One of my favorite take aways from my Influencer Training is Vital Behaviors. Vital behaviors are the smallest set of actions that lead to the results you want. They are the few high-leverage actions that if you keep doing, produce the outcomes you’re after. Vital Behaviors are key to change efforts whether you are trying to change yourself or something larger (your team, your organization, or the world.) In fact, change efforts often fail because they either focus on the results but don’t identify the specific actions to get there, or they spend time and energy on a bunch of actions that are good ideas, but aren’t the vital few.
I like to think of the vital behaviors as the MUST actions vs. the SHOULD or COULD. For example, if I want to get my body in fighting shape, I need to workout 4 times per week. If I want to write a book, I need to write and edit daily. I can do a bunch of other supportive behaviors, but if I don’t do these vital behaviors, I don’t get the results I want. Vital Behaviors cut to the chase.
During training, we learned the following points on Vital Behaviors:
- Behaviors are actions, not results.
- Behaviors are actions, not qualities.
- Ask what behaviors would demonstrate that a particular value is being lived.
- If it isn’t actionable, it isn’t a behavior. If you can’t go and “do it”, it’s not a behavior.
- Just because it’s a behavior doesn’t make it vital.
- Look for the fewest behaviors that lead to change.
Vital behaviors depend on context, so while some may be reusable or generic (such as a pattern or proven practice), others will vary from individual to individual or from project to project or from situation to situation. The key is to test what works.
How To Find Vital Behaviors with Larger Projects
We learned a few ways to find Vital Behaviors with larger projects:
- Check with local experts.
- Scan the best and most-cited articles and research.
- Search the Internet for most-cited experts.
How To Find Vital Behaviors with Smaller Projects
We learned a few ways to find Vital Behaviors with smaller projects:
- Determine your crucial moments.
- Find the behaviors in those moments that affect your results.
- Conduct mini-experiments.
Testing for Vital Behaviors
You can test whether you identified Vital Behaviors by asking yourself the following:
- Can you go and “do it”?
- Do they stop self-defeating and escalating behaviors?
- Do they start a reaction that leads to good results? (the domino effect)
During our training, we got to see some simple examples of Vital Behaviors:
|Make 10 cold calls a day to keep the pipeline filled||Hit $2 million in sales by the end of the quarter|
|Do 30 minutes of cardio exercise daily||Lose 3 inches from my waist by December|
3 Vital Behaviors for Weight Loss
What are the 3 Vital Behaviors for losing 40 lbs and keeping it off?
- Weight yourself daily.
- Eat breakfast.
- Workout at home.
3 Vital Behaviors for Diabetes
What are the 3 Vital Behaviors to successfully manage Diabetes?
- Improve diet.
Knowing the Vital Behaviors improves your focus and your results. You can maximize your impact by spending your time and energy doing the right actions that lead to the results you want to produce.
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Photo by Malkav.