How Do You Bring About Change In Others?

How do you bring about change in others?

If you come here and think you will learn to manipulate others, you are wrong. In this article, we hope to give you some guidelines so that, if you so choose, you can bring about change in circumstances that involve not only you, but other people as well.

I’d like to start by recommending an interesting book: How to Make Friends and Influence People,  by Dale Carnegie. In this book you can find very good advice and very good techniques for bringing about change. The author wrote it in 1934; however, today, when we read it, we can still follow its recommendations. It is, without a doubt, one of the must-have books in our library.

The techniques at your disposal to encourage change in others are, according to Carnegie’s book:

  • Start the conversation with genuine approval and appreciation.
  • Point out the other person ‘s mistakes without being too direct.
  • Speak about your own faults before pointing out the faults of the other.
  • Have the other person defend himself “against the charges” and give his side of the story.
  • Praise the other every time there is a change or improvement.
  • Create and promote the other person’s good reputation by talking to third parties about the other person’s good qualities.
  • Use motivation and inspiration so that the other person can see their mistakes or mistakes as things that can easily be changed.
  • Make the other person feel happy with the decisions he or she has made; consider yourself lucky for the results achieved.

So, is it possible to bring about change in others? Of course that is possible! However, as is often the case, there are certain things that we should keep in mind. First, it’s not a matter of turning everyone in our lives into our test subjects; people who don’t think for themselves and who always have to say ‘yes’ to you. It is a matter of helping them or promoting a common good, never a matter of taking advantage of them.

Let’s use a simple example to help us understand this. We are in a relationship and our partner is very disorganized. We also have children of an age where they crawl and put everything in their mouths. In this situation, wouldn’t it be good to bring about or contribute to a change?

Some of you will say, “He was like that when you met him,” or, “If you don’t like it, you can get another man.” However, things are not so set in stone. The first measure is always to start a dialogue about change. It is important for the other to accept it and to understand the positive side of it. We are going to need both the consent and the help of the other.

Saying things like “you always leave everything lying around everywhere”, “you’re a slob” and “it bothers me if you just leave things somewhere” probably won’t prove very successful. Why not?

  1. Even the most disorganized person in the world cleans up sometimes, so it’s not “always”.
  2. It is not part of a person’s nature whether he or she is organized or disorganized. A person practices sloppiness, but this practice can be changed. We can not change who we are, but we can do to change what we do.
  3. Your feelings of malaise are your responsibility, not your partner’s. Don’t force them on the other person. Otherwise, the other person will discard any change you do make.

So how should it be? Collect reasons : if you are more organized, our child will be in less danger, we will be able to impress people who come to visit, you will find everything faster, our relationship will be better etc.

Once you’ve gotten approval, it’s important to establish a set of concrete measures to implement it. This is important because by doing this we move the agreement (to do the tasks in progress) into our memory. This makes them much easier to do. Moreover, with concrete tasks, the objective will be much easier to evaluate and reward.

Man thinks about how to bring about change in others

With small changes in our attitudes and words, in the way we express ourselves and the way we structure our message, we can help and contribute to change. In other cases, it will be necessary to set an example for others or even express your gratitude and highlight the small progress being made in the direction we previously agreed.

It is good to remember that in order to achieve the agreed goal, it is not good to just follow any strategy. By this we refer to strategies that are not very ethical, such as emotional blackmail. We also can’t say things like, “If you don’t do this, it means you don’t love me”; this is a disapproval. If you believe deep down that someone is doing something because they don’t love you, you should end the relationship, but don’t see it as a tool to manipulate them.

Finally, we offer you Dale Carnegie’s Rules for Happier Relationships, from his book How to Make Friends and Influence People :

  1. Don’t complain or reject anything without giving an explanation.
  2. Don’t try to improve the other. The most wonderful and transcendental changes in your life will be the ones you can bring about yourself.
  3. When you criticize, do it in a constructive way. Avoid saying things like, “You don’t do this like this”; instead, you can say, “You might as well do it this way.”
  4. Be grateful and observant; don’t ignore the small details.

We hope this article has been helpful to you. As always, we’d love to hear your comments and suggestions! 

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