Critical Appraisal of Strengths and Weaknesses of Boyatzis’s Intentional Change Theory

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Critical appraisal of strengths and weaknesses of Boyatzis’s intentional change theory

Increasing someone’s knowledge is different from getting them to make lasting changes in their on the job behaviors and it requires a different model of learning which is what Boyatzis’s theory offers [1]

Boyatzis’s model contends that we are more likely to achieve sustainable change when we actively seek to make five discoveries:

1. Our ideal self: the person and leader we truly want to be
2. Our real self: our current nature and how this compares to our ideal self
3. Our personal learning agenda: the things we need to change and do to close the gap
4. Opportunities for experimenting with and practicing new behaviors
5. Those who can
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The fact that this theory focuses on the strengths and provides a methodology to identify the gaps that could exist between the real self and the ideal self is itself a big motivator to continue the journey of self-discovery to the person we could potentially be in order to achieve the “ideal” us.

However, Boyatzis’s theory has a few disadvantages: firstly, it assumes that an individual knows how to make the transition from “My real self” to “My ideal self”. It does not contemplate how to get there, but if we use SAKE (Skills, Attitudes, Knowledge, Experience) to represent our “real self” this will provide us with a clearer idea and a mechanism to identify the gaps in between and an action to achieve the ideal-self, it provides the tool to understand who do we already are, what is missing and what action plan needs to be implemented to fill those gaps.

According to Neck and Manz, Self-leadership is defined as “the process of influencing oneself to establish the self-direction and self-motivation needed to perform” [3] Boyatzis’s theory can be strengthen by Neck and Manz’s in the way that: the two main elements of this theory are Self-talk and mental imagery. Self-talk is what we covertly tell ourselves, it suggests the potential of self-talk as a self-influencing tool for improving personal effectiveness [3] Boyatzis’s model
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