Do you know your abc's yet?
Have you ever been frustrated by your team, sometimes thinking, “They're stuck in the middle ages, they just won’t shift their ideas.” “No point having the conversation with them, they don’t listen.”
Why people do certain things and keep repeating the behaviour —even when it doesn't serve them— can be delightfully tricky and often downright annoying .
Now sure, you learnt ABC’s a loooooooooooooooooooooooooong time ago. But those ABC's —the ones you learned via the Sesame St song— they're not the ABC's we'll be talking about here. Yep. We are turning the entire education system on its head right here, right now. Let's look at a new way to do ABC's.
To be able to understand how a behaviour needs to change to then change our consequences, we need to go right back to what led that person to perform the behaviour in the first place (antecedent). What is behind it? What else is happening, for the person to be behaving the way they do?
For example, feeling hungry is an antecedent for eating, eating is the behaviour, and feeling satiated is the consequence. Interestingly, most consequences become 'maintaining factors (or secondary antecedents) and so we see a continuation of the ABC cycle; or in some cases, a downward spiral. So for example, if the behaviour above was actually bingeing on junk food, then the consequence would be feeling overfull and sick, and this now becomes a maintaining factor. This new antecedent might then lead to a new behaviour of committing to a diet or signing up for a gym program.
This is how the pattern continues. As a manager or leader, dealing with the tough stuff, you need to know this pattern. The simple fact is, if you find yourself having the same conversations about the same issue —several times— it's unlikely the conditions or environment that are the precursor for the problematic behaviour have changed, and it was a likelihood the behaviour would happen again...and again.
Our aim is to try and make changes to the antecedents. Therefore, we can avoid these deja vu conversations.
See the short video below where we go into more detail.