Is it possible to change somebody’s behavior? Is it possible to get them to act differently? When we exert pressure and threaten punishment, is it possible to force someone to act differently?
If it does work, the effect is only temporary. To get someone to change from the inside out, you start with attitude. People change their behaviors when their world-view changes. The normal change process goes something like this:
- People accept a new idea as appropriate and possible.
- Their attitude changes.
- Their behavior changes.
In other words, until someone accepts a new idea as appropriate and possible, their attitude won’t change. And until their attitudes change, their behavior won’t change. At least not viscerally. They may fake it if it’s in their best interest, but it won’t be meaningful, lasting change.