Ways to Change Human Behavior
Byline: Kate Tsubata, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Educators - whether in the home or in classrooms - are confronted daily with the need to instill specific skills and promote positive habits. Becoming someone who can effectively bring about change and development is the subject of a new book, "Influencer: The Power to Change Anything."
The five authors researched situations in which a negative trend existed, but which some had overcome, producing unusually good results. They called these the "positive deviants." Then, they analyzed these "influencers" to discover why they succeeded where others failed.
What they discovered throws out much of the conventional thinking about human development. Rather than being impossible to change, human behavior is quite malleable once a person is influenced to change and given the tools needed to do so successfully.
The authors give examples from a wide variety of circumstances: Thousands of convicted felons with long histories of destructive choices have been helped to become hardworking, educated professionals who are sober and can live peaceably with others.
Youngsters lacking the skills to delay gratification can gain those skills when exposed to adults who served as models.
Overweight, out-of-shape individuals are able to change eating habits and develop a regular pattern of exercise.
The ways in which these miracles have taken place can be reproduced in a wide variety of situations. Reading these basic - and understandable - principles of positive change is a truly refreshing experience. I must say I can't stop thinking about the lessons I got from the book - and I'm so excited to put them into practice and see the same great results.
Home-schoolers may be amazed to find that they already are practicing many of these skills within their home learning. …