September 28, 2021

172: Change Behavior and Build Better Habits with Parneet Pal

So often we *know* we should change and even *commit* to changing, yet when the time comes to follow through, we fall back into old habits. We all have behaviors we’d like to change, but as managers, we’re also responsible for supporting our team members to develop the behaviors that will help them be most successful. If changing ourselves is so hard, how are we ever going to succeed in helping others change?

Today’s guest is Parneet Pal. Parneet is a Harvard- and Columbia-trained physician working at the intersection of lifestyle medicine, technology and behavior change. An educator and science communicator, she applies her subject matter expertise to optimize human health and its impact on business leadership and planetary wellbeing. As Chief Science Officer at Wisdom Labs, she focuses on solving for stress, burnout and loneliness in the workplace.

Parneet and I talk about behavior change. We get into the brain science, motivation, and lots of tips for how to follow through on new behaviors or habits even when it feels so hard. And of course we talk about what you can do as a manager to help your team members change their behavior.

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Read the related blog article: The Secret To Making Changes That Stick


Key Takeaways:

  • We are creatures of habit. Only 10% of our daily actions are conscious decisions.
  • To encourage change, we need to align our subconscious and conscious thoughts, teach necessary skills, and create a supportive environment.
  • Incentives of safety, connection, reward, and/or self-identity will motivate our brains to try new behaviors. We need to remind ourselves of the deeper motivations.
  • Consider what incentives you have for your team changing and ask what motivates your team to change.
  • Mindfulness is another tool to align subconscious and conscious thoughts. In a stressful moment, become aware of your breath, body, emotions, and thoughts. Then consider how to react in a way that will benefit everyone.
  • Burnout is mostly an organizational, not an individual issue.
  • The six factors that lead to burnout are unreasonable workload, insufficient rewards and appreciation, inadequate autonomy, lack of fairness, lack of community, and misalignment of personal values and team culture.

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