I have recently been reading a book about successful coaching by Mick Cope, and one of the sections in it, is about separating those who will from those who won’t. In essence it is all about identifying those who can and want to make changes from those who can’t and won’t. Whilst this is both valid and very useful in what I do, the categories into which he divides people are applicable to most people in most situations.
The range he identifies goes from Players at the most positive and open to change end, through to Protesters at the most negative and unaccepting end. In between we have in descending order, Participants, Passengers and Prisoners. I think that the categorisations are pretty self explanatory, but nevertheless very helpful in deciding whether someone is likely to make changes or not.
The Players are absolutely passionate about what they do, about being successful, and about making meaningful and permanent change. Participants are willing to make change, but tend to enthuse once or twice a week, rather than the whole time. Passengers lack the passion of the previous two, and tend to treat change as a new toy – a nice idea for a while, but as soon as something more interesting comes along, they move on. Prisoners tend to be pushed by someone else to make change – they are there in body, but not in mind or heart. Finally, Protesters, which are like Prisoners, but actively resist and challenge change.
Understanding the different types of people can help you mange your team, and indeed work out who is realistically going to help instigate change, and who may actively sabotage it. You may also find it interesting to analyse yourself. Do you really want things to change for the better, or do you just talk a good game?