Thursday, September 5, 2013

Coaching And Cognitive Dissonance - Changing Minds And Persuasion by being both good cop and bad cop

Coaching is essentially about behavior change. Cognitive dissonance is central to many forms of persuasion to change beliefs, values, attitudes and behaviors. The tension can be injected suddenly or allowed to build up over time. People can be moved in many small jumps or one large one. Dissonance forces us to move from the current state, whether through changed behavior, or change in beliefs. Because of this, dissonance becomes a powerful motivator for change. Leadership coaches both impact dissonance (through feedback we cause dissonance to occur) and are impacted by dissonance (the resolution of dissonance may further encourage the behavior). As coaches, we must be constantly aware of the impact of dissonance on an individual’s desire and ability to change.

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