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Why people find it hard to change their behaviors and what you can do about it as a Coach?

Updated: Mar 17

As a coach, you might have experienced a situation where you have presented someone with new knowledge or information, and despite your best efforts, they just won't accept it. This can be frustrating, and you might wonder why they're being so stubborn. However, it's important to understand that this difficulty isn't necessarily about the new knowledge itself, but rather about the person's willingness to change their world view.

When we hold a particular belief or idea, it becomes a part of our identity. It's not just something we think, but it's a part of who we are. So when someone presents us with information that contradicts that belief, it can feel like a personal attack. We might feel defensive and resistant to the new information because it challenges our sense of self. In some cases, we might even feel like admitting we were wrong would mean giving up a part of ourselves.

This is why coaches have a hard time convincing someone of new knowledge. It's not just a matter of presenting the information in the right way or providing enough evidence. It's about getting the person to admit that they were wrong, and that can be a difficult and uncomfortable process.

If they admit that they're capable of achieving their goals, it means that they've been wrong all along. It means that they've been holding themselves back for no reason. This can be a hard pill to swallow, and some people would rather deny the new information than admit that they were wrong.

To understand this better, let's look at an example. Say you're coaching someone who believes that they're not good enough to achieve their goals. They might have a lot of evidence to support this belief, such as past failures or negative feedback from others. However, as their coach, you know that this belief is holding them back from reaching their full potential.

So you present them with some new information, such as success stories of people who started from similar situations and overcame their challenges. You might also provide them with some tools and techniques to help them improve their skills and build their confidence.

Despite your best efforts, the person might still resist the new information. They might say things like, "That might work for other people, but it won't work for me," or "I've tried that before and it didn't work." This can be frustrating for you as a coach, especially if you know that the information you're presenting is valid and helpful.

So what can coaches do to help someone accept new knowledge? Firstly, it's important to be patient and empathetic. Understand that the person is not resisting the new information because they're stubborn or difficult, but because it challenges their sense of self. Don't give up on them and keep presenting the information in different ways.

Frequently, I go beyond verbal conversations by employing a profiling tool such as #IDENTI3 #IDENTI3profiling to expose a person's blindspots. By doing so, I am able to demonstrate my knowledge of information that the person may not be aware of, which in turn encourages them to be receptive to my perspective.

Next, I aim to facilitate the person in expressing their thoughts and feelings as much as possible since most individuals desire to feel heard and comprehended before they become motivated to act. I have detailed this approach in my book available at

Thirdly, I will focus on the level of pain to determine how important this change is to the person or does he/she just need a listening ear. This is where the story of the howling dog comes in. The story is about an old man and his dog. The neighbor hears the dog howling in pain and asks the old man why. The old man explains that the dog is sitting on a nail but doesn't move because the pain isn't strong enough yet.

In conclusion, coaches often have a hard time convincing someone of new knowledge because it challenges their world view. When we hold a particular belief, it becomes a part of our identity, and admitting that we're wrong can be a difficult and uncomfortable process. As a coach, it's important to be patient and be a master of the Coaching process.

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