If you or your team are stuck on any of these outdated myths, you’ll spin your wheels no matter how hard you push on the gas!
Myth #1: “People don’t like change.” It’s not change that’s the problem; we’re born to change and adapt. It’s natural. People resist losing self-esteem, resulting from looking foolish, losing face, feeling like a failure. If these factors are shored up and protected in your people, change will be less of an issue.
Myth #2: “Personality is ‘set.’” It can’t be changed or fixed, as in “Oh that’s just the way he is.” This myth forms the basis for a convenient cop-out both for the leader and the ‘personality.’ It lets you both off the hook. This could be true for an organization as well. “That is the way we do things.” “That is who we are.” A personality is never set. We are a sum of our beliefs, actions and attitudes; these can change if needed for survival.
Myth #3: “Change takes time.” “Too much stress will make people sick.” Some processes do take time: System upgrades, complex expansions. But people can change overnight if need be. Feet to the fire, people can change instantly. You just have to get clear, make a compelling case, expect immediate change and follow through. They won’t break.
Myth #4: “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” How many employees over 55 are sliding because of this myth? How many over 55 have cut back or cut out? Recent brain research shows that the brain rewires the same way at any age. With persistence, people can learn as much at 90 as they do at 20.
Myth #5: “Uncertainty, confusion and mistakes are signs of weakness and failure.” These can stop progress short. ‘Psychological Safety’ means that no matter what, all questions are positive, not knowing is a sign of intellectual curiosity and mistakes are supported as long as something’s learned. Confusion means you’re weighing options and able to simultaneously hold them in mind. Make ‘not knowing’ acceptable. High performing teams do.
Because myths are belief systems, they're not easy to uproot. Start by spotting them, start digging, replace them with the truth until they become your new reality.