How to Change Other People

“The hardest habit to break is trying to break the habits of others." (Dr. Edwin Friedman)

Some of us think clearly enforced rules, from a clearly established hierarchy, are the first and best way to improve other people’s behavior and chances of success.

Others of us think clearly demonstrated feelings, from an effusive position of praise and support, are the best way to improve other people’s behavior and chances of success.

Both are wrong.

Neither rules nor feelings improve other people’s behavior, because nothing can improve other people’s behavior. People can only improve their own behavior.

What does this mean for leadership? For parenting? For all relationships? It starts with one question: What behavior of my own do I need to improve?

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