There’s always a lag between when a leader makes a change and when others notice that change.

Behavioral change data from our long-term leadership development programs in Coachmetrix suggest that in the earliest stages of a leadership development journey, leaders almost always see improvement in themselves long before others notice that improvement. In fact, our data suggest that it’s not until five months after consistent follow-up between a leader and her stakeholders that those stakeholders notice how much the leader has actually changed. 

The bottom line is that a leader faces two challenges in their leadership development. 

Challenge #1: How do I change my behavior? 

Challenge #2: How do I change the perceptions that others have of me? 

Check out this short video of Marshall Goldsmith and I talking about behavior versus perception change in executive coaching. Marshall provides a simple case study to help you understand exactly why perception change is so important. He also provides some insight into cognitive dissonance theory to explain how we are influenced by previous stereotypes that we have of others. 

When you’re done watching the video, take a look at my quick tips below to help your coachees not only change behavior, but also change perceptions. 

Quick Tips to Changing Behavior and Perception

Below are some ideas that will help your coachees change both behavior and perception: 

  • Verbally enroll stakeholders in the coaching process (people who are impacted by the coachee’s behaviors). 
  • Add your stakeholders into Coachmetrix.  
  • Involve stakeholders in identifying the development goals. 
  • Go public with your goals, letting all stakeholders know about development areas. 
  • Follow up with stakeholders every 30-45 days asking for their feedback and feedforward. This will give your coachees new ideas on how to change behavior and remind stakeholders that your coachee is still focused on her development,  helping to change perceptions. 

Stay tuned for our next post where Marshall and I discuss the role of stakeholders. 

In the mean time, if you’d like to learn more about how Coachmetrix can support your Stakeholder Centered Coaching process, sign-up for a live demo.

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