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Learning (Making a Decision to Change)

Once you have identified the kinds of changes you would like to make regarding how you communicate, it is important to stress that achieving the desired change is a process, requiring commitment and dedication.

The process of change is explained by Prochaska & DiClemente (1986) in terms of ten basic elements. Not all will be for you, but some may be very helpful.

Consciousness raising: understanding more about your problem, through being specific about its elements and identifying exactly what you want to change. Learn about it by observation of others and of yourself, and by reading about it.

Self-liberation: Accept responsibility for changing, and make decisions.

Social liberation: seek new alternatives from around your environment: who can help, how can they help you?

Counter-conditioning: substitute more useful responses to your difficulties than the ones you use: try being more assertive; try out working differently with anxiety or shyness.

Stimulus control: restructure your environment so that you are not choosing to mix with people who encourage you to stick with old habits.

Self re-evaluation: reappraise the problem, challenge unhelpful thoughts, and put new ones in place.

Environmental re-evaluation: reappraise the effect of your problem on others, e.g., ask questions of others about their response to you and your problem. Let them know you're changing.

Contingency management: find ways to reward yourself.

Catharsis/dramatic relief: arousal of emotions that could previously have been repressed e.g., through role play.

Helping relationships: enlist helpful others to encourage you as you change. And you can be helpful to them also.

The 'wheel of change' provides some useful information about the stages of change, and explains why some changes just do not happen without keeping up the effort to change.

Stage 1: The Pre-awareness Stage

cirlce relapse image
  • You are not fully aware of the need to change

  • You define what the problem is

  • You can be overwhelmed by the idea of learning fear

  • You may be resigned to the fact you cannot change or learn

  • Websites such as this or others can promote concern for the need to change

Stage 2: Contemplation

We may

  • Experience mixed feelings
  • See benefits, but know it will require commitment
  • Recognise losses and gains point to somewhere that will help

Stage 3: Making a decision

  • Make a decision - you need to purposefully decide on an accessible and appropriate plan of action, to become an effective communicator.

Stage 4: Active change

  • You need planning for action - things you can do.
  • Part of this stage is Reviewing: get to know the tools available to you and Develop these tools.
  • Yoga, diet, family support, Toastmasters,

Stage 5: Maintenace

  • Maintenance can be difficult. You review progress and set goals. Keep at it, and keep renewing your interest in becoming confident.

Building self-confidence as a communicator

This needs to be put in, but think we can do it later…. There are good websites, and perhaps we can just point to those for the moment?

Last updated 17 May 2019 by Listen, Speak & be Heard (Email).