As an undiagnosed Aspie, I noticed my communications were different from ‘normal’ people when I was 11. I then tried to change my behaviors to show up as ‘normal’, but soon realized real change could only originate in my brain, that I had an interpretation problem, not a behavior problem.
I then spent the next 64 years thinking, writing, learning, and developing original skill sets and models, and unpacking the steps to all change (which I realized was systemic), to make it possible for anyone to consciously create new brain pathways for new outputs (behaviors, decisions, habits). Indeed, it’s not possible to change a behavior by trying to change a behavior.
I now call this approach Facilitating Systemic Brain Change and have developed several models, skills, and new paradigms to give influencers the tools to help others discover their best choices and change congruently.
I’ve taught my inventions to large numbers of influencers – in coaching, sales (Buying Facilitation®), leadership, listening, training, habit formation, and healthcare – so they can facilitate Others to create new brain circuitry for systemic, congruent, values-based decisions/choices/behaviors. It’s quite different from behavior-based concepts that try to manipulate or modify old circuits to hopefully end up with different outputs/behaviors.
AN OVERVIEW OF MY THINKING
While most thinking assumes if results are deficient, if people need to learn something new, that new data should be offered that is
- presented in a way that captures attention,
- addresses the needs of the Other (according to what the influencer believes is needed!)
and the Other should be ‘smart enough’ to change opinions or take action and change behaviors. In other words, that people are happy to consider new ideas and behaviors because the incoming data is ‘better’ than what they already know and they’re happy to discard their long-held ideas. Or that the incoming data is brand new and aligns with their existing beliefs that will happily adopt it.
This is bogus and the reason training programs, healthcare initiatives, behavior modification, selling, coaching, and leadership models are less than effective and why clients, patients, and learners are seen to be resistive.
There are several issues involved.
- External data is presented by Others who have chosen to provide data based on their own view of the world – biases, assumptions, beliefs, history, norms, values – causing incongruence.
- People interpret incoming data as per their historic neural circuitry, not necessarily as per the ideas the Others (doctors, sellers, leaders, coaches) offer.
- Others cannot know the rules and norms of the unconscious system the learner, patient, client operate out of and may present data that causes incongruence.
- When folks attempt change, they unwittingly end up activate their automatic, historic, unconscious neural pathways that always, always result in old outcomes.
In order for any new outcomes to emerge, it’s necessary for new neural pathways to guide them.
What I realized is that by attempting to push in new data in order to affect new outcomes, the new must comply with the internal system. Indeed, all change must be congruent with the values and norms of the system:
- conventional questions are biased by the needs of the Asker,
- normal listening is biased by the existing circuitry of the listener’s brain that interprets all incoming data according to what’s already there,
- change models are based on pushing behavior change without taking into account how brains initiate behaviors starting at the input stage and filtering for beliefs,
- outsiders – coaches, leaders, managers, sellers – try to push their knowledge and agendas into Others without accounting for their systems, running the risk of disrespecting and causing harm.
- conventional training programs merely push data in, ignoring the role the brain plays in adopting the new according to Systems Congruence.
Understanding this, and believing that not only does everyone have the right to their own beliefs and norms and the only ones who should drive their own change, I began developing new models and skills that enable true, permanent brain change and generate new outputs according to the congruence of each person’s system.
Different from most, I not only believe Others have the right to their own beliefs and change, but I believe it’s the influencer’s job to help them manage their choices without any subjectivity or bias. To that end, all of my models merely facilitate Others to their own excellence by helping them design their own unique route/neural pathways.
WHAT I DO
I have developed several ways to help people get into their brains to recognize what, or if, they want to change or add new behaviors, habits, then how to make permanent changes.
I use the same format when creating a pathway to enable Others to discover what’s in their brains. I always operate from the belief that they have their own answers and my job is to facilitate them consciously through those unconscious parts of their brains that hold their answers, understanding they have their own answers – that I (as an outsider) could never have answers for them.
- I experience everything in systems using my standard Aspie lateral, associative thinking;
- I listen from a Meta part of my brain that overrides subjectivity and shows me a more expanded choice of possibility, beyond my automatic superhighways;
- I don’t use conventional curiosity-based questions. I’ve developed a form of question (Facilitative Question) I use that enables gathering all the appropriate data needed to make a decision with. Instead of gathering data they create a pathway through brain circuitry: they lead down specific neural pathways in a very specific sequence gathering specific data and values in a very specific order using a specific sequence of steps that all change takes so all interactions/interventions follow the normal brain activity.
I begin by asking one broad question to begin hearing the patterns the Other is starting with that provides the initial parameters. I then begin posing Facilitative Questions that help Others discover their unique brain set ups to notice what’s working and what’s not, what’s congruent or incongruent, what they seek to change, and where to get the content within themselves to make a change.
Once the complete fact pattern emerges – I listen for systems only (never for the story line or content) and often pose several Facilitative Questions so the complete data set becomes available from their unconscious. By listening for systems and patterns rather than content, I can notice what’s missing/incongruences within their system that’s caused the current problem and would need to be shifted for a specified outcome to be achieved. By this time the Other has also recognized their own incongruences.
Here is what I notice:
- the beliefs that triggered the intent, thinking, word choices between people that cause their interactions;
- how the person’s rules of communication and thought systems are used;
- the unconscious rules and hierarchies that have determined the current choices and behaviors to see how/if they would need to change to facilitate the required change;
- the underlying beliefs that keep choices and behaviors in place and the ability to enable the shifts needed for permanent change.
- From there I use more Facilitative Questions and Presumptive Summaries (see Buying Facilitation® for more complete explanations) and the steps of change to lead the Other to consciously reconfigure the unconscious elements in their status quo to achieve permanent, congruent, systemic, unbiased change. In other words, I facilitate systemic brain change.
This skill set is great for:
Coaching – to help clients discover their own incongruences and make desired changes in a way congruent with their own values and norms.
Leadership and coaching – to garner buy-in, collaboration, idea sharing, creativity, and delegation during change initiatives. Using this thinking, all OD initiatives will avoid resistance.
Healthcare – to extract the right data from patients, and facilitate them through buy-in and implementation for needed permanent behavior change when new behaviors (new food choices, exercise, etc.) can promote healthy lifestyles.
Decision making and new habit formation/behavior change – make it possible for folks to enter new inputs into their brains to consciously create new neural circuitry that causes new, permanent outputs/behaviors.
Listening without bias – it’s possible to override normalized and automatic brain circuitry and hear Others without subjectivity.
MODELS AND SKILL SETS
Here are the models and new skills I’ve developed:
The How of Change™ – A brain-change model that makes it possible to cause wholly new behaviors by consciously designing new unconscious neural circuitry that generates new outcomes. Used in habit/behavior change for health, lifestyle choices, new behaviors.
Buying Facilitation® – A systems-based, generic, change facilitation model, often used in sales, that enables very efficient, congruent decision making and buy in from all stakeholders and addresses the hidden steps people take on route to new decisions, new choices, and becoming buyers. This is the part overlooked by the sales model as it focuses on placing solutions – the very last thing people do. It’s quite possible to know, on the first call, who will be a buyer and use Buying Facilitation® first to facilitate them through their decisions as they figure out how to manage their change, then switch to sales once they’re ready.
Decision-Making/The Steps of Systemic Brain Change – a breakdown of each stage of the system of change and choice. Used generically in leadership, coaching, facilitating decisions, managing congruent change.
Listening for systems/patterns (Unbiased Listening) – a way to listen from a different part of the brain (pre frontal cortex instead of limbic brain) to override existing, historic, super-highways that cause bias and subjective, restricted hearing/understanding.
Learning Facilitation – Instead of offering/teaching information to students meant to practice it and adopt it, I’ve developed a way for learners to find that place in their brains where the new content will fit congruently, to avoid resistance and promote permanent learning.
Facilitative Questions – Conventional questions attempt to extract data as per the needs of the Asker, biasing the responses. Facilitative Questions use very specific words in a very specific order, are systems based, and lead responders to those areas of their brains where the needed data (criteria, beliefs, values, history) is stored and extracts the data sequentially so they have the full data set necessary with which to make good decisions.
Servant Leadership – I believe we are all meant to serve one another, but the skills used in coaching, sales, leadership, and training, are based on the needs of the ‘professional’ as they push/offer their opinions. All of my models teach the professionals new skills that enable Others – through systemic brain change – to discover and enact their own paths to excellence without the biases of the influencer.
I have devoted my life to figuring out how, precisely, to facilitate others to create their own brain-based pathways to their own excellence (i.e. not behavior driven but belief driven), to know how, precisely, to make their own best choices and change behaviors from their Beliefs and Mental Models, to achieve their own best outcomes. I spent 10 years developing Facilitative Questions, one year figuring out the 13 steps to all decision making and change, three years figuring out how to listen without bias, one year (plus a lifetime of study) to unravel the elements to create new brain circuits, and decades developing a Facilitation model that any professional can use to enable Others through their own neurological steps to decision making and change. All of my work uses ‘systems’ as the foundation to generate systemic brain change, eschewing ‘behavior change’ as the focus.
Unfortunately, most professions forget that all change is systemic and must adhere to the rules, norms, beliefs, and values of the system that created the status quo to begin with. Instead they push the beliefs of the profession(al) to promote behavior change (i.e. not systemic, not brain-based).
But the focus on pushing behavior change according to the beliefs and assumptions of the influencer leads to failure – 5% closed sales, 20% learners maintaining the learning, 3% of patients who follow doctors orders or maintain weight loss – as the influencers attempt to get people to change their behaviors (the outputs of their neural circuitry) rather than change the input that caused the output (behaviors) to begin with.
All of my models enable systemic brain change so
- decisions are congruent with the baseline beliefs of the underlying system,
- outcomes maintain the values of the underlying system,
- change is permanent.
I give the power of the change to the people themselves, and give the tools to the influencers to facilitate systemic brain change.
I look forward to working with companies, groups, professionals, to teach the new skills, the new tools, of change, develop new models that incorporate my ideas, and enable Others to discover their own excellence with as little bias as possible. Contact me to discuss possible projects: firstname.lastname@example.org