The realization that change is hard punched me in the nose this week.
Which one are you?
- I usually don’t change my mind once I make a decision.
- I dig in even more to my point of view when I hear an opposing view.
A recent blog by Help Scout, one of my favorite sources, enlightened me about how often we simply can’t get out of our own way in an effort to improve.
My days are filled talking to agents about changing, whether it is simple change or sometimes something more complex. But, the root of the discussion is always about new opportunities. Yet, if you believe the Help Scout article, what I thought was problem solving and helping agents may actually be reinforcing the opposite behavior. Help Scout tagged it as complacency. Sounds like a lot more than that. Here’s an interesting excerpt from the article:
“Researchers selected people who either favored or opposed capital punishment and asked them to read two scholarly, well-documented articles on the emotionally charged issue of whether the death penalty deters violent crimes. One article concluded that it did; the other that it didn’t. If the readers were processing information rationally, they would at least realize that the issue is more complex than they had previously believed and would therefore move a bit closer to each other in their beliefs about capital punishment as a deterrence.
“But dissonance theory predicts that the readers would find a way to distort the two articles and this is precisely what happened. Not only did each side discredit the other’s arguments; each side became even more committed to its own. This tension is called cognitive dissonance: the feeling we get when two opposing beliefs collide into one another, e.g., “I’ve been an experienced business leader for over 20 years” and the realization that “My business is failing.”
I can think of many times when my mind took me down this path. It’s human nature, but it’s also destructive thinking from a professional standpoint.
Many agents I talk with swear they are looking for something new yet, when presented with a specific opportunity, they find a dozen reasons not to do it. “I’ve tried that and it didn’t work” or “that won’t work in my area.”
This is when yes really means no, even though it sounds like yes. Cognitive dissonance at its best.
Is this you? If so, being that person may be holding you back from opportunity. Here’s some hard data which should be good news. A national survey a couple of years ago found that about 70 percent of US households have some type of life insurance and about 50% of those say they need more. Here’s the kicker: Of that 70 percent with life insurance, 80 percent say they do not have a personal agent to turn to for help. Ouch and wow at the same time.
Someone’s clients need help and the agents open to new ideas will be there to catch the opportunity.
Call me if you would like to bounce around some ideas. All you have to say is “yes”—and mean it.
Thanks for reading.
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