For over 30 years, Dr. Georgianna Donadio has been a pioneer in the field of behavioral health, working with healthcare professionals and patients to change behaviors that lead to improved health. Her pioneering work is the foundation for the newly published book Changing Behavior: Immediately Transform Your Relationships with Easy-to-Learn, Proven Communication Skills. The book was the winner of the 2012 Indie Book Awards (Relationships) and is highly rated on Amazon (67 five stars reviews at the time of publishing this). Today I’m very happy to feature an interview I recently did with Dr. Donadio regarding her book.
1. What led you to write this book?
A very commonplace motive – I grew up in a significantly dysfunctional family that had very poor communication skills. It was a painful experience that did not prepare me to create successful or fulfilling relationships. Subsequently, I had a strong desire to know how healthy relationships worked and what I needed to know to create them.
For years I avoided writing about the subject as my focus was on the vast amount of work and synthesis required to solidify the research and the outcomes into a cohesive model. This was important so that anyone could understand and apply the skills in their communications with others. At this time, there is so much anxiety in our culture, and so much relational disconnection because of technology, that it became clear it was time to put the information out there for those seeking solutions for better communication skills.
2. Why is your book different from the hundreds of books on the market devoted to helping people improve their relationships?
This book does not attempt to “advise” or “instruct” people in how to make relationships turn out the way they may want them to or to even make them “wonderful”- or for readers to achieve their goals in their relationships. It invites the reader to understand the following:
- Why we all behave as we do.
- What needs to take place in relationship to ourselves and others to trust and welcome the process of change.
- What are relational behaviors that are proven to transform suffering or struggling (or even ordinary relationships) into relationships that are thriving and extraordinary.
This book is the first step by step process (you don’t need therapy or to get over your issues to do this) that guarantees your experience, as well as the other person’s personal experience of communicating, will become enhanced and transformed.A s a result of the choice to follow these easy to learn, proven communication skills you will experience greater control over yourself, your life, and your relationships.
3. Change can be difficult, especially for people who have behaved or communicated in a certain way for years. How does the behavioral change model described in your book make change achievable?
If someone wanted to become a great French chef they would have to (1) have the motivation to learn (2) be willing to consistently apply the steps to achieve their goal. This is no different. It doesn’t matter how we have behaved previously. This step by step method deals with how we choose to be with another person in this moment and not how we may have been with them or others in the past. These steps shift both the intention and the outcome of the interactions.
4. What is something people may be surprised to learn about changing behavior?
You can make the decision to change your behavior in an instant. For most of us it is about the pain/pleasure balance. When our discomfort or pain either within a relationship or being without relationships becomes too great, and out weights the pleasure of “the known” way we have behaved previously, we can and usually do commit to learning and applying skills and tools to make changes. Most change is temporary unless there is an emotional shifting that occurs. That emotional shifting is dramatically facilitated by the Pure Presence model.
5. Where can people get more information about you and your book?
The book website is www.changingbehavior.org. They can download a free excerpt, learn about our workshops and trainings and watch a video about the book. There is an “about the author” section as well.