Forbes magazine has identified “14 Bad Habits That Can Cost You Your Job” in THIS ARTICLE. They include things like procrastination, lying, tardiness, and poor e-mail communication. If you or your team have some of these I thought that helping you understand how habits are formed and the best way to change them could be worth your time.
“All our life is but a mass of habits,” William James wrote in 1892. “Most of the choices we make each day may feel like the products of well-considered decision making, but they’re not. They’re habits,” explains Charles Duhigg in his book, The Power of Habit. In this first of a series of 3 articles, you’ll find out how habits are formed. If you are not reaching the desired outcomes you want, it is probably due to habits you or your team have and may not even be aware of.
WATCH THIS: A short, 3 min video, on how habits are created. There are 3 parts to a habit. A cue, a routine, and a reward. It used to be that we focused on routines for behavioral change. With the newest neurological research we now know that focusing on the CUE and the REWARD is more effective.
KNOW THIS: Most of what we do is because of habits that we have that lead to the outcomes we are getting. Creating new habits uses large amounts of physical, emotional, and mental energy (your brain works hard to create new neural pathways). Finding and designing your formula for the right habits will make them automatic and your brain will literally have more time to devote to your organization’s more challenging and complex issues. Forming the right habits now will affect your ability to innovate and grow next year.
TRY THIS: Break your habits down into their components. If you wake up every day and turn on the TV and find yourself stressed and overwhelmed by 10am, it might be the cue of turning on the TV to watch the news that may be causing your mind to be focused on what is going wrong instead of what is going right. Books like Chip and Dan Heath’s, Decisive, talk about Trigger Points in the same way. What action are you taking that triggers the routine or action that occurs after that? What cue or trigger can you create that will trigger the action you’d rather take?
As a leader, your team and customers notice your habits. Are your habits ones that you want others to follow and create for themselves?