Last year, as the result of coaching, you’d identified some behaviours you wanted to change. To be honest, you’d never really give much thought to this stuff, but your spouse, boss, and best friend kept nagging about you losing your temper over nothing. For a few months, all went well and you were pleased with the results but over time, you got sidetracked with something else.
But this morning, on the way to work, you were involved in a ‘road rage’ incident that really scared you. If you weren’t careful, you might kill someone or even get killed yourself. Time to dust off some of the things that you learned during coaching! But just as you’ve got started, your boss storms into to your office (or cubicle) and accuses you of something that you clearly did not do.
He’s done that before. This is so unfair. You refuse to stand for it and quit on the spot.
On the way home, you hear something on the radio about a book named Triggers (available from Amazon) written by a guy called Goldsmith.
Could this be why it all went wrong?
The 15 ‘Belief’ Triggers that stop positive change in its tracks:
- Confusion– just because you realised that you needed to change (along with the reasons why and the benefits to be expected) never meant that you would do it.
- Overconfidence– just because you’re convinced that you have the necessary willpower to do what’s needed (you did quit smoking, after all) doesn’t mean that you won’t give in to temptation when it sneaks up on you from behind like your boss did today.
- Indulgent inconsistency– and on your birthday too – well, he (your boss) deserved it and will regret having been so horrible to you – you’d not have reacted the way that you did if it hadn’t been your special day.
- Immunity – it may not have gone well with the boss but it could have been worse – a couple of years ago someone got really angry and punched him in the nose. Quitting is much better than dismissal with cause.
- Exceptionalism– that coach did mention that you needed to practice calming techniques every day but hey, that’s for other people, right?
- Depletion– if you’d been sleeping better, this wouldn’t have happened – but with the new baby (or puppy or noisy neighbours) and all that…well, why is life so difficult?
- Procrastination– OK, to be honest, you’d been putting off practicing those calming techniques – and maybe things would have turned out better if you had been – but there’s always tomorrow – yea, that’s it – you’ll start with those techniques tomorrow.
- Unrealistic expectations – no one in their right might could have predicted that your boss would behave so badly right after you’d had that road rage close call – when it rains, it pours.
- Epiphany – so unfortunate that you’d just had your epiphany this morning – before you’d had a chance to get back on track.
- False sense of permanence – if only the changes you’d put into place six months ago had lasted – they should have done – but they didn’t – how unfair that you should have to continue to work at them.
- Future challenges – just when you’d got that new promotion as the result of having implemented those changes six months ago, it all went wrong – how could you possibly have known that the new job would be more demanding than the old one especially with the new baby at home…
- Resentment – your boss really should have been more appreciative of the changes you’d already implemented six months ago – at the time he’d seemed pleased enough but then he just kept demanding more and more – it’s not fair.
- Isolation– you were just sitting quietly in your own office (cubicle) minding your own business and privately nursing the wounds inflicted by your earlier road rage epiphany – and then your boss jumped you.
- It’s just the way that I am – to be honest, you’ve always been a little hot-headed – and what’s wrong with that? At least it has kept others from imposing themselves on you – in fact if you’d not done that coaching and tried to be something that you’re not (i.e. calm and collected) this wouldn’t have happened.
- Objectivity – by the way, who were all those people (best friend, your spouse, and your boss) who said that you needed to change anyway – aren’t you the best judge of your behaviour? Of course, you are and besides, you aren’t angry as often as are least 75% of the people in your office – no, if you were to be honest, you’re calmer and more collected than 90% of the people you (used to) work with. It’s the office environment caused by hot-headed bosses like yours (or at least bosses like you used to have until this morning).