“They’re NEVER going to change!” exclaim frustrated bosses/employees/coworkers.
This mentality is simply not true. People grow, evolve, change and improve every single day.
The challenge is, you can’t make someone change, but here are a few things you can do to help them along the way:
Be a Catalyst, not a Complainer. Many times people are completely unaware that they’re doing something that negatively impacts others around them. It’s up to you to have the Difficult Dialogue with them that requires both courage and evidence. Evidence should be presented in a way that puts you both on common ground and clearly states the impact of their negative behaviors.
For example, “We both want this team to be successful so we can win the marketing award this year. I’ve noticed something that might stop us from getting there. May I share it with you?…. Last week you dismissed several ideas during the meeting. When ideas are dismissed, people stop participating. If they stop participating, you will be the only one coming up, with ideas and we all know when we collaborate we come up with the best ideas.”
Give them Grace. Change doesn’t happen overnight. Often frustration comes when they’re not changing fast enough for your liking. Instead of judging them, help them along the way. Allow people time to change and grant them grace when you see them taking steps in the right direction.
There’s a caveat: There’s no magic time for how quickly a change should happen, but there are clues that the person is trying. If it’s completely obvious they aren’t working to make the change at all, then it’s time for you to move on.
The next time you find yourself frustrated by someone who continues to repeat behaviors that hurt you, your team or even their own professional growth, don’t wave your white flag and think they’ll never change. Instead, do something to help.
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