It’s not rocket science is it? – 5 test questions, just in case it is

Rockets put satellites into orbit, does that make them more complex to understand than human behaviour?

Rockets put satellites into orbit, does that make them more complex to understand than human behaviour?

“It’s not rocket science is it?”

How often do we hear that? This powerful, loaded question is often posed when people start to rationalise proposals for new ways of working. Then an unspoken:

“so we are doing it already, stupid”

hangs in the air.
However, usually when I hear this it indicates to me that the person I am talking to knows that change is not easy. This person knows that moving from the idea of change to starting new behaviours is really challenging. In their heart of hearts they know something different needs to happen. They don’t have the ‘know-how’ to bring this about. Perhaps also they may not want to face the energy demand associated with facing up to a change.

I encourage the person to keep talking to me at this stage as this is the very moment to continue a dialogue.

The knack is to call out this underlying point:

Hold conversations

Hold conversations with people to understand what is holding them back from taking on board new expectations about behaviours

“It may not be rocket science; however, people are not really making any change after all, and it’s not clear what is holding people back from not doing the behaviours?”





Here are 5 follow up questions that I find useful for testing whether rocket science just might be more involved than first thought:

1. What evidence do they have to indicate that the behaviours required may or may not be in place?

2. When people are under pressure is there evidence that shows the behaviours consistently remain in place?

3. Are the words associated with a change unfamiliar to people? If so, what may be the benefit of using words that are more familiar?

4. What are the tangible gains that people can point to from changing behaviours?

5. How will you know the change has been successful – what will success look like?

Reach us at 07779 345 499,

Marjorie Raymond

Marjorie Raymond

T: 07779 345 499


We have experience in developing senior managers and their team members – both on an individual and team level – so they can develop practical approaches that encourage positive, constructive behaviour. This, in turn, leads to the development of positive beliefs and values. We are ready work with you, to help you get the best out of your people.


Here are some examples of approaches that can be used and tailored to your individual needs:

  • Special projects, secondments and assignments
  • Mediation, to address workplace conflict
  • Personal development activities
  • Individual and group coaching…Coaching – a powerful way of developing people
  • Psychometric assessment, which can identify strengths as well as derailing behaviours and also include 360 degree feedback
  • Structured module for understanding the psychological contracts in your organisation, both at an individual or team level
  • Straight Talking: …Straight Talking create change through conversations

Marjorie Raymond