The most common misconception in human capital management is that with enough effort and training, anyone can be changed. A widely held belief does not make it true, though.
It doesn’t matter how good of a manager or a leader you are, you cannot change people.
But don’t be discouraged. All hope is not lost. You still can influence them, help them — and encourage them to change. The decision to change, though, has to be made of their own accord.
What do you do with the knowledge that you can’t force anyone on your team to change? You might have an employee right now who is underperforming and you keep saying to yourself, “If I could change this one thing about them, they would excel.”
If you’re a leader who’s interested in helping people succeed, the key to changing behavior is to interact with employees in ways that will have a positive effect.
As a good manager or good leader, your employees need to do the things that must get done. The key to influencing them is acceptance.
3 Ways To Prompt a Decision to Change
Acceptance doesn’t mean accepting poor work or putting up with an employee who disrupts a positive culture. It does mean accepting a person’s unique personality, understanding how they are motivated and working with them from that starting place.
Once you start with this mindset, you can learn to relate to your employees to help create a change. Here’s how:
1. You can only see who a person truly is when you first accept them for who they are.
Having an ideal of a person is not seeing or accepting them; you are simply seeing what you want.
Instead, commit to seeing their unique skills, strengths, and take note of what they are capable of doing without turning it into a formal assessment.
No change happens until you can see a person clearly.
2. Spend time with them.