I had the opportunity to pick up a book called Changing Behaviour.  It is written by a nurse educator and has some powerful thoughts and images about how to immediately transform relationships.  It is more like a work book than a text book on communication tools.  It has some ideas that are interesting especially when applied to coaching.

Nothing says a need for coaching skills like a life and death situation where behaviours must change or the alternative is death.  Even so many people, as the book points out, with rather die than switch their behaviour patterns.  The book goes back to the old Pain and Pleasure formula that are powerful motivators and reviews the wisdom of the theories that grew out of the 1980’s shift in consciousness, attributed in the book to “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous”.  The TV show worked to create a whole nation of people who now knew what they didn’t have which caused pain.  Gone were the happy days.  Since that time Americans have worked harder and faster to win that prize of joining the moneyed people in their midst.

As a result, disease related to stress is up and Americans are working themselves toward heart attacks, cancer, obesity and many other life threatening conditions.  Changing behaviour takes it back to the relationship and provides researched evidence of how having good relationships trumps even being rich.

For me the most important part of the book was the list of factors that contribute to the potential for change. Three that stood out … intention, skills and abilities and anticipated outcomes.  The author presents a set of Behavioural Engagement skills and an attitude she calls Pure Presence that closely resemble the PULSE Frame and the associated skills of Gentle, Honest, Open, Specific Talk, affirming that PULSE is a discovery of how good conversations occur.  “Changing Behaviour” provides the evidence from research for promoting collaborative conversation for coaching and facilitating especially in health care but also in our daily lives.