Willpower is that allusive thing that we all seem to struggle with in one area or another during the course of our personal and professional lives. However, according to Mr. Duhigg, in chapter 5 of, “The power of Habit,” if you are thinking that willpower is something we’re born with, “you just might want to think again!”
Charles tells us, at this point in his book, that willpower is something that really can be taught. He talks here about how Some Corporations have actually begun teaching it to their employees. In fact, it was noted in Duhigg’s book how one worker had commented that their employer teaching them willpower was a far better deal than going to see a Therapist.
It is written in, “The Power of Habit,” that willpower is more like a muscle than anything else. If you are treated roughly a lot your willpower, when tested, will be a lot lower. This is because, like your actual muscles, your willpower gets tired when it is over worked, or just taxed to extreme in general. However, many researchers (from what Charles writes) have found that there is a way to strengthen people’s willpower; a methodology some corporations have begun to implement in training their employees.
Some things a few companies, based on the studies mentioned in this chapter, are doing to help their employees maintain better willpower (AKA the Habit of Self-Discipline) are things like; having them write out detailed plans on how to handle things when situations of a negative nature with a customer/client arise. Management is doing repetitive roll playing, in combination with a written plan, to help make responses more automatic so their willpower isn’t taxed as much. True! In order to develop willpower into an automatic habit one will have to push their self to make it so, even with guidance from a mentor. But Mr. Duhigg explains to us that once we develop self-discipline with regard to one thing, it puts the brain into a mode where we are then more able to use the habit of willpower to effect change in other areas of our lives, overall.
Corporations who invest this kind of effort into their staff have found that their employee turnover rate has gone down while customer satisfaction has gone up. They know that people, when growing up, aren’t getting this kind of help with self-discipline at home or in school and companies have found their efforts in this area quite rewarding.
Sure! Willpower may fluctuate. However, in a professional setting where people are made to feel as if they are more than just a cog in the wheel, their resolve to do a better job increases. Humane treatment makes it easier for the willpower habit loop to continue.
Companies that have recognized this fact have insured their success in the market place. Why? Because willpower flourishes in supportive environments and smart run companies know it’s true!