Thoughts on Calls to Action?

We typically see someone or some organization create a Call to Action because they want the help of their supporters or customers in creating some type of CHANGE.

For those of us who are in positions to initiate Calls to Action (hint: that’s all of us), here are a few things to keep in mind:

1.    CHANGE unfolds through a series of stages, with ACTION being just one stage.

2.    The ACTION stage is not the only time you can make progress.

3.    ACTION is the most visible form of change, but far from the only one and not necessarily the most important one.

4.    Before the ACTION stage, there are a few other stages (Pre-contemplation, Contemplation and Preparation) where people change their level of awareness, their emotions, their self-image, their thinking, etc. And these stages are important because this is when they are changing to more POSITIVE emotions and a more POSITIVE self-image and more POSITIVE thinking… well hopefully their all POSITIVE changes. Because if their experiences during these earlier stages are negative, then their actions will be negative. So you can see how a Call to Action, even one with good intention, can move people to act even though they are not prepared (on many levels) to act.

and a quick note on how I differentiate POSITIVE actions from NEGATIVE actions: positive actions focus on solutions, strengths and the future and they come from a place of hope. Negative actions focus on the problem, weaknesses and the past and they are rooted in fear.

So yes, we want ACTION. But don’t we want POSITIVE action? And more importantly, don’t we want those positive actions be long lasting?

So all I’m trying to say is: let’s continue with our Calls to Action, but let’s make sure we are spending just as much time, energy, thought and other resources on the steps that lead to POSITIVE, LONG LASTING action.

Thoughts? And thanks for reading!

Changing for Good: Chapter 1 Highlights



My key highlights from Chapter 1:

  • Coaches need to be prepared to meet their client’s where they are at and be comfortable with allowing them to drive the conversation. “Think of the range of possibilities you confront when you combine an individual client, with one or more complicated problems, with a [coach] schooled in a particular theory.”
  • Rather than shaping the therapy to the needs of the client, most therapists assume that the client’s issues will fit into a particular mold.
  • All the hundreds of theories of therapy can be summarized by a few essential principles I [Prochaska] call the “processes of change.”
  • Process of Change = any activity that you initiate to help modify your thinking, feeling, or behavior.
  • The 9 Processes of Change are:
    1. Consciousness raising
    2. Social liberation
    3. Emotional arousal
    4. Self-reevaluation
    5. Commitment
    6. Countering
    7. Environment control
    8. Rewards
    9. Helping relationships
      • for each process, there are dozens, even hundreds of techniques
  • people are more likely to be successful in their change attempts when they are given two choices of how to pursue change rather than once