I just got back from a presentation by Al Switzler, one of the authors of “Crucial Conversations”, “Crucial Confrontations”, and “Influencer” and now “Change Anything: The New Science of Personal Success.” I have to say, I was impressed (and that usually doesn’t happen with presentations).

While I have not yet read the book, the information presented today was very thought provoking and more importantly, actionable. This is not always the case with business or personal help books. The concepts and ideas that Switzler discussed were real and I could see how they applied.

A few key ideas from the presentation:

“Lots of people do research about people, but almost nobody does research about you. You need to be come both the scientist and the subject.” Think about it, you are rarely the subject of a research experiment and even then you would probably be one of many. This idea is simple – look at your life with the eye of a researcher – what works for you, how do you behave in these situations, what motivates you? Then be the subject of your own experiments – try different things to see what makes a difference for you.

“Do you pass the commitment test. You need to be able to vividly and passionately articulate why you want to change. If you can’t do that, change will most likely not happen.” In other words, we need to make it real to ourselves both cognitively and emotionally. The words we use to explain why we need to change need to be “vivid” and we need to talk about them “passionately.”

“We often think of failure to change as a lack of willpower. It really has many more facets than that.” Switzler explains that they found six sources of influence that impact the likelihood that change will occur. These are:

  • Personal Motivation (i.e., our will – what we want and how badly we want it),
  •  Personal Ability (i.e., the tools and skills we have to acheive our desires),
  • Social Motivation (i.e., the influence that those close around us have on our behavior),
  • Social Ability (i.e., do those people close to us act as enablers of good or bad behavior),
  • Structural Motivation (i.e., the influence that structural factors play on our behavior),
  • Structural Ability (i.e., how well you control your environment to help you achieve your goals).

I am looking forward to reading the book and giving you an update when I’m done….