Changing habits is simple, but not easy. It is simple: you can simply decide to stop or start with something. It is not easy: it will require time, discipline and perseverance before it is ingrained as a new habit.

Just imagine that you are being paid to do your job and not necessarily to handle email. Email can be one of the tools that will make your job easier. You do realize however that you spend too much time handling email. So, one brave morning, you decide to stop doing email the whole day and start doing more work. From now on you will handle email only once a day. Easy decision, right?

If you’ve ever tried to cut back on email, then you know how difficult it is to not look into your email every now and then. Somehow this simple tool works like a big shiny magnet and we continuously want to know if there is something new delivered to our inbox.

The example of changing your email habits is a simple one, but it highlights how hard it can be to change a simple habit. Changing more constructive habits therefore requires a magnitude of effort. Adding structure or processes and working with an accountability partner are two elements that can help you to enforce lasting change to existing habits.

Last week, when I wrote about “Building a team for measurable improvement“, I mentioned how coaching will help to ensure measurable improvement in a team’s performance.

In the Stakeholder Centered Coaching methodology we follow a process whereby you will work with your coach and with your stakeholders. This leads to multiple benefits. You will improve and change habits and it will happen within the context of your organization, thus the whole organization will benefit. When involving your stakeholders, every involved stakeholder will act as an accountability partner as well.

The Stakeholder Centered Coaching methodology is also applicable to teams and cross organization collaborations like strategic alliances. Within a collaborative environment the stakeholders will be involved from within the team, and from the partner(s). It will improve the whole collaboration within the team or partnership and it will put your collaboration on steroids.

Whatever habit you are trying to improve by adopting change, prepare for setbacks. Progress will not be linear, it might very well be a progress of two steps forward, one step back. Motivation and perseverance combined with help from the right accountability partners and stakeholders will help drive the intended change and will lead you to rewarding benefits!

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