It’s the fallacy that if someone understands the theory, or the practice, or simply what to do, that he or she will do it. We see it all the time: People go off to seminars on how to be more effective as leaders, and yet when they return to work, their behavior does not change. The instructor may be entertaining, the subject interesting, the theory intriguing, and the practical steps very clear, but it takes more than knowing what to do to get behavior change.
The key is to tap into a person’s rational self-interest. It’s what effective coaching is all about. And it takes insight, feedback and accountability. It’s why unacceptable behavior so often goes unchanged even after a bad performance review, or a leadership development seminar.