By George A. Boyd © 2020
You may intervene in the life and behavior of another person for a variety of reasons. These include:
- You are responsible for their care—for example, your children, dependent adults, or your elderly parents
- The person is obnoxious and annoys you. You want them to change their behavior to make your own life less miserable and more serene.
- You want to make a person aware of the impact of their words and behavior on you—they may be unaware of how their behavior and speech affects you.
- You are in a professional helping position and you have the responsibility to provide treatment for your patients or clients.
- You love someone and you want him or her to change to stop hurting or sabotaging him or her self.
- You see the potential in someone and you want to assist him or her to actualize it.
- You have experienced breakthrough, transformation, or enlightenment, and you want to share it with others.
They are several approaches through which people attempt to change other people. These methods—and their results on the other person—are described below.
(1) Criticize, but don’t offer a solution. Make the person wrong.
Their feelings are hurt; they feel demoralization and depression
(2) Offer a solution that the person can’t understand or utilize.
They experience confusion; they make no movement towards resolving the deficiency or problem.
(3) Force or coerce the person to implement the solution.
They may do what you want temporarily, but revert back to their former pattern when you are not pressuring them.
(4) Teach, counsel, or coach the person to be able to implement the solution.
They learn how to implement the solution and can begin to do it on their own.
(5) Assist the other person to implement the solution through volunteering your time. Act as a supportive partner to ensure the solution is implemented.
They feel supported; the task seems less overwhelming and challenging with your help.
(6) Use the solution yourself and experience transformation. Offer to share this solution with others, so they too can transform through a coaching program.
They feel empowered to make breakthroughs in their lives; they may also experience transformation through the solution you offer.
(7) Disseminate the solution widely through video, podcast, a published book, and media interviews.
Those who have this problem learn that a solution may exist. They feel hope.
Let’s look at the methods through which you might induce others to change; or ways others might attempt to facilitate you changing:
- Many people may criticize you, but this does not produce behavioral change. In many cases, it may strengthen your stubbornness and resistance; this may lead you to begin criticizing and arguing with them.
- Other people offer “helpful suggestions” that you cannot implement. Either the instructions are confusing and/or they advise you to do something you do not have the ability, knowledge, or resources to adopt.
- In situations where there is an unequal power dynamic, one person may force or coerce you to do what they want. While you might accede to his or her demands while you are under his or her direct supervision, you will often feel resentful and will not continue to do the behavior when he or she is not threatening or coercing you.
- If you don’t know how to do something, but are willing to learn, the other person can show you how to do it. They can impart knowledge, skills, or give you access to resources to enable you to put the solution into practice.
- If you have far more work than you can handle, they can assist you through taking on part of the task and help you work on the steps of the solution.
- If you apply a strategy or work the steps in a program and this enables you overcome a life challenge or to achieve your dreams, you may be motivated to share this with others. Those who likewise undergo breakthrough and transformation may wish to share their system with you.
- If you are getting results with your strategy, program, or system, you may wish to disseminate this more widely and touch the lives of many others people who are struggling with this problem.
We suggest that methods four through seven are more effective than the first three. If you are finding that you cannot facilitate change in other person, you might wish to modify the way you approach changing them.
Those of you who wish to implement change in your life dealing with core issues of finding your authentic purpose and life direction, working out issues of having grown up in a dysfunctional family, recovering from addiction, or dealing with the aftermath of having been involved in a religious or political cult, you may wish to take advantage of the support available to you in our targeted coaching programs.