How do we close the gap between our good intentions and actually following through?
The last two months has been a whirlwind of workshops, masterclasses and coaching. A highlight was the Global Key Accounts Forum in Melbourne with Delegat Limited (think Oyster Bay wines). Delegat brought together its key account managers from NZ, Australia, US, UK and Canada for a couple of days on how to improve our influence and build stronger relationships.
One of the practical tools we explored was the role of the simple plan, framed in terms of: If (situation)… Then (action). Dozens and dozens of studies have shown that a simple plan, framed up in this manner, drastically improves the likelihood that we’ll follow through.
For example: IF I have just asked a question in the meeting THEN I will take a deliberate breath to provide space for the question to land.
In technical terms, this approach is called an Implementation Intention, and it’s like a mental post-it note. By identifying when and where we want to act we prime the subconscious to look for the situation so that when it occurs we are more likely to trigger the planned behaviour.
And following through counts. Good intentions only take us so far when we’re up against the gravity of the way we’ve always done things.