Making the Shift from Knowing to Doing

Has there ever been a time when we’ve had more access to good information about leading and managing people? Probably not.  Has it changed the way the majority of managers are leading their people?  The jury is still out on that one.

What gets in the way of managers making the shift from knowing to doing?  In their book Know Can Do! authors Ken Blanchard, Dick Ruhe, and the late Paul Meyer, identify three big reasons why people don’t put more of their good ideas into practice. See if any of these rings true for you.

  • Too much knowledge
  • Too much negativity
  • Bad habits

To overcome these roadblocks, the authors recommend three strategies—a “less is more” approach, positive—instead of negative filtering, and spaced repetition with active coaching.

  • Less is More. Before you can take a step, you have to decide on a direction.  Don’t become paralyzed wondering if there might be a slightly better idea out there.  The key is to move from analysis to action.  Which diet works best for you?  The one you stick to!
  • Avoid Negative Filtering. While it is important to evaluate an idea from different perspectives, make sure that you are not letting a “why that won’t work” mentality keep you from moving forward.  What’s easier for you?  Seeing the reasons why something will work, or the reasons why something won’t work?  If you tend to see the negative first, practice seeing the positive side as well.  It will help you get started with taking action.
  • Repetition, Repetition, Repetition. There is no substitute for just doing it.  Take action—evaluate the outcome—adjust accordingly—repeat.  You’ll be surprised how much you will accomplish once you set yourself in motion. 

At its core, behavior change is a personal process. Any real change has to start by addressing the beliefs, limitations, and thought processes going on inside of a person.

Today, the gap between knowing and doing is probably wider than the gap between ignorance and knowledge.  Close that gap in yourself and your organization by identifying and resolving the three challenges.  Make the shift from knowing to doing.

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