There is an important model in health care called the Health Belief Model. In the simplest terms it says that we act on what we believe, and unless our beliefs change, we cannot change to new behaviors. To start that process, we need to question the belief. First, we need to see the belief. Seeing is not so easy.
We act on what we see and what we expect. We expect that a red light at an intersection means we should stop, and that others will too. That is likely to be true, but we all have heard stories of accidents where someone did not stop. That person may even say, “I didn’t see the light.”
Years ago, I worked in an institution. While it was my goal to get people out, and I did, we also practiced things that did not make much sense. One night, I was walking around with the licensing inspector. We visited a large residence for seniors: two wings of men, and two wings of women. As we walked down a hall, one of the residents told us about his lady friend who lived there. We asked him, “Do you sit together at dinner?” He said, “No, men eat in a different room from the ladies.” I could not imagine why. What good reason could there be?
We accepted it. He accepted it. Soon after that night, it changed, but only because one person saw and questioned it.
Look around you. How many times do these thoughts come to mind?
- That person will never change.
- That’s the best I/we can do.
- That is the way everybody does it these days.
What if the person who you said would never change has not had the right training, the right coaching, or the right support? What if they are trying to do the wrong job?
What if there is another way already discovered somewhere else?
What if the way everybody does it is not getting the best results? Why can’t we try another way?
What do you believe, and what beliefs could you erase and replace with new possibilities in 2018?