Jessica J. Lockhart is an author, a humanologist and the creator of Humanology, Optimism Coaching® and Personal Essence®.
The Problem With Workshops
One of my clients called me a couple of days ago to discuss a case he is working on. A company whose employees suffer from a certain type of fear at work wanted his help to solve the issue. That fear freezes them at times and makes it impossible for them to react properly with some clients.
The managers are obviously desperate to find some kind of tool that can help their workforce conquer that limitation, as it's proving economically stressful and heavy on their results. They've already worked with a big amount of coaches and mentors to no avail. The employees learn the tools but still feel paralyzed when the moment to act is there.
I encounter this situation in many cases and companies. They hire professionals, expecting change to happen, but it doesn't materialize. The issues are clearly defined and the concepts and approaches seem perfect but no real transformation remains after a short time.
This is not only happening in organizations, though.
A similar result is observed with the millions of people who try to change their outlook on life and the way they interact with the world by following courses and attending seminars and workshops. They leave those events with a very clear idea of what doesn't work in their lives and with the impression that their new understanding of reality empowers them. Unfortunately, sometime later most of them find themselves repeating the same old patterns and facing the same old stories. Only a very small few experience real long-lasting change.
So, what is not working in all the other cases? Is it that those professionals are mere charlatans selling smoke? Not necessarily. I have another explanation for this.
Most professionals offer you some insights, tools or working sheets to use with the hope that you'll be inspired and that such inspiration will miraculously lead you to change your ingrained behaviours and reactions.
The idea behind this is that the new understanding will move you so deeply that your habits will suddenly shift and change forever. Sorry, things just don't usually work that way! It took you years to acquire those reactions and procedures. They slowly became part of your worldview and of your natural reactions. They will need much more than just inspiration and "aha" moments to become established and spontaneous.
Sad to say, that is the part often neglected by many professionals. They sell you the ingredients and maybe even share the recipe with you, but then they leave you to bake the cake alone.
Behaviour, both spontaneous and calculated, is the result of our beliefs. Human beings act and decide based on what they believe.
Strengthened in time, their origin might be forgotten, turning them into subconscious beliefs that the person is not even aware of.
Changing beliefs, then, is not as easy as just understanding a new interpretation or even choosing to see the world a different way.
When the belief is firmly rooted in our brain, it will try and stay there because that is what brains do; they preserve our beliefs to safeguard our stability.
Let's not forget that actions and reactions are based on belief, so unless the inspiration is accompanied by a very strong emotion or repeated enough times to overwrite the old interpretation, nothing will truly change.
Understanding and helping human beings is not as simple as offering them pill-like solutions. If a transformation is needed, a deep understanding of human beings is required to target the problem, create the right solution, and implement it. Habits are hard to break and they will remain active unless the right approach is used to uproot and replace them.
My client will now offer that company a well-grounded project to help their employees reach the desired goals. Only complete processes will reach the outcome the company wants, so that will also be included in the proposal.
Next time you seek professional help for something like this, make sure that the solution is long-lasting.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2018 Jessica J Lockhart
Jessica J Lockhart (author) from Switzerland on July 13, 2018:
Exactly, Dred Cuan, that's precisely what I was presenting here. Very happy that we agree.
Travel Chef from Manila on July 13, 2018:
A workshop can help enlighten individuals as they acquire more knowledge about a certain topic. Yet, it won't end there. They need to apply whatever learnings they got during the workshop.