members.

And, last but not least, do the hard stuff first. As my dad always said to the children he had to supervise (and his clients), “Eat your onions in the morning!”

Your thoughts?

Melissa Marvin is the Performance Results Network Director for Community Banks and Credit Unions at Cohen Brown Management Group, Inc.

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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