What are the 5 Most Powerful things you do to engage someone to make a change?

March 3rd, 2011 by Martin Smith Leave a reply »

I posted the following list in a discussion forum on LinkedIn.

The original question was;

What are the 5 most powerful things you do to engage someone to make a change?


  • Build and establish TRUST – Do THEY trust themselves enough to make the change? Do you trust them to make the change?
  • Make sure that their OBJECTIVE is CLEAR and SPECIFIC and that it can be measured
  • Tied into the previous.. Make sure that their ‘VISION’ is INSPIRING ENOUGH for them to really want to change. If the Vision doesn’t inspire them to change then they need to tweak it or perhaps change it completely.
  • Help them identify their MOTIVATING FACTOR – What’s in it for them, the organisation, the family or whatever? Identify as many as possible
  • Make it as MULTI-SENSORY as possible. Help them to explore the full gamut of emotions and senses involved with achieving their Vision of Change. How will they feel? What will it look like? What will it sound like? What colour will it be? How will others feel when they see they have achieved the goal? What will be different? How will they know? Etc.

So, how would you engage someone to make a change in their life? Do you agree with my suggestions? Or would you do something different? Please let me know, I’d love to read your comments.

Martin Smith Learning and Development Ltd is a specialist consultancy working with leaders at all levels to improve their relationships with the people that they interact with both internally and externally to the company. We work with organisations, teams and individuals to identify how they can get the best from their people. We have experience spanning diverse industries and encompassing sectors such as engineering, design, customer service, finance, supply chain, sales and procurement.


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  1. Fiona says:

    As always, chocolate is the answer!

    Captivate them: inspire with a vision
    Honesty: share the bad and the good
    Objections: let them be aired
    Clarity: be very clear about the need
    Objectives: achievable and constructive
    Learning: provide required support
    Accessible: not too much too soon
    Tempting: make them want it
    Empowerment: encourage involvement

  2. martin says:

    Thanks Fiona, I like CHOCOLATE too!

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