Saturday, January 10, 2009

Are You a Change Agent?

I have been trying to help people change things for a very long time. This means that I am an expert at failure. Yep, failure. Plans and intentions to change people never survive the first battle. Why? Because Seekers have their own objectives and their ideas about if and what to change.

Change is hard. If that were not true we would not be seeing commercials for weight loss programs every five minutes on TV. Half the people in Outback Steak House just came from a weight loss class and are eating to deal with their lack of losing weight.( My joke.)

If you are in a position of helping people change it is helpful to learn about the things that help and the things that hurt your efforts. In other words, you and I need to CHANGE the ways we try to help people CHANGE.

If you are interested you need to read my book Hope and Change for Humpty Dumpty and keep reading these posts on change. Preachers, teachers, parents and sales people can all benefit to say nothing of counselors. Here is the first hint.

The change must be desired by the Seeker not just by the Helper or the Seeker's family. Helpers often try to please themselves or a family member and miss the central fact that the Seeker must decide to change himself before anything positive happens. Have you ever said, "If only they would listen to me they would be OK." I have.

This boils down to the old saying, "God loves you and I have a plan for your life."

So, what to do? Listen carefully to what the person wants. What are his goals, objectives, values and interests? Does he know what they are? Few people do. This is a major way to help people change. If goals are clear then it is much easier to start working to accomplish them. If not, all the work in the world will not produce much more than confusion.

Next time it's timing.

Gary Sweeten

No comments: