Behavioral Change Coaching

Human Behavioral Change Is Really Difficult and Potentially Priceless When It Happens

Behavioral Change

If you figure it out or if someone tells you that something in your behavior is getting in the way of your progress and you decide that it’s time to address that behavior, there are a few things you should know about behavioral change.

The behavior that is getting in the way of your progress likely didn’t start yesterday.  Therefore, fixing a negative behavior isn’t going to happen as soon as tomorrow. Most human behaviors are deeply ingrained because we’ve been practicing our bad behaviors for a long time.

The idea of changing human behavior is possible and frequently very fruitful but it is also one of the most difficult endeavors a person can take on.  The behavior that is deeply ingrained and practiced will take time to unravel and to improve.

Anyone who is serious about changing behaviors that might be holding back their progress can change their behavior.  There is no magic wand or pixie dust available to facilitate human behavioral change.  A properly trained emotional intelligence coach can assist his / her client in making positive change and the benefits of doing so can be priceless.

What does changing human behavior look like?  Here are just a few examples.

Impulse Control

The smartest person in the room frequently has the impulse to let others know how smart they are.  Learning how to control this impulse and adding a scoop of humility can do wonders for this person’s personal and professional progress. Impulse Control is an Emotional Intelligence skill that can be improved upon.


It has been said that most people listen in order to determine how best to formulate what they’re going to say next.  In other words, they aren’t really listening to actually hear and understand what someone else has to say. They're listening to build their speaking strategy. 

A different listening approach would be to listen with the intention of understanding the person who is speaking.  This change in approach can radically change the results of a conversation.

Winning Too Much

Many people who in leadership roles are highly competitive people who need to win all the time.  The down-side of being wired like this is the tendency for such a person to step in and give his / her team the answers to a problem.  By simply (not so simple for this person) stepping back and allowing one’s team to formulate an answer to a problem, a highly competitive, win at all costs type of leader can dramatically boost his / her team’s willingness to contribute to problem solving in the future.

People who consider how their behavior impacts the audience around them and people who strive to achieve balance in their behavior are the people who will achieve the most desirable results in all facets of life. This is simple to say and very difficult to achieve. 

As difficult as it is to achieve behavioral change, the results of changing negative behavior can be priceless.

Jeff Snyder Coaching


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Meet My Millennial Coaching Clients…They’re Rising Stars



Today I’m thankful for a new career performance coaching client who is coming on board with Jeff Snyder Coaching.  She is one of many rising Information Security / Cyber Security stars I’ve been fortunate to work with.  She is a leader of the future.  What better contribution can I possibly make than to help to prepare future leaders?

I’m excited because I believe the future of Information Security / Cyber Security is now in the hands of millennial aged security professionals more than any other group.  Millennial security professionals who apply themselves and who strive for greatness in their performance have so much possibility ahead of them.

Millennial Talent…Coming Soon!

One of my millennial aged coaching clients is a true rising star in the information security / cyber security profession.  He has a Math and Computer Science degree with a Master’s in Information Assurance.  His scores on common certification exams in the security, risk, compliance and privacy realms are some of the highest recorded scores on the planet.  His unique leading strengths include Strategic, Futuristic, Competition, Activator and Ideation.  He is wicked smart and he is doing what is necessary to prepare him to be a future CISO despite that fact that he is still in his late 20s. It has been an honor, pleasure and an energizing blast for me to have the privilege of coaching this rising star.

Another one of my millennial aged female coaching clients is currently positioned in an information security management role in one of the world’s most widely known high-tech brands.  She too is a rising star.  Her leading strengths include Achiever, Futuristic, Focus, Input and Competition.  She came to me after having had lunch with senior executives in this global company.  They told her that they wanted her on their team and asked her to write a job description she’d be willing to sign up for.  I helped her to write her job description. We wrote it around her natural strengths.  There is a 100% chance that she can hit a grand slam when working in a job that taps into all of her top strengths.

The Common Threads They Share

What these two future CISOs have in common is that they are rocket science smart.  They’re ultra-competitive.  They grew up with technology.  They can’t stand the “because we’ve always done it this way” answers.  They are gifted with deep analytical skills.  Not only are they highly intelligent, they’re built to create new innovations and to get new innovations off the ground.  They’ll always find ways to win.  They both came to me to fine-tune their performance and they’ll come back again in the future when they reach the next opportunity to stretch and grow beyond their peers.

Can you understand why I’m so excited to coach these kinds of rock stars?  If your company is in a hiring mode, these kinds of people do exist but they’re gainfully employed and they’re handsomely rewarded. You need an outside the box strategy to get to this kind of talent.

I was wrong

When I first launched my career coaching and executive coaching services several years ago, I was sure that my client base would be current CISOs and CSOs who are already in place.  I was sure that like me, the current CISOs and CSOs would all want to learn of ways they could improve their performance.  This theory of mine worked in some cases but not as often as I thought it would.

My Futuristic Strength

My futuristic thought process envisioned a world where CISOs and CSOs were all invited to the board room table.  While this is happening in some places, it isn’t happening as frequently as I would like to see it happening and I’m afraid that it isn’t happening as frequently as current CISOs and CSOs would like for it to happen.

I still see a future where CISOs and CSOs are a regular part of the board room package.  What I’ve had to change in my vision is the timing and the actual people who will have this experience.  What I didn’t see coming for my coaching practice was millennial aged security professionals coming to me for coaching and mentoring more often than their current bosses. 

Great News If You’re a Millennial

Here’s the great news for millennial aged security professionals who step up right now for coaching and personal development assistance.  My strengths coaching doesn’t put you in a box or a quadrant.  You get to be 1 in 33,000,000 unique.  We’ll figure out what you have the potential to be great at and we’ll build a strategic plan to move you in that direction.

When it comes to emotional intelligence, emotional intelligence coaching and behavioral change coaching will come much easier to younger people.  Behavioral change is one of the most difficult endeavors a grown adult can face.  Statistically, emotional intelligence is naturally already on the rise for people in their 20s, 30s and 40s.   When we work together to improve your emotional intelligence, we’re ultimately working together to improve your behavior.  Behavior is much more important as your career progresses than your IQ alone.

Ready To Be a Rising Star?, 719.686.8810


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“Smartest Person in the Room Syndrome”


Perhaps you’ve encountered this person?

The smartest person in the room tends to dominate meetings. They don’t let others add a word to their one-sided conversations. They have a consistent need to let others know how intelligent they are. More often than not, they truly are the person in the room who was gifted with the highest IQ.

When it comes to IQ (cognitive skills), the smartest person in the room frequently possesses more intellectual, analytical, logical and rational abilities than everyone else. They are drawn to highly analytical careers such as engineering, information technology or cyber security. These are careers where exceptionally high IQ serves one well.

It is this exceptionally high IQ that enables the smartest person in the room to excel to a certain level. At some point though, the IQ that got the smartest person in the room to where they are will no longer propel them forward to the next level of career success.

Research suggests that IQ can be responsible for as much as +-20% of one’s career success but more often than not, IQ is responsible for as little as 6% of career success.

Is the smartest person in the room doomed to hit a glass ceiling in their career? Often times the answer is yes and the reason is behavior. The smartest person in the room frequently leaves a trail of relationship carnage behind them. They may not wake up every morning thinking about whom they can step on that day, but throughout the day, if they behave in ways that are natural to them, they will step on other people.

What are some of the characteristics of the smartest person in the room?

  • Talk more than they listen.
  • Fail to consider other’s points of view.
  • Have a constant need to be right and to win.
  • Share opinions even when the topic they have an opinion on is not their expertise.
  • Frequently not teachable because their regard for themselves is inflated.
  • Fails to understand how they come across to others.
  • Low in empathy.

Is there a cure for “The Smartest Person in the Room Syndrome”?

There absolutely is a cure if the smartest person in the room can humble themselves to not just accept coaching, but they need to humble themselves to actively participate in and work on their coaching. It’s not a matter of turning weaknesses into strengths. Addressing behavioral change is more about creating strategies to manage behaviors that could impact others in an adverse way.

IQ is generally thought of as being stagnant. In other words, you're as smart today as you're ever going to be. Emotional Intelligence is generally thought to be flexible in that the skills that make up Emotional Intelligence can be adjusted through coaching.

The "Smartest Person In the Room"...with a Behavioral Strategy

A retired military 2 Star General told me a story while we shared a meal. He asked me to take a look at a person I could see over his shoulder at the next table. He asked me if I wanted to know how that person became a 4 Star General when my meal companion had only reached 2 Stars. Not that becoming a 2 Star General is an easy task but my companion really wanted me to understand how his friend and colleague reached the 4 Star level of success.

Of course I wanted to know. The 2 Star General explained to me that he and the 4 Star General graduated from the same class in the military academy they both attended. They both started out with the same credentials to begin their military careers. The game-changer for the 4 Star General was his ability to be the smartest person in the room more often than not throughout his career but he learned to suppress his need to let everyone know that he was so smart.

The 2 Star General told me that the 4 Star General, whom he admired as both a friend and career colleague, excelled in everything he did because he was intellectually gifted but he learned quickly that his career would take off if he learned how to treat people with respect.

Some of the characteristics that enabled the 4 Star General to excel include:

  • Listened more than he talked.
  • Let other people win whenever possible.
  • Considered other people’s points of view.
  • Shared opinions when he was asked for his opinions and not just because he possessed an answer.
  • Was teachable, trainable and receptive to being coached.
  • Exhibited humility.
  • Developed empathy for others.

The 4 Star General developed and mastered Emotional Intelligence. Think about it. The 4 Star General had to have a high IQ in order to get into a military academy. He had to have an exceptionally high IQ in order to graduate at or near the top of his academy class.

The 2 Star General was confident that it was the 4 Star General’s ability to develop trust with those around him, his ability to humble himself and his ability to step into others’ shoes to consider their needs and their points of view that caused his career to excel.

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There Are Many Ways To Lead But Not Without These Behaviors


As a result of recently surveying hundreds of people to find out what traits they want, need and expect a leader to possess in order to be followed, these are the traits that came up most often.

There are many additional traits, skills and characteristics that leaders need to possess in order to lead but what was suggested to me is that regardless of the additional skills, characteristics and traits a leader possesses, they will not be accepted as a leader unless they possess these traits above all others.

Honesty: If a leader is not honest, it is assumed that the leader lacks overall integrity.

Integrity: If a leader is perceived to lack integrity, it is very difficult if not impossible for followers to trust the leader.

Trust: If followers cannot trust a leader, they will be very unlikely to follow this leader for any other reason.

A leader who attempts to lead by way of their title will only be allowed to lead for so long if their followers find reasons to not trust them.

A leader who speaks out of both sides of their mouth and a leader who consistently fails to connect their words to their actions will not be followed for long.

To lead, you’ll need competency in many different areas. You’ll need to be wired with strengths that will cause others to naturally follow you. Without consistent honesty and integrity, you’ll very likely be unable to establish trust. A leader who cannot be trusted cannot lead.

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