Influencing Others to Change Their Attitude and Behaviour

I spent a bit of time today looking at how certain businesses market their business, and I was intrigued by the way that Apple approaches its marketing.

Most business tell us what they do, how they do it and why they do it/why should we buy it, although Apple appear to do this the opposite way around.  They tell us why they do it, how they do it and what they do.

This got me thinking.  Can we apply the same approach to coaching and when helping others to understand why they should change their attitude and behaviour?

I’find myself, especially when giving feedback during coaching sessions, helping people to understand what they do and how they do it.  I also then move onto the understanding of why they do it.

But, when I’ve observed other people coaching and providing feedback, the approach seems to be what they did, how they did it and what will they do to change.  But, how will the person know what to do differently when they maybe are not aware of why they are doing it in the first place?  Maybe they have never thought about it.  Maybe they didn’t realise that they were doing anything wrong.

How can we support them if we don’t understand why.  Lets be honest, the only person on the planet who knows the reason why is them.

This is why when coaching around attitude and behaviour that the why is always investigated.  It’s the thing that sits in the middle of what and how, and we need to peel away those layers to get to why.  Then we can go back and investigate how might they fix it, then what will they do to fix it.

The same methodology can be applied to many different areas i.e. organisational change.  We spend time telling people what we are changing and how we are changing it, but what about why we are changing it?  Surely communicating the why will help people to understand why the change is necessary and reduce the resistance that people have to change.

What do you think?  Do you investigate the why?  If not, why not?

Best

David