It cannot be done! You cannot change others!
Lately this topic has been coming up in conversation. In general people have been asking me how they can ‘change’ their partner, parents, children, friends, colleagues and many times how they can change their boss, manager or supervisor AND my answer is always the same, an answer that most don’t like …
“You CANNOT change other people”.
One thing coaching and training has shown me is that people will only listen, learn, grow or change when they themselves genuinely want to and are genuinely ready. You can, maybe, influence and affect others but to think that you can change someone’s thinking, attitudes, habits, beliefs or behaviors, is usually an exercise in futility and frustration, no matter how ‘right’ you think you, or your message might be.
Instead, look at the person in front of you, accept people the way they are and save yourself from the stress. Instead of trying to change others, focus on three key areas…
- being the best you can be,
- leading by example,
- getting rid of judgement
And there’s a number 4, make a choice! Can you change your attitude toward them? No? Then walk away. It’s that black and white in my mind. Either you decide they are worth having around despite any misgivings, decide if you want to make the effort to strengthen the relationship, decide if you are ready to adjust and understand your reactions and expectations. If not? Walk away.
Food for thought … and it’s a choice we make!
What do you think?
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