The authors of Crucial Conversations and Crucial Confrontations have taken over fifty years of social science research and created a number of entertaining stories about how "influencers" have implemented changes in personal lives, businesses and the world at large. The one thing we often try first is usually the least effective. Talk is the least effective...so much for the speakers brought in to motivate staff or students to change.
What about rewards and punishments? Risky unless you are targeting specific vital behaviors with the right approaches. But as we have discovered in working with students, Choice Theory replaced Behavior Modification a long time ago. We have had to learn how to develop savvy choices that get the results we want.
Every group of consultants has a model and these scientists put forward this one:
1. Personal Motivation: Make the Undesirable Desirable - How can you help people obtain satisfaction from the right behavior or displeasure from the wrong? We have tried many approaches here, read what worked for them.
2. Personal Ability: Surpass Your Limits - Some changes may require a coach throughout the change process. Our own belief systems sometimes set limits that we need help to overcome.
3. Social Motivation: Harness Peer Pressure - Find respected leaders to buy in and model changes first.
4. Social Ability: Find Strength in Numbers - Read about how convicted felons are reintroduced to society in a way that makes them valued citizens in an area of San Francisco.
5. Structural Motivation: Design Rewards and Demand Accountability - Figure out the structure that needs change and don't just accumulate a series of documents that might describe possible rewards.
6. Structural Ability: Change the Environment - Sometimes the easiest change that can also be the most effective is a simple change in the environment. Move key people into office spaces that bring them into geographic proximity...or move the interference down the hall and out of the path of others.
Although there is some dissonance when the narrative becomes somewhat rambling or the examples fairly far reaching like the worm that eats its way out of human bodies in excruciating pain to the victim, it is worth listening to on trips to and from work. Interesting examples about reducing HIV in Thailand and creating healthy choices in local food establishments. Worth the read, if you have the time.