Tero Blog | Do You Follow This 'Golden Rule'?
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Do You Follow This 'Golden Rule'?

Friday, October 6, 2017 | by Rachel Trainum

Alarm sounds. Wake up. Get ready. Repeat. This may be a simple routine in your daily life but it's a routine you're accustomed to.

You do the simplest tasks day in and day out because it's what you know to do and what your brain is programmed to do. This is also as Charles Duhigg describes in his book, The Power of Habit, as a cue, routine and reward - making it a cycle or a habit.

But what about those work habits that seem as if they make sense, but could be done a better, more efficient way? How easy will it be to break the routine or habit that you know works?

In chapter three of The Power of Habit, Duhigg tells a story about NFL coach, Tom Dungy, who continuously was passed over for several NFL head coach positions.

Why? It was because he believed the players weren't extraordinary but followed habits they had learned. He wanted to change those habits rather than create new ones to achieve better outcomes.

Dungy followed one rule when changing habits which was to keep the cue and reward the same. All he said that needed to be done was to shift or change the habit. By keeping the trigger and reward, he was able to produce better results.

When you go into work next, sit down at your desk and think about those habits you've formed pertaining to your job. Are they accomplishing the goals you want in the best possible way? Now think about how those habits can be changed for the better.

If you're a leader at your work, think about the habits of those you supervise and if they're positive or negative. If they're negative, how can you change them to be positive?

Not all habits are good or bad. But revisit those habits and consider how you could change the routine to get an outcome you want.

Tero Take

At Tero, we often site Maslow's 4-stages we go through when changing habits. Stage one is unconsciously incompetent where we don't know what we don't know. Stage two is consciously incompetent where you discover there is a better way and want to change a habit. Stage three is consciously competent where the habit is formed but you still have to actively remember to exemplify it. The final stage is unconsciously competent. This is like brushing your teeth in the morning. You don't have to think about the action to do it effectively. The more you work on changing habits, the closer you will move to stage four where you are exemplifying good habits without thinking.

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