Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Friday, August 14, 2020 10:44:14 PM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Changing Behavior

photo by

By
09th-Mar-2020       
Share
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Save
  • E-mail
  • Print
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Marty Nemko :
The following distills what most often helps my clients effect behavior change. While I frame it as what I do as a counselor, much of it should be useful in self help.
Build on one's genetics and upbringing
We're learning that ever more of our behavior is affected not only by our upbringing but by our genetics, from intelligence to behavioral flexibility, from self-control to political leaning. So my clients have made more progress when we attempt to remediate only the most essential weaknesses, for example, a tendency toward sloth.
Otherwise, we usually focus on developing goals and objectives that build on strengths and skirt rather than remediate weaknesses. For instance, let's say a person tends to get angry. Sure, I'll encourage the person to use tactics to reduce anger's effects, for example, when starting to feel anger, take a slow deep breath, remember the price that anger imposes, and maybe "go to the bathroom" to calm down. But we usually focus on identifying work, environments, and people that are less likely to trigger anger.
Aim to change behavior, not attitude
It's usually easier to effect behavior change than attitude change. Indeed, behavior change usually precedes attitude change. So, once clients have identified a desired change, for example, to be calmer or more assertive, I often ask them to imagine a movie in which the main character behaves that way and to describe the character's behavior during a typical day. Then I'll invite the client to, between sessions, pretend s/he's a person who behaves that way.
That approach is exemplified, perhaps surprisingly, in a song from the classic Broadway musical, The King and I:
I whistle a happy tune,
And every single time
The happiness in that tune
Convinces me that I'm
Not afraid.
Make believe you're brave
And the trick will take you far;
You may be as brave
As you make believe you are
Try here-and-now first
Usually, here-and-now is my go-to approach. In that, I help the client:
1.    Identify the desired change.
2.    Break it into baby steps.
3.    If it's a discrete task, for example, working on landing a job, I'll ask if s/he'd like to set a timer to do the task, for example, 9 AM Saturday, working for 20 minutes and 5 minutes off, 20 more minutes and 5 off, 20 more and ten off.
4.    Decide if it would help to give him or herself a reward for getting it done or a punishment for not. If so, I ask the client to select it.
5.    Identify blocks. I'll often ask the client if s/he thinks it would help to log feelings at each "moment of truth" when s/he wants to start the task as well as when s/he gets stuck.
6.    Troubleshoot. If an attempt to change behavior fails, in the next session, we figure out whether the change was too difficult, is the wrong change, the result of a tendency to procrastinate, etc. We use that information to revise the plan.
Use a cognitive-behavioral approach as backup
If here-and-now doesn't work well enough, I often try a cognitive-behavioral approach to help the client determine if an irrational fear is impeding the behavior change. If so, it's usually fear of failure, rejection, or embarrassment, perhaps caused or exacerbated by earlier trauma. My version of a cognitive-behavioral approach usually has four steps:
1.    To identify the person's psychological barrier, I'll typically ask a question like, "Pretend you're about to do the task and are feeling resistant. What's going through your head and heart?"
2.    I typically ask the client, "What would your wiser twin tell you to do in response to that?"
3.    If the "wiser twin" doesn't come up with anything the client feels has a good chance of working, I'll offer a suggestion and ask whether the client believes that would work.
4.    As with the here-and-now approach, if the client's attempt to change is inadequate, we troubleshoot.
Clients should fly solo as soon as possible. That's because whatever help a professional provides is diminished not only by sessions' cost and time but because using a counselor is disempowering, making the client feel s/he lacks sufficient self-efficacy. So when I sense a client would do well on his/her own, I ask if s/he'd like another session, to proceed solo, or with the help of a friend or loved one. If s/he chooses the solo or friend option, I reassure the client that if needed, s/he's welcome to schedule another appointment with me.
Discourage victimization. If a client wants to make activism about racism, sexism, elitism, homophobia, ageism, lookism, or trauma part of his or her life, fine. But if my client's goal is to improve their work or personal life, it's rarely helpful to focus on such externalities but rather to develop and implement baby steps toward improving their lives.
The takeaway
As always, no model fits all, but do you think the aforementioned, a variant thereof, or even one of its components are worth a try?
(Marty Nemko, Ph.D., is a career and personal coach based in Oakland, California, and the author of 10 books).

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

Cash incentive programme fails to reap benefits for ultra-poor


THE Parliamentary Standing Committee on Disaster Management and Relief Ministry expressed concern over the government's cash incentive programme for the rural extreme poor on Wednesday. Following the ninth meeting of the committee on Wednesday, the Chairman of the Standing Committee stated that the poor people were not benefited by the ...

City »

Outgoing Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Riva Ganguli Das calls on State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury at his office of the Ministry on Thursday.


.

International »

Lebanese MPs meet for first time since blast, US envoy due in Beirut


Reuters :Lebanese security forces deployed heavily in Beirut on Thursday, stopping protesters from reaching a conference centre where MPs began meeting for the first time since the catastrophic chemicals explosion last week that killed 172 people.Senior US official David Hale is expected in Beirut later on Thursday to stress the ...

Editorial »

Stealing money in chaos is easy but investment needs competent government


MEDIA report in a national daily on Wednesday said Bangladesh Bank's special fund for capital market investment is facing setback because of lukewarm response from banks which were to make the fund available from their money for funding the ailing bourse. The five year special fund of Tk 100 billion ...

City »

Bangladesh United Communist League forms a human chain in front of the Jatiya Press Club on Wednesday to realize its various demands including trial of corrupt people of the Health Sector.


.

Football »

Shakhtar, Sevilla advance into UEFA Europa League semifinal


Agency :Shakhtar Donetsk crushed hapless FC Basel 4-1 following a one-sided affair while Sevilla's Lucas Ocampos left it late to eliminate Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 in the UEFA Europa League quarterfinal on Tuesday.Donetsk needed no warmup time and broke the deadlock with just two minutes played as Marlos's corner kick allowed ...

Business & Economy »

Trump candidate for Inter-America bank accuses Argentina of 'obstruction'


AFP, Washington :US President Donald Trump's candidate to head the Inter-American Development Bank said Tuesday he has the backing of the majority of Latin American countries but accused Argentina of trying to "obstruct" his election, with the help of Mexico, Chile and Costa Rica.Mauricio Claver-Carone told a news conference that ...

Editorial »

Mere warning will not do if the corrupt ones remain unabated


MEDIA report said that the government has taken a move to rein in the soaring cost of development projects and the Planning Minister is going to hold a meeting with Secretaries of the Development Ministries and Planning Commission officials to find out ways how to plug corruption and misuse of ...

City »

Devotees of the Hindu community offer prayers on the occasion of Janmashtami. The snap was taken from the city's Swamibag Mandir on Tuesday.


International »

China accused of seeking to turn Taiwan into `the next Hong Kong`


Al Jazeera News :Taiwan faces an increasingly difficult position as China pressures the democratic island to accept conditions that would turn it into the next Hong Kong, its top diplomat told visiting US Health Secretary Alex Azar on Tuesday.Azar arrived in Taiwan on Sunday as the highest-level US official to ...

International »

Turkey says it will license new Mediterranean areas this month


Reuters, Nkara : Turkey will issue seismic exploration and drilling licenses in new areas of the eastern Mediterranean by the end of August and continue its operations in the region, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Tuesday, amid tensions with Greece.NATO allies Turkey and Greece are at odds over overlapping claims ...

Business & Economy »

India-Bangladesh ties, connectivity create new trade opportunities: Riva


Indian High Commissioner here Riva Ganguly Das on Tuesday said excellent India-Bangladesh bilateral relations and recent connectivity initiatives in railways and inland waterways created new business opportunities as these reduced trade cost between the two neighbouring countries."With resilient economies and robust business environment, both the countries will not only be ...

Business & Economy »

Emirates launches special portal for trade partners


Business Desk :Emirates has rolled out a brand new, state-of-the-art online gateway to serve its travel trade partners around the world.Tailored for each market, and personalised for each partner to cater to their unique business environment and needs, the Emirates Partners Portal is a one-stop shop for travel industry partners ...

Football »

Dortmund flexing their muscles, Sancho must stay


Borussia Dortmund are flexing their muscles in their efforts to keep England forward Jadon Sancho at the club.In the club's pre-season training-camp in Bad Ragaz, Switzerland, the 2012 German Champions sporting director Michael Zorc announced the surprising news."We plan on having Jadon Sancho in our team this season," Zorc commented. ...

Football »

Ronaldinho set for August 24 release


AFP, Asuncion :Brazil great Ronaldinho could be freed on August 24 following five months detention in Paraguay over a forged passport, judicial sources told AFP on Monday.The former Barcelona, AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain star was detained alongside his brother Roberto de Assis Moreira on March 6, accused of entering ...

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news