Three Big Things Cont…
Problem #3 – A Heavy Cognitive Load.
Even the best workshop or training session will fall flat if it doesn’t result in a change of your manager’s behavior.
But there’s a science to behavior change and it involves a big fancy word, Cognitive Load.
Cognitive Load is a term that describes the amount of information your brain is processing.
Think of your brain like a computer. When you have too many windows open on your web browser, it slows down your computer because of the heavy amount of processing going on in the background.
That’s what a heavy Cognitive Load looks like and it impairs our capacity to manage change.
The heavier the load, the harder it is to change our behavior because it hinges on us installing new habits and this requires energy.
Since energy is in short supply the brain tries to be efficient and discourages us from creating new habits, especially if they’re difficult.
So when it comes to transforming our managers, we need to adjust our strategy.
Otherwise, they will revert back to their old behaviors, because they’re already programmed and familiar.
So how do you do this? I’ll answer that in just a moment but first, you need to understand one more problem that comes from working under a heavy Cognitive Load.
Task Work Vs People Work
Managers across the country complain to me about their stress. I’m sure you can relate.
When we constantly feel like we’re in catch up mode, we focus our energy on things that make us feel like we’re making progress.
Nothing is better at this than a To-Do List.
Checking boxes, and completing tasks relieve stress because they help us experience tangible progress, almost like a mini victory.
Compare the clarity of a To-Do List with the nebulous nature of leading people.
Because of this, busy managers are drawn to task work instead of people work because task work feels productive.
But unfortunately, this turns them into a sort of absentee leader, too busy checking boxes to be engaged with their own staff.
So the key is to get your managers out of the weeds and to hard wire new behaviors that will turn them into inspirational leaders.
But how do we do this?
Hint: Small steps over time.
Your managers need a simple process that’s easy to implement, won’t take more than a couple of minutes, and actually produces results.
They need a framework, with a low cognitive load, a step-by-step sort of thing, that’s going to produce long-term results.
And when you install this, everything changes…