Because resiliency is all about growing through challenge or opportunity, it can be pretty frustrating and maybe even disheartening when people don't notice the “new you” that has emerged.
My colleague, Dr. Marcia Reynolds, has distilled five ways to encourage people to notice the change. Here are her thoughts:
You can use all five in one conversation or separately. They may feel awkward at first, but the behaviors will become habits if you practice them over time.
1. Model the behavior you want.
If you want people to notice how you have changed, you need to acknowledge their efforts at changing as well. Duncan Coombe makes a number of good suggestions in his HBR blog post, See "Colleagues as They Are, Not as They Were". Practice seeing people as if meeting them for the first time to discover what is changing or what you may have never noticed. In a previous post, I shared tips on how to shift from expecting to being curious. Not only will people appreciate that you notice what they are working on, it simply feels good to “be seen.”
2. Be clear with your requests.
If someone doesn’t notice that you have changed your preferences or behavior, you can ask them to notice without making them wrong. For example, you could say,“You are right that I used to like those things and acted that way. I’ve changed over the past year. Can I share with you what I now like and what I’m doing differently?” “I agree with you that the way I used to handle these situations wasn’t effective. That is why I’ve worked hard to change my habits. Let me share with you the things I’m trying and the results I’m getting.” “Have you noticed I’ve been (showing up on time, including people more in meetings, listening better, acting less defensively, etc)? I am working on changing my behavior. When you don’t notice how I’ve changed, I feel as if you aren’t supporting my growth. I would appreciate if you would acknowledge the efforts I’m making to improve.”
3. Tell the story about what prompted the change.
Tell people what inspired you to change your behavior. Stories make a stronger impression than just telling people what they don’t see. Your reason for changing will more likely change their mind than the fact that you have changed.
4. Get them to talk about their own changes.
Admit that you might not see the changes other people are working to make. Ask them what they are working on so you can notice and support their efforts, too.
5. Ask for their help in your continuous growth.
Sharing your goals and asking for their support might feel uncomfortable, but it is a good way to direct their attention to who you are today instead of what you did yesterday. Let’s practice seeing what’s new in each other every day.
For the complete article and ideas from Dr. Marcia Reynolds, take a look here!