Making Change Happen – I Want I Want

With Christmas approaching it is that time when children write their letters to Father Christmas and adults search for ideas for gifts for each other.

Many of these presents that we give are items that we believe that the receiver wants or would like rather than things that we need. Anyone giving a child clothes for Christmas will generally see the difference in their reaction to opening your present versus the latest toy or computer game.

As a coach and facilitator I am tuned in to the language that people use when they are talking about what they want to change, what they want to be different and better or how they want to be more effective. I particularly listen to their use of the words “want” and “need”.

I notice a difference in commitment to make changes and make things happen when someone chooses one of these words over the other. For example if someone says “I need to work on the relationship that I have with one of my colleagues” the use of the word “need” here suggests that this is being driven by some external force or internally from purely a rational thought. It could almost be replaced by “have to”.

If we then replace the word with “want” and the person says “I want to work on the relationship that I have with one of my colleagues” this suggests that I am making a choice. It also suggests that I am being driven by an internal desire as well as a rational thought and my commitment to making this happen is much higher. I am choosing to do this.

Listen to the words that you use and look out for “need” and “want” and consider your level of commitment to achieving it.

Just like at Christmas when our pleasure is greater when we receive something that we want rather than need we receive greater success when we truly want to do it.

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