Creating New Habits: New Habits Formation in 2022

During the past years of the pandemic a lot has changed in our lives. We have adapted to many new habits and have adhered to many new rules. This whole new beginning is a huge challenge on one hand, but it also presents a huge opportunity for managing human behavior in order to create new habits or change existing bad habits in our clients and staff that will last forever!


Covid-19 related insecurity

In times of change, there is an increased feeling of insecurity. Security is one of our basic needs and insecurity is categorized by the brain as a threat. When we are in a state of threat, we release cortisol which is a stress hormone, and our general cognitive ability is compromised.

We cannot think clearly, we cannot seem to decide on proper solutions, we cannot create innovative ideas, and everything seems a bit blurry. During change we may also feel social pressure which will also lead to increasing the level of threat in our brain. Change can represent a threat to status, autonomy, relatedness, fairness, and certainty. In this state people need direction and are more open to guidance.

Read about remote working and its affect on creativity in our blogpost.

That is why we tend to follow rules these days without really thinking about it. Social influence also has a huge impact on our behavior during times of insecurity.


Creating change

It would be relatively easy for a strong, confident, organized leader to convince either team members or clients to behave in a certain way, or to follow certain rules to remain safe and secure, in an effort to create new habits or change old ones. These new rules and procedure implementation would stay in effect for quite a few months before the pandemic decreases in volume, which is an adequate time for them to become habits forever.

A good idea is to write down all the changes you would dream to implement, either for the technological empowerment of your company, or for your teams’ internal and external communication, education and performance, or for your client’s service satisfaction.


New habit plan procedure

For the procedure of habit formation, we need to follow certain steps. Firstly, finding ways to make the goals self-relevant to the people involved, so that the reward is intrinsic, and connected to the self. Intrinsic motivators are linked to our values.

They answer the question “Why do I really want to change my behavior?” If someone is persuaded to change their behavior based on intrinsic motivators, it will have a more long-lasting effect and the individual will not feel threatened.

When we reflect internally and try to generate solutions for practicing the habit, we create insights. We learn, engage, and lead to change more efficiently that way. An insight releases emotion, so the release of dopamine enables engagement.

Secondly, to make the goals tangible we need to create implementation intentions, so that we link the environmental cues to the habit goals. Implementation intensions are “When…then…” actions. For example, “when I want to make a change to the team’s schedule I will ask myself if it is really important”.

Thirdly to create automaticity, the key is repetition. The more we practice the more we move from the goal directed action system, to the habit-based action system. Leaders must be aware that they are constantly mirroring their teams and clients with the way they behave. For change to stick, they need to be consistent with their own behavior first.

Read more about the types of leadership in our blogpost.

Social closeness is a strong parameter in goal setting. We simulate our own future behaviors, by watching other people do it and our motivation is increased.

During the change process it is also essential that leaders offer encouraging feedback. During this time of uncertainty, it is an opportunity for teams to bond and to rely on each other, increasing the sense of relatedness. During such a process, leaders could enhance their collaboration with each member separately. Meetings in small groups to enhance communication and feedback, and to reduce insecurity during these troubled times is essential and very helpful.

Read more about Groupthinking and how to manage your team.

If you want to find ways to establish new habits for your team, take the Quintax Personality Test and find out more about your team’s capabilities and how they can be utilized in a new post pandemic reality!

More information can be found on our site