Can People Really Change?

By | 2017-01-13T13:41:54+00:00 October 3rd, 2014|Categories: Respectful Workplace|Tags: |Comments Off on Can People Really Change?

I get asked this question a lot when I do one-on-one sensitivity training sessions.  These situations typically arise when a very valuable or very senior person (or both) engages in some kind of problematic behavior (e.g., inappropriate or unprofessional comments, bullying behavior, harassment).  The employer wants to keep said employee but try to rehabilitate him or her.  I typically meet with the individual for a number of hours and work through the problematic behavior, the legal implications, the other business consequences (e.g., reputational damage), and tools for change.  Is this intensive form of training effective?  Sometimes.

I’ve met with knucklehead senior executives who refuse to take any ownership of the issues that led them to me.  Those ones generally are not in for much of a transformation.  But even more often, I’ve worked with well-meaning folks who didn’t realize how detrimental their behavior was.  While ignorance is not a defense to the law, it can be a state of mind amenable to education and change.  So yes, I do think people can change.  That doesn’t mean they necessarily will, but it does mean that when you have a valuable employee who needs some redirection, one-on-one training can be just the thing.

Are you looking for Respectful Workplace training to help facilitate change within your organization? Contact us today or read about our workshops for more information.

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About the Author:

Sindy Warren
Sindy Warren is the principal of Warren & Associates LLC and an Associate Partner of Legacy Business Cultures. She is an HR and employment law consultant and uses her legal expertise to help clients create and maintain positive and legally compliant employment practices. Sindy creates and delivers training programs on harassment and discrimination and conducts independent workplace investigations. Sindy received her J.D. with honors from Stanford University. She received her B.S. in Psychology from Tufts University (Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude).