Recently, I have been reading From Know How to Do How by Dave Corbet and Ian Roberts. Dave was kind enough to send me a review copy of the book and I have thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s a book about how to effect positive change in your life and the title comes from the simple observation that often it is not know-how (knowledge) that holds us back; it’s the willingness to try something new, in terms of our behaviour.
Let’s face it, we are creatures of habit and our personalities are essentially collections of behavioural habits that represent our success strategies for dealing with people. We have our personality for all the right reasons and, most of the time, it serves us very well indeed.
Just think of the amount of processing time that behavioural habits save. You wouldn’t want to be forced to consider all of the available options every time you needed to make a decision about how to behave. Well, it’s your personality that saves you from having to make that kind of conscious choice all of the time. Without your personality, you would be far less spontaneous, you would take longer to make decisions and a lot of the time, you would simply miss the boat.
So, most of the time, our behavioural habits are very useful indeed. But what happens when you encounter a situation in which your habitual response does not serve you well; what happens when your own behavioural habits actually get in the way of achieving your goals? Well, clearly, you need to do something different. As the old maxim says, if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got – and there’s the stumbling block because, it may be easy enough to understand and articulate, but this stuff is not, at all, easy to do.
When dealing with other people, most of the time, we are not even aware of having made a choice; that’s because our responses have effectively become programmed; they are largely automatic and we are on autopilot. But, the good news is that our behaviour can be changed. We all have the gift of self awareness i.e. the ability to stand apart from our own actions to ask ourselves the insightful question, “in relation to my goal, is my behaviour the best response to the situation?”
The knowledge that we need to change in order to achieve better results is the first step to significant improvement. After that, we can begin to look at who we are and why we generally behave the way we do. You may recall that we have previously discussed how The Enneagram is a very useful tool for understanding your habitual behaviour. Well, the new Do-How website now has a free Ennegram test that you might like to try for yourself. I did it earlier today and found it to be remarkably accurate.
In the book, Dave and Ian use The Ennegram to discuss the subject of personality, drilling down into habitual behaviour and motivation and they present a powerful model for change. A useful addition to my library, From Know-How to Do-How is released on Amazon today: get your copy here.