Can behavioural changes happen overnight?

“Do people really change?”

“What is the effective way to bring about changes in behavioural patterns?”

“Do training programs really help with behavioural changes?”

These are questions that are discussed and debated all the time. There are viewpoints that are often diverse. Let us try and understand this aspect more.

Judging from recent times, it is even more clear to me that what we need today are multifaceted leaders who can act on a broad vision, adapt and change in changing times while engaging people and at the same time be able to sustain competitive advantage through their own actions as a role models.

After all, what is most difficult for people is to ‘change’. Managing any change or changing oneself is not a piece of cake and there is always resistance that comes with it. People tend to struggle with change mainly due to the fear of unknown, leaving their comfort zone or even their own inability to adapt to something new. Traditionally, psychologists have always believed that the childhood of an individual largely determines their personality and human beings are completely formed by the time they are 8 years old. While the truth is that most people may not change, they certainly ‘evolve’ and mature with time.

In order to ensure that a leader reaches his/her full potential, organizations need to equip them with the most relevant skills today including communication, collaboration, conflict resolution, emotional maturity, negotiation, change management, delegation and more. All these are what we collectively call, behavioural changes.

Behavioural change 

Behavioural change is a modification of human behaviour. What most leadership workshops strive to achieve are positive changes in the behaviour of participants.

You may think that the ability to empathize and fully understand what is going on with someone else is easy, but these apparent ‘soft’ skills are not easy to master. So, these changes usually do not take place overnight. This evolution is a continuous process that we can enable them through long term behavioural training.


Self-Introspection is a huge step in this process of evolution. Leaders should be encouraged to introspect often and given that space to do so. Questioning them often without judging them will help create a culture of introspection. Most people, especially the outwardly successful individuals, always believe that they are “right”. Challenging them often and helping them think beyond themselves is an important step in behavioural change. Finding a good coach or a mentor is also a positive step in this direction.

Repeated interaction

Any real change needs what is known as repeated interaction. A person can easily show us a side of him/her that is quite different from their actual working style in a 2-day workshop. However, they will not be able to hide their true self when the interaction takes place over 8 to 9 months.

This is the reason why successful learning programs need to prolong over time. It requires relentless commitment for the long haul with regular intervention from the facilitator or a coach.  In fact, any change requires both patience and persistence that can only be measured in months and never days.

Changes in stages.

As a leader, you may be well on your way to making some of the changes that you had resolved to make last year or maybe 5 years ago. If so, that is great. But maybe, like many others, the way the world has been changing these last 6 months might have taken a toll on you too.  You may understandably be feeling a little discouraged due to it.

A one or two-day workshop may be a fun get together for everyone involved, but you may not be able to achieve real transformation. Real behavioural change requires a lot of introspection and a deep personal journey of commitment. In the end, how long it takes is an individual matter but a long-term intervention always has the desired effects.

In my next blog, I will talk about the journey-based learning workshops that we plan so that you can get a better idea of how this works. This journey based leadership programs are signature program of

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