Why is it that when people are faced with undeniable outcomes of smoking, that less than 1 in 7 people will give up smoking, even after publicly committing to do so.

Setting aside any debates about habit forming and addictive elements for a moment – this is only 1 example of strong commitments to change being overturned by our negotiations with our selves.

I promised to share with you my experiences at Harvard during December 2012.

Spending time with 40 students from across the globe in cold and windy Harvard – The Boston trip was illuminating to say the least. We wrestled with a process called an immunity map, firstly experiencing the process ourselves and seeing first hand our immune reactions to our own strong and personal commitments to change. Then, dissected each stage of map making and discussed, explored and practiced each element and finally putting it back together again.

Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey very skilfully shared their research and applied a very pragmatic approach to helping us to deepen our understanding of human behaviour. The main premise of this research is that for all the goals and aspirations that a person has, even if there an enormous amount riding on that change (like our very lives) we have just as powerful deep subconscious needs that are being met by not changing. To apply another metaphor – it’s like having one foot in the accelerator and one foot on the brake at the same time.

By working through a carefully crafted process a person can build their own ‘immunity map’ and reveal for themselves the contradictions we hold at a subconscious level. What assumptions we hold, and then go about testing and designing experiments to either validate or prove the inaccuracies in those assumptions.

A powerful and energising process, just as appropriate for individuals striving for self improvement or within organisations and teams.

I am thrilled to be able to offer this within Real World Results portfolio now, I believe the more we understand our conscious and subconscious thinking the more we have the ability to choose well, make great decisions and affect enormous change

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