Focus Magazine - Summer 2015 - (Page 46)
5 Questions With...
elping professionals find the best path to
success is a large part of training's
mission. But sometimes those paths
wind themselves through a forest of bad habits.
I recently spoke with Peter Bregman, author of
Four Seconds: All the Time You Need to Stop
Counter-Productive Habits and Get the Results
You Want, about how to plant the seeds for
is author of
Four Seconds: All the
Time you need to Stop
Habits and Get the
Results You Want
Photography: Stacy Bass
Tim Sosbe (TS): How do you define "bad
habits" in a business context?
Peter Bregman (PB): Bad habits are the
things we do and say - automatically and
without thinking - that move us further
away from the business outcomes we
want. ey decrease our performance,
strain our relationships, reduce our
opportunities, decrease our pleasure and
damage our reputation and earning
power. We might respond defensively to
criticism, for example, or advocate too
hard for our interests, or distract ourselves
with incoming emails - things that
hinder our success.
TS: Are people typically aware of their bad
PB: One of the things that's diﬃcult is that we
are oen blind to our bad habits. We know
we're not getting the results we want, but,
because habits are instinctive gut
reactions, we don't always see that we're
causing the damage.
TS: You write that "sometimes, doing nothing
at all works better than doing something."
How's that work?
PB: e business culture is an action-oriented
one. If there's a problem, we almost always
feel like we should do something about it.
And, oen, we're right - we can increase
employee engagement, serve our clients
more eﬀectively, and break through
obstacles like internal politics. But, some
problems are not ours to solve. To increase
employee engagement, for example,
requires that I create a great environment
for employees and then step away. People
are engaged when they take selfresponsibility - which means I have to do
less and let them do more. Deciding what
not to do helps us shi ownership to the
right people and saves us time.
TS: What else can the average person do to
turn these bad habits around?
PB: It starts with awareness. Slowing down just
enough to notice the impact of what you
do. When you say something, how does it
land? When you do something, what's the
result? Are you getting the outcomes you
want? We should all have the scientist's
mindset: experiment, look at the data,
then adjust. When you land on something
that works, make that your new habit. I
wrote Four Seconds with that mindset and
the book is filled with good habits that can
easily replace the bad habits.
TS: What role can training leaders play in
creating or fostering good habits?
PB: A huge role. Our job as training leaders is
to help people break bad habits and build
good ones. If we do that, we not only
change people's behaviors, we improve
their results. And that's the holy grail of
training. To do that eﬀectively, we need to
know what people are doing to get in their
own way and how they can replace those
behaviors with smart ones that get people
the outcomes they're looking for. I
Tim Sosbe is editor of Focus magazine and editorial director for LTEN. Email Tim at tsosbe@L-TEN.org.
FOCUS | SUMMER 2015 | www.L-TEN.org
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Focus Magazine - Summer 2015
From the President: Learning Delivery: What's Your Blend?
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Guest Editor: Surviving and Thriving in a Volatile Industry
Directions: Let the Networking Commence!
Front of the Room: Dig Deeper
Neuroscience: Memory Garden
Sales Trainer Onboarding: A Fresh Approach at Bristol-Myers Squibb
Leading Cross-Functional Teams
Change Your Paradigm, Transform Your Network
What's the BIG Idea? 3 Tips to Open Doors
Is There a Kink in Your Leadership IV?
Identity Hubs: Secure, Productive Collaboration
How Much Will the Next 5 Minutes Matter?
Virtual How: How Companies are Centralizing Training Functions
5 Questions with Peter Bregman
Focus Magazine - Summer 2015