In order for modern businesses to grow in a dynamic environment, they need to be able to embed sustainable change into the daily behaviours of their teams. Significant growth is a challenging undertaking and it is important to understand that success is rarely achieved to the level that is originally intended, or within the timeframe that is hoped for.
To achieve success, team leaders must ensure they take advantage of the vital moments that occur on the growth journey and clarify any behaviour blocks which may be preventing the path to growth. In this post, we share insights into how to identify and seize vital moments, as well as how to manage behaviour blocks that can occur.
What is a vital moment?
A ‘vital moment’ is the exact point in time when the right behaviour will allow you to proceed towards your goals. It is a decision making point; a critical fork in the road. They are moments where the discussion is opening up new avenues for growth and providing cooperation and collaboration between a team.
How to spot vital moments
Vital moments are most likely to occur in three areas: when people interact, when people make decisions and when people plan.
What is a behaviour block?
A ‘behaviour block’ in a vital moment is a behaviour that prevents a discussion moving forward to a positive or constructive outcome. It can range from a decision, action or behaviour that prevents us as a team from getting to the point of making a decision and can take away any possible avenue for progress, stopping us in our tracks.
‘The mind that opens to a new idea never returns to the same size.’Albert Einstein
A typical vital moment & behaviour block situation
To breakdown clearly what a vital moment and behaviour block is, let’s use an example. Imagine you’ve decided that tomorrow morning will be the first day of your new fitness regime.
You have decided to make the commitment, focus on your health and have consciously made the decision that the first thing you will do the following day is to get up early and go for a long run. You have your gear ready, you’ve set your alarm for 5:30am and feel ready to fully commit to that fitness regime.
You have gone to sleep with the intention that you are going to wake up early and going to go ahead with what you have planned, so what ends up happening? Your alarm goes off at 5:30am in the morning, and it is at that point when the alarm goes off that we have our vital moment.
It is the catalyst that is triggering you to get out of bed to ensure you are staying on track to achieving your exercise goals. You now are faced with the choice, to either get out of bed and follow through with your commitment or convince yourself otherwise and go back to sleep.
So what is the behaviour block that occurs during this vital moment? Well, it is the thing that you do behaviourally, usually subconsciously, in an attempt to prevent what you set out to do. In this case, it would be a time when you thought ‘I can’t do this today… I don’t really want to get up early… I have a long day ahead…I had a late night last night’. It is the self-talk you have with yourself where you attempt to justify why you’re not doing what you set out to do. You try to convince yourself with as many reasons as possible why you shouldn’t do it, whilst you turn the alarm off and go back to sleep.
In this case, when you wake up an hour later you start to feel guilty that you’ve let yourself down again. This is a classic example of a behaviour block in a vital moment.
Other examples of vital moments and behaviour blocks
- You make a suggestion during a meeting only for another colleague to interject with “we have tried that before and it didn’t work”—effectively shutting down the conversation and not allowing the chance to explore the idea again but in a different way.
- You are asked to spare some resources for another department right at a time when you are already behind schedule with your own deadline—so your immediate reaction is to dismiss the request without thinking through how you can help.
How to identify behaviour blocks
In cases where behaviour blocks can affect business success, it is extremely important that team leaders are able to distinctly spot these behaviours as well as shed light on the specific thing that a person is doing or saying that is preventing progress. By leaders discovering these and honing in on a specific item (i.e at this point, you are doing/saying this…) it builds awareness for individuals and the team involved.
The reality of this is, it is a subconscious thing that happens to us all the time, and we’re not aware that we do it. This is because behaviour blocks are itself a ‘reaction’ of some kind that our subconscious mind believes is protecting us from an outcome we don’t understand or don’t want; a ‘pain-avoidant’ reaction.
As they prevent leaders from thinking consciously and acting in a way that is more aligned to our goals, we need to learn how to understand and challenge the trigger in the vital moment to allow us to be more focussed and conscious. A trigger occurs when an individual goes into ‘survival mode’ in response to the prospect of something happening and can be spotted by honing in on a reaction when either yourself, or another person thinks/hears/sees/feels something.
Phil Allison, our Managing Director, talks us through vital moments and behaviour blocks in the video below, providing everyday examples where these behaviours and actions can take place.
We encourage you to reflect on how often behaviour blocks occur during your day-to-day life and consider what actions should take place so that you can take advantage of your vital moments.