It Made No Difference

I was caught hook line and sinker. 37 in a 30 limit. It was a mobile camera that captured the moment, and the booking arrived two weeks’ later in the post.

I took the option of the speed awareness course to save the points and maybe, to learn something, after all, every day’s a school day.

The trainer had a hard time in the first ten minutes, with a group of students, the vast majority who didn’t want to be there and made their feelings publicly known. A little embarrassing. “Who’s been here before?” asked the instructor.

About half the audience put up their hands. The training hadn’t worked with these people, or they just hadn’t rid their old habit. As the class continued and which was exciting and informative, I soon realised it was the habit that they hadn’t shed — the pattern of speeding.

The following day, I was delivering some coaching skills training to a client’s team of frontline managers, and I told them the story of the speed awareness class. Did I ask them how difficult would it be to shed their current habit of not coaching their people? It soon became very apparent that this was going to be their main struggle.

Giving people the skills of coaching doesn’t work. As soon as they return to their teams, people revert to their habits. Not all I grant you, but the majority need to learn how to rid themselves of the practice before they can learn something new. Let me share with you how:

  1. Firstly recognise your old patterns. For example, when a team member asks you a question, do you answer. Alternatively, when setting goals with your teams, do you tell them.
  2. Next, determine the trigger that kicks you into the old habit. These can be people, situations such as one to one meetings.
  3. Learn the new habit such as when faced with a question, you respond “I’ve some ideas, but first what are you thinking?” or “What’s on your mind?”
  4. Watch out for the triggers and replace the old action with the new one and make this a habit.

It would be best if you did this whenever you learn a new skill or technique because you will have dealt with the situation differently before and made this a habit.

Moreover, have I slowed down? I think I have. When I enter a 30 limit, I now move down a gear, and this kicks my new habit in. However, time will tell, and I seriously don’t want to be putting my hand up at the beginning of the next speed awareness course.