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1.5 minutes on influence

1,5 Minutes on Influence: An Overview of our Newsletters

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1,5 Minutes on Influence: An Overview of our Weekly Newsletter

Happy 1,5 Minutes on Influence!

Here is an overview of our weekly 1,5 Minutes on Influence newsletter. Every Thursday, we share 1,5 minutes of insights to explore compelling questions and uncover strategies to positively impact decision-making by applying Behavioural Design.

Astrid

Thanks for reading. You can get more actionable ideas in our popular email newsletter ‘1,5 Minutes on Influence’. Every Thursday, we share 1,5 minutes of insights to explore compelling questions and uncover strategies to positively impact decision-making by applying Behavioural Design. Enter your email 👇 and join over 15.000 other forward-thinking professionals.

1.5 Minutes on Influence: Kicking Negative Habits and Getting Things Done

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1.5 Minutes on Influence: What We Can Learn from TikTok to Kick Negative Habits and Getting Things Done,

Happy 1,5 Minutes on Influence!

Here is your weekly dose of applying the psychology of influence
to positively impact choices and behaviours.

Looking forward to sharing insights with you!

Warm regards,

Astrid

1 MINUTE:
INSIGHT OF THE WEEK

I  have to confess that I was a bit hesitant to write about this topic. This one-minute insight is about excessive use of mobile phones. I try to live life with a non-judgmental mindset, and I find it somewhat patronizing to have an opinion on how people spend their time.

After all, who am I to judge?

But then I came across a study that made me decide to write about this after all: it turned out to be not just a problem I noticed, but one that users experience themselves.

Even more importantly, it  led me to a more profound insight that goes beyond phone use, which I think could be of value to you.

Let’s start with the study. It revealed that a staggering 60% of Instagram users wish Instagram had never been invented, and 57% of TikTok users feel the same about TikTok. These aren’t just any opinions; these are from actual users, of whom there are currently 3.5 billion! So, we do have a massive problem on our hands.

What’s happening here from a behavioural psychology perspective?

The answer lies in the social norm. If all your friends are on these platforms, liking, sharing, tagging, and discovering, and you are not, you are in the out-group. And if there’s one thing we humans dislike, it is being left out. It’s hardwired in our brains that our survival rates are higher in groups. So, we tend to do what others are doing, even if it means holding each other trapped against our will.

And from this comes an important insight. Often, behavioural interventions are directed at the individual, but more and more of today’s challenges call for collective interventions. Only then can we counteract the powerful force of social belonging.

In Behavioural Design, we either make the desired behaviour easier, or the undesired behaviour harder. In another article I read, it mentioned the latter as a collective intervention: schools taking away phones from kids or using special phone sleeves that block all digital connections.

The result? Yes, some kids were not happy initially. But it was a collective intervention, and after a week or two, the kids themselves claimed to feel relieved. And some very positive new behaviours arose: kids started talking to each other more, playing together again, and cyberbullying decreased.

But what we can take away from this, beyond phone usage, is that we need to recognize that many of today’s challenges are deeply social and need solutions that involve everyone. Many attempts to solve these challenges fail because we often view them only from an individual perspective.

If you’ve ever tried deleting a social media app and found yourself back at it again after a few weeks, I hope you can now see that this was because it was an individual intervention. Your unconscious brain is longing for belonging.

Instead of focusing on personal solutions, we should therefore begin to see more issues as collective problems that require collective answers. In summary, this is a plea for giving more attention to system interventions.

Understanding the psychological barriers that keep groups stuck in certain behaviours might be the key to changing behaviours on a larger scale. Not just because we want to, but because people themselves are asking for change.

 

Did You Know

We have translated the most groundbreaking insights from the psychology of influence into practical methods and tools. We teach these in our two-day Behavioural Design Fundamentals Course. You can download the brochure here NL and UK. The training is available in both Dutch and English, and can be tailored for teams.

0,5 MINUTE:
NOT TO BE MISSED THIS WEEK

Prioritsation beats efficiency

Have you ever heard of the smaller task trap? Even if you haven’t, you probably have experienced it. When faced with multiple tasks, we tend to start with the easier one first. It sounds logical and maybe even motivating to get a first task out of the way, but we as humans are easily distracted and procrastination leads to cancellation. Hence, the trap.

Other research has revealed that if you ask people to do a large number of tasks, they tend to do less than when chunking the tasks.

So, what can we learn from this? One very effective way to get things done is to prioritize rather than simply trying to be more efficient. Each day, select three tasks that you aim to complete.

A commonly used strategy for selecting your priorities is the value/effort matrix. Tasks that are high value and low effort can be quick wins, while high value, high effort tasks can deliver significant strategic value. As for low value tasks, you can likely ignore them for now. This approach keeps your workload manageable, helps you focus, and prevents you from getting stuck in the smaller task trap.

 

 

Want to share this week’s newsletter on your website, on social media or email? Just copy and paste this link:  https://suebehaviouraldesign.com/breaking-habits-get-things-done/

Until next week,

Astrid Groenewegen

Thanks for reading. You can get more actionable ideas in our popular email newsletter ‘1,5 Minutes on Influence’. Every Thursday, we share 1,5 minutes of insights to explore compelling questions and uncover strategies to positively impact decision-making by applying Behavioural Design. Enter your email 👇 and join over 15.000 other forward-thinking professionals.

1.5 Minutes on Influence: How to Design Sticky Behaviour and Rethinking Value

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1.5 Minutes on Influence: The Key to Lasting Behaviour Change and Rethinking Value

Happy 1,5 Minutes on Influence!

Here is your weekly dose of applying the psychology of influence
to positively impact choices and behaviours.

Looking forward to sharing insights with you!

Warm regards,

Astrid

1 MINUTE:
INSIGHT OF THE WEEK

As some of you know from last week’s newsletter, I’m on holiday, and it made me remember an insight I wanted to share about maintaining desired behaviours. I’ll illustrate this with a challenge we worked on for diabetic patients.

Let me begin by stating that not all behaviours are the same. Broadly speaking, we can distinguish between two types: one-off behaviours, like signing up for a pension plan, and continuous behaviours, like taking medication or exercising.

That second type of behaviour can be particularly challenging. We often intend to maintain certain behaviours but struggle to follow through. This isn’t because we’re weak; it’s because we’re human, and life gets in the way. No one wants to be unhealthy, face financial problems, live in a polluted environment, be glued to their phone, or worry endlessly about the future. But sometimes, we simply don’t or can’t take the steps needed to prevent this.

Returning to the work for diabetic patients, it highlighted one of the most crucial aspects for successful and lasting behavioural change: Moments.

Moments might seem trivial, but there’s more to them than meets the eye. It’s about recognising the difference between a customer journey and a human journey.

You probably know that diabetic patients must follow a strict diet to keep their insulin levels stable. However, this doesn’t always go as planned. From a customer journey perspective, a doctor is a vital touchpoint for providing patients with guidance on what to do and what to avoid. However, our client indicated that health care professionals were very frustrated that patients didn’t always follow up on this advice.

We mapped out the human journey and discovered a critical moment when patients often break their routines: the holidays. Like everyone else, diabetic patients want to enjoy their time off and life’s pleasures without worry. Understandably, this is when sticking to their diet becomes the hardest.

In moments like these, they don’t need their doctor’s information; they need support, particularly from others facing the same challenges. That’s why we created a community for diabetic patients, enabling them to connect with other patients during their holidays and help each other through those difficult times.

The key insight I want to share with you is that by adopting a human journey perspective and stepping into the person’s shoes, rather than focusing solely on your product or service, you’ll uncover new moments that reveal genuine human needs. This will help you develop more relevant solutions.

This leads to the second insight I’d like to share. We often focus on positive moments for people. However, the real key to helping people maintain their behaviour is to support them when times get tough.

These are the crucial “Moments that Matter”—the moments when life gets in the way, and someone struggles to hold on. That’s when you can truly make a difference.

In conclusion, there’s a difference between a customer journey and a human journey. The customer journey maps out all the touchpoints users have with a product or service, while the human journey encompasses all the moments when a person—a human navigating life’s challenges—consciously or unconsciously decides to act or not. It also includes when they struggle to maintain their behaviour, even if they wish to.

By considering human journeys and Moments that Matter, you can connect more deeply with your target audience. Moreover, this approach opens up a world of opportunities to develop solutions and innovations that are genuinely customer-centric.

 

Interested in understanding the psychological forces that drive behaviour and discovering a method for creating behavioural interventions that lead to better decisions and desired behaviours? Join our two-day Fundamentals Course! You can download the brochure here NL and UK. The training is available in both Dutch and English, and can be tailored for individuals or teams.

0,5 MINUTE:
NOT TO BE MISSED THIS WEEK

Rethinking Value

I came across this experiment by  that illustrates how rethinking value can yield surprising results. She divided her class into groups and issued a challenge:

Each group was given $5 and 2 hours to make the highest return on the money.

At the end, they had to give a short presentation on their strategy. The winning group thought differently and achieved an unexpected outcome.

They made three key observations:

  1. The $5 was a distraction.
  2. Two hours wasn’t enough time to generate a significant return with a small business.
  3. The most valuable “asset” was actually the presentation time in front of a class of Stanford students.

Recognising the value of this hidden asset, they offered the presentation time to companies seeking to recruit Stanford students. They sold the slot for $650, a substantial return on the initial $5.

 

Want to share this week’s newsletter on your website, on social media or email? Just copy and paste this link: https://suebehaviouraldesign.com/sticky-behaviour-rethinking-value/

Until next week,

Astrid Groenewegen

Thanks for reading. You can get more actionable ideas in our popular email newsletter ‘1,5 Minutes on Influence’. Every Thursday, we share 1,5 minutes of insights to explore compelling questions and uncover strategies to positively impact decision-making by applying Behavioural Design. Enter your email 👇 and join over 15.000 other forward-thinking professionals.

1.5 Minutes on Influence: Effect of Heat on Behaviour and Why Skills Are Sometimes Overrated

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1.5 Minutes on Influence: The Effect of Heat on Behaviour and Why Skills Are Sometimes Overrated

Happy 1,5 Minutes on Influence!

Here is your weekly dose of applying the psychology of influence
to positively impact choices and behaviours.

Looking forward to sharing insights with you!

Warm regards,

Astrid

1 MINUTE:
INSIGHT OF THE WEEK

I’m writing this in southern Vietnam, where it’s a sweltering 34°C (93.2°F). I can’t complain, but it’s made me think about how heat affects our decision-making and behaviour. Truth be told, I feel like my brain is operating in slow motion. But what does science have to say about this?

Is there a link between heat and behaviour?

If you’ve ever snapped at someone during a heatwave or felt more irritable, you’re not alone. Heat does indeed affect our behaviour. I’ve found research that describes the “heat hypothesis”. The studies reveal that heat can intensify anger, aggression, and even lead to violence., which explains why crime peaks in summer.

In other words, when the heat is on, we tend to act more heated ourselves. Not only do we snap as people, but we also make snap judgments and decisions.

This could be why “overheated” discussions don’t have a positive reputation.

So, what can we do?

The most logical answer is to try and stay cool. And secondly. It helps to do some self-observation Be more attentive to your mental boiling point. If you start to notice yourself becoming more irritable, it’s time to cool down. You know the saying: “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.”

Thirdly, anger management is key. If you feel anger rising, try to refocus your attention on something positive. Behavioural science has taught us that where our focus is, our attention goes, along with the feelings that follow.

Lastly, behaviour doesn’t occur in isolation; it’s influenced by our surroundings. It’s important to understand what triggers your anger most and avoid those situations. For example, I can’t tolerate people who eat noisily, so I consciously steer clear of them.

I leave you with a question. As the planet warms, ACs may put too much strain on the energy grid, and people may become more irritable during the heat. Perhaps we need innovative ideas to keep our heads cool in the future.

The cold turns out to be fuel for innovation.

And positive side-effect? We don’t need to complain about cold weather anymore—how is that for a positive spin!

I’m going for a dip in the pool now. I’ll send you some moderate warmth from here!

Further reading:

Temperature and aggression: ubiquitous effects of heat on occurrence of human violence. Psychological Bulletin.
Homicide in São Paulo, Brazil: Assessing spatial-temporal and weather variations. Journal of Environmental Psychology.
Temperature and mental health: Evidence from the spectrum of mental health outcomes. Journal of Health Economics.

Interested in understanding the psychological forces that drive behaviour and discovering a method for creating behavioural interventions that lead to better decisions and desired behaviours? Join our two-day Fundamentals Course! You can download the brochure here NL and UK. The training is available in both Dutch and English, and can be tailored for individuals or teams.

0,5 MINUTE:
NOT TO BE MISSED THIS WEEK

Why Skills Are Sometimes Overrated

I listened to a fascinating podcast that touched upon the difference between skills and behaviour, which is especially insightful if you’re in a leadership role. The author argued that we tend to give more leeway to performance, but not to behaviour, as

Behaviour is a choice, not a skill.

As a new leader, everyone is watching not just what you do, but what you don’t do. If you fail to address issues that everyone else can see, your leadership reputation is already in jeopardy, as people might perceive you as oblivious, indecisive, or overly tolerant of poor behaviour.

This perspective is interesting in three ways. First, we might want to reconsider placing such heavy emphasis on skill assessment in hiring. Performance-based interview techniques that focus on past behaviour have long been used in the military, where people’s actions can have life-or-death consequences. However, we could all benefit from this approach to improve our hiring decisions.

Second, this insight isn’t just useful for leaders; it’s relevant for anyone within an organisation. In practice, people judge you by your actions, not by your CV.

And finally, on an organisational level, this is a vital insight as so much time and effort goes into building thriving company cultures, but ultimately, I believe a company’s culture is the sum of the behaviours of its people, particularly those when no one is watching.

Food for thought and more Behavioural Design!

 

 

Want to share this week’s newsletter on your website, on social media or email? Just copy and paste this link: https://suebehaviouraldesign.com/heat-and-skills-vs-behaviour/

Until next week,

Astrid Groenewegen

Thanks for reading. You can get more actionable ideas in our popular email newsletter ‘1,5 Minutes on Influence’. Every Thursday, we share 1,5 minutes of insights to explore compelling questions and uncover strategies to positively impact decision-making by applying Behavioural Design. Enter your email 👇 and join over 15.000 other forward-thinking professionals.

1.5 Minutes on Influence: Boosting Your Professional Impact and Getting Kids to Eat Veggies

By 1.5 minutes on influence, newsletter

1.5 Minutes on Influence: Boosting Your Professional Impact and Getting Kids to Eat Veggies

Happy 1,5 Minutes on Influence!

Here is your weekly dose of applying the psychology of influence
to positively impact choices and behaviours.

Looking forward to sharing insights with you!

Warm regards,

Astrid

1 MINUTE:
INSIGHT OF THE WEEK

Last week, I found a large dent in the driver’s side door of my car. I hadn’t even been in the car, so I can assure you it wasn’t my doing. I consider myself a decent driver, until I came across a study that made me question that self-assessment.

It talked about drivers’ perceptions of their own abilities. The study revealed some amusing yet insightful contrasts: when asked how many people are good drivers, participants said only 5%. Yet, when rating themselves, 50% believed they were good drivers. This phenomenon is known as overconfidence bias, where we tend to overrate our own abilities in completing tasks.

We as humans all have some hard-wired beliefs that affect our perceptions, evaluations, and judgments. This brings me to an important point I want to discuss.

Lately, I think we’ve been overly focused on behaviour.

This might sound odd coming from someone who founded SUE Behavioural Design, but it’s a crucial insight. Groundbreaking work in behavioural sciences, like that recognized by the Nobel Prize, were not predominantly on behaviour but gave us insights on how we as humans come to decisions. And yes, the outcome of these decisions can absolutely be behaviour.

But it could also very well be that the outcome is that we decide to change our minds, shift our beliefs, or see things in a new light. Which is also a very important outcome, vital for buy-in, cooperation, or maintaining good reputations.

Sometimes, understanding the root of someone’s strong beliefs is more important than trying to change their behaviour. If they have entrenched beliefs, introducing new behaviours might be futile.

By grasping how decisions are made, we can see why people sometimes make illogical choices. This not only helps explain why your partner insists they are a great driver (when you know the truth might be different), but also addresses larger issues, like why people fail to save for retirement, exercise, or recycle.

For example, optimism bias leads us to underestimate the likelihood of negative outcomes and overestimate positive ones. Believing that the future will be better can deter immediate action. Most solutions don’t consider this bias, but if we do, we can design interventions to help people overcome it.

I am a firm believer that insight into decision-making is the most critical wisdom that behavioural sciences can offer.

The ability to understand and influence decisions is key to success for every professional, not just for behavioural experts or behaviour units.

Recognizing and harnessing this skill will add a missing layer to your expertise and make you a more impactful professional as you gain better control over outcomes.

 PS. I really didn’t dent the car, Scout’s honor!

 

Further reading:

Study on driver’s overconfidence
Optimism Bias

 

We offer two one-day team workshops, available in both English and Dutch, that focus on understanding biases affecting decision-making and exploring strategies to counteract them. One workshop, ‘Biases in Marketing,’ delves into marketing-specific biases. The other, ‘13 Biases in the Boardroom,’ addresses biases encountered in executive settings. Contact us (NL or EN) if you would like some more information or book the workshop(s).

0,5 MINUTE:
NOT TO BE MISSED THIS WEEK

Do you have kids and have you ever heard yourself say, ‘If you don’t eat your vegetables, you don’t get dessert‘?

Well, did you know there’s a more effective way to get your kids to eat fruit and vegetables? German researchers have found that extending family meals by approximately 10 minutes can help. When families spent more time at the table, children took seven additional bites of fruits and vegetables.

So, perhaps the key to healthier eating habits for children is about spending more quality time together at meals. Next time, consider lingering a little longer at the dinner table; it might just make a world of difference for your child’s diet.

 

Want to share this week’s newsletter on your website, on social media or email? Just copy and paste this link: https://suebehaviouraldesign.com/professional-impact-kids-veggies/

Until next week,

Astrid Groenewegen

Thanks for reading. You can get more actionable ideas in our popular email newsletter ‘1,5 Minutes on Influence’. Every Thursday, we share 1,5 minutes of insights to explore compelling questions and uncover strategies to positively impact decision-making by applying Behavioural Design. Enter your email 👇 and join over 15.000 other forward-thinking professionals.

1.5 Minutes on Influence: Fighting Unproductive Meetings and The Kahneman Spiral Effect

By 1.5 minutes on influence, newsletter

1.5 Minutes on Influence: Fighting Unproductive Meetings and The Kahneman Spiral Effect

Happy 1,5 Minutes on Influence!

Here is your weekly dose of applying the psychology of influence
to positively impact choices and behaviours.

Looking forward to sharing insights with you!

Warm regards,

Astrid

1 MINUTE:
INSIGHT OF THE WEEK

Have you ever had a week where most of your schedule was filled with meetings? Imagine if your company announced that all regular meetings with more than two people were canceled. Shopify did exactly that a while ago, putting the whole company on a ‘meeting diet.’

My first reaction was, “Wow, that would free up a lot of space.” However, from a behavioural psychology standpoint, this isn’t just a gentle nudge; it’s a strict limitation.

I don’t know about you, but I struggle with restrictions. Behavioural psychology explains this through reactance theory, which suggests that when our freedom is limited, it negatively affects us psychologically. Often, we might ignore the rules or even do the opposite, similar to how we’re tempted to pick the forbidden fruit.

Yet, the issue of meeting fatigue is real and widespread. So, I started thinking. Could other research from behavioural science help us address this problem?

First, we need to understand the problem correctly. It’s not that we have meetings; it’s that we have ineffective meetings. They are often unprepared, focus too much on trivial details, or include people who don’t contribute.

Looking at it from a ‘job-to-be-done’ perspective, meetings have much more potential. They can inspire us, spark collaboration, and help us make progress.

What if we prioritized these human needs? For example, what if part of the company culture was to hold shorter meetings? This would change the social norm. Making it much more encouraging for employees to come up with ways to implement this themselves. This could activate the Ikea Effect: if you invest effort in creating something yourself, you’re more likely to appreciate and follow through with it.

Perhaps we could also make the desired behaviour easier, rather than mandatory. I appreciate how, when you schedule a meeting using Calendly, the default meeting time is set to 30 minutes. You can change it, but the default encourages shorter meetings.

Consider Jeff Bezos’ ‘six-pager memo’ approach at Amazon, which transformed the way meetings are conducted. These memos establish a new standard for presenting ideas and facilitate deeper, more informed discussions on complex topics. Each meeting begins with a 30-minute period dedicated to reviewing the memo, ensuring all attendees are well-prepared and aligned. This setup leads to focused discussions, with time for thorough questions, analysis, and debate.

We at SUE, have decided not to share any to-dos in meetings, but to only discuss where we need help from other team members. This has made our meetings much shorter but foremost much more valuable.

Further reading:

McGregor, J. This company is canceling all meetings with more than two employees to free up workers’ time.

Reactance Theory

The Ikea Effect

Jeff Bezos Six Pager Memo.

 

Wish to learn more about how our brain works and how behaviour is shaped: download the brochure of our Behavioural Design Fundamentals Course here.

0,5 MINUTE:
NOT TO BE MISSED THIS WEEK

I can’t help but remember Daniel Kahneman again. I read a wonderful article featuring 30 short reminiscences from some of those closest to him. One memory was from Danny Lovello. He was frustrated because Kahneman often changed his mind, sometimes returning to where his thinking had started. Kahneman’s response (quoting the article), which I loved, was:

“Dan, that’s when I learn the most.” Then, using his finger, he drew a circle in the air. “I don’t just go around and around a problem. It might seem like it, but I am actually going deeper and deeper.” He added, “I’m more like a spiral than a circle.”

I have named it the Kahneman Spiral Effect. Let’s all try to spiral a bit more sometimes to deepen our thinking. Who knows where we might end up.

 

Want to share this week’s newsletter on your website, on social media or email? Just copy and paste this link: https://suebehaviouraldesign.com/meetings-and-spiral-effect/

Until next week,

Astrid Groenewegen

Thanks for reading. You can get more actionable ideas in our popular email newsletter ‘1,5 Minutes on Influence’. Every Thursday, we share 1,5 minutes of insights to explore compelling questions and uncover strategies to positively impact decision-making by applying Behavioural Design. Enter your email 👇 and join over 15.000 other forward-thinking professionals.

1.5 Minutes on Influence: The Effect of Sound and Charlie Munger

By 1.5 minutes on influence, newsletter

1.5 Minutes on Influence: The Effect of Sound and Charlie Munger

Happy 1,5 Minutes on Influence!

Here is your weekly dose of applying the psychology of influence
to positively impact choices and behaviours.

Looking forward to sharing insights with you!

Warm regards,

Astrid

1 MINUTE:
INSIGHT OF THE WEEK

Do you like the sound of this?

As I am typing this, I am listening to some techno on my Apple AirPods. I haven’t turned on noise cancellation, though, because I always feel awkward shutting myself off completely in public. Silence can be very uncomfortable.

But coincidentally, as I was listening and browsing, I came across an article about the effect of sound on our brain and how it influences our health, buying decisions and learning capabilities.

With noise pollution becoming a more frequent issue, I was curious if there are behaviours that can help us cope. Here’s what I learned:

Several studies have shown a correlation between noise and health. Overexposure to noise can induce stress and anxiety.

An even more shocking study was conducted on children in noisy school environments, showing that they had lower reading levels and speech problems. The upside is, once noise was reduced, the children’s performance returned to average.

But there’s is more. Did you know that the type of music we hear in shops shape our buying decisions? An experiment at a supermarket showed that playing French or German music influenced customers to buy wines from the respective countries. On days when French music was played, 77 percent of the wine purchased was French, whereas on days when German music played, customers predominantly bought German wine.

So, what’s happening here?

Our brain is wired to pick up sound very easily, but this blocks other cognitive abilities. It can only focus on so much at the same time. So, that is a plea for silence. However, silence can also be uncomfortable.

But there’s an upside.

You can use sounds to foster more positive behaviours.

Listening to classical music, audiobooks, birds chirping, or podcasts can have a positive effect. For instance, listening to classical music can help you absorb new information better.

And if you want to improve your thinking? Silence is golden; it helps you process and focus. So, next time someone asks you a question, make sure to pause for a moment and embrace the silence. It will help you come up with better answers.

I immediately started organizing my Spotify playlists in a “job-to-be-done” manner. I now have playlists called #writingtunes, #cookingtunes, and, truth be told, #esgehtlos techno tunes. My advice is to experiment which sounds work for you and when.

I can just hope you like this item, otherwise I have to skip my techno when writing and that would honestly hurt.

Further reading:

Wish to learn more about how our brain works and how behaviour is shaped: download the brochure of our Behavioural Design Fundamentals Course here.

0,5 MINUTE:
NOT TO BE MISSED THIS WEEK

I want to wrap up this week with a book recommendation: “Poor Charlie’s Almanack.” It compiles the worldly wisdom of the late, brilliant, and utterly witty Charlie Munger. For years, it was out of print but has now been republished and is an absolute gem. Just to share two brilliant quotes from Munger already:

“If you don’t adapt, you’re like a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest.”

“A great business at a fair price is superior to a fair business at a great price.”

Here you can get your copy: English edition.

 

Want to share this week’s newsletter on your website, on social media or email? Just copy and paste this link: https://suebehaviouraldesign.com/the-effect-of-sound-charlie-munger/

Until next week,

Astrid Groenewegen

Thanks for reading. You can get more actionable ideas in our popular email newsletter ‘1,5 Minutes on Influence’. Every Thursday, we share 1,5 minutes of insights to explore compelling questions and uncover strategies to positively impact decision-making by applying Behavioural Design. Enter your email 👇 and join over 15.000 other forward-thinking professionals.

1,5 Minutes on Influence: Forget Benefits and Knowing Which Books to Read

By 1.5 minutes on influence, newsletter

1,5 Minutes on Influence: Forget Benefits and Knowing Which Books to Read

Happy 1,5 Minutes on Influence!

Here is your weekly dose of applying the psychology of influence
to positively impact choices and behaviours.

Looking forward to sharing insights with you!

Warm regards,

Astrid

1 MINUTE:
INSIGHT OF THE WEEK

I wanted to share a thought that hit me while looking back at all the problems we’ve solved at SUE and studying other projects in behavioural design.

We often think the best way to persuade people is to show them the good things they’ll get if they change their behaviour. We do this by highlighting the benefits or pointing out the unique selling points.

However, I’ve realized that influencing people effectively goes beyond just showcasing the benefits. It’s crucial to remove the barriers to change.

Let me explain with an example from our work. During the Covid pandemic, a local health service sought our help to increase flu vaccination rates among healthcare workers. They were worried about a Covid surge happening at the same time as the flu season, and they wanted healthcare workers to be as protected as possible (to be clear, this initiative was about protection, not obligation or coercion).

When we talked to the healthcare workers, Most healthcare workers understood the flu vaccination’s benefits. They even said it would help them keep working, which was their main goal during the tough Covid times. They wanted to stay healthy for their patients and colleagues, who were all under a lot of stress.

However, the very motivation to be a stable contributor to the workforce faced a significant barrier— an obstacle that hindered the desired behaviour of getting a flu shot, which needed to be addressed.

The obstacle to vaccination wasn’t doubt about the flu vaccine’s benefits, but the inconvenience of accessing it. Many healthcare workers hesitated to leave their busy workplaces and colleagues to get vaccinated.

We tripled the number of healthcare workers getting the flu shot by directly addressing this barrier: introducing mobile vaccination teams to their workplaces. This straightforward and effective strategy eliminated the hassle of getting vaccinated,

This experience underscored a crucial lesson:  before you start talking about the good things that come with a behaviour change, first think about what might be stopping people from making that change.

With this insight, what steps can you take on your own? To boost your success in behavioural change, reflect on these four categories of potential obstacles in your projects:

·  Barriers from within: These are internal anxieties such as a lack of self-confidence, misalignment with one’s self-image or beliefs, feelings of insecurity, or simply not seeing oneself as the type of person who engages in the desired behaviour.

·  Barriers from others: This category includes anxieties about what others will think, the perception that the majority are not engaging in the behaviour, or that it contradicts what one has been taught by others.

·  Barriers from you: Anxieties can also stem from a lack of trust in the person or organization advocating for the change, not liking them, or not knowing them well enough.

·  Barriers from the desired behaviour itself: Doubts about one’s ability to perform the new behaviour, previous failures, disbelief in its effectiveness, or concerns about affordability are also significant sources of anxiety

Remember, making things easy for people is often more effective than trying to boost their motivation. Capability to change eats willingness to change for breakfast!

Further learning:

More about identifying and removing obstacles to change in my book ‘The Art of Designing Behaviour’ or ‘De Kunst van Gedrag Ontwerpen‘.

Are you interested in mastering the skill of pinpointing psychological barriers to change and selecting the right interventions to effectively overcome them? Join our two-day Behavioural Design Fundamentals Course and we will teach you (Dutch and English editions).

0,5 MINUTE:
NOT TO BE MISSED THIS WEEK

Do you also have so many books you still want to read? But don’t find the time to do it? I read this great insight from Thoreau about books that really resonated with me that will get you reading but also will help you select the books worth reading.

The ‘what to read’ selection is basically quite simple. Sometimes you have books that might as well could have transferred the main ideas into a blog post. So, ask yourself why delve into hundreds of pages when a brief article could summarize the book’s main ideas?

However, there are books out there that are more than mere conveyors of information; they are tools for thinking with new ideas. And yes, it may strike some as a drag the time it takes to engage with the ideas that are put forward. But hold on, it makes sense to do so. To paraphrase Thoreau,

Every tool has its challenges: The time given to working through new ideas, adopting and adapting, developing or discarding, changes our minds, changes us. This process of thinking, changing our minds, or even saying no to some ideas, really helps us grow. The true worth isn’t just in what we learn, but in the understanding we grow by thinking deeply about these ideas.

This really opened my eyes to which books I own and actually want to read. I hope it does the same for you.

Further reading:
My book ‘The Art of Designing Behaviour’ was meant to be a tool for you. To kickstart your growth in Behavioural Design you can download the first part here for free (scroll down a bit on the page). Dutch or English.

Want to share this week’s newsletter via social media or email? Just copy and paste this link: https://suebehaviouraldesign.com/forget-benefits-what-books-to-read/

Until next week,

Astrid Groenewegen

Thanks for reading. You can get more actionable ideas in our popular email newsletter ‘1,5 Minutes on Influence’. Every Thursday, we share 1,5 minutes of insights to explore compelling questions and uncover strategies to positively impact decision-making by applying Behavioural Design. Enter your email 👇 and join over 15.000 other forward-thinking professionals.

1,5 Minutes on Influence: Kahneman and Achieving Your Goals

By 1.5 minutes on influence, newsletter

1,5 Minutes on Influence: Kahneman and Achieving Your Goals

Happy 1,5 Minutes on Influence!

Here is your weekly dose of applying the psychology of influence
to positively impact choices and behaviours.

Looking forward to sharing insights with you!

Warm regards,

Astrid

1 MINUTE:
INSIGHT OF THE WEEK

This week, our 1 minute is dedicated to Prof. Daniel Kahneman, who we sadly lost yesterday. A titan in the field of behavioural economics, Kahneman’s work has profoundly influenced us at SUE. Often hailed as the ‘grandfather’ of behavioural economics, he was actually the grandfather figure I would have wished to have.

These are 5 reasons why he was so special:

1.     The Simplicity of His Groundbreaking Theory
Kahneman showed us that human thinking could be divided into two systems: fast, intuitive thinking (System 1) and slow, logical thinking (System 2). This elegantly simple idea revolutionized our understanding of decision-making. Dr. Kahneman discovered that people often rely on mental shortcuts, leading to decisions that go against their own best interests. This know-how helps us make better decisions and understand how we can shape behaviours for the better.

2.     The Wit of His Quotes
Kahneman had a way with words that captured complex ideas in a nutshell. Consider these gems:

“Human beings are to thinking as cats are to swimming.
They can do it, but they prefer not to.”

or

“We’re blind to our blindness. We have very little idea of how little we know. We’re not designed to know how little we know.”

 

3.     The Creative Genius of His Experiments
Kahneman’s experiments, a fusion of intelligence and curiosity, explored the unique aspects of the human mind. Take his revealing study on colonoscopies, for instance: he found that if the discomfort decreased towards the procedure’s end, people remembered the entire experience more favorably, even if it lasted longer. This insight into the selective way we remember things sheds light on the intricate workings of human psychology, highlighting how our final impressions can profoundly shape our memories.

4.     His Special Work Relationship with Amos Tversky
Kahneman and Tversky’s partnership was nothing short of legendary. They shared a typewriter and would toss a coin to decide whose name would be listed first on their collaborative papers, as their ideas had become indistinguishably intertwined.

5.     The Range of Domains He Influenced
From the military to helping baseball scouts to evaluate talent, from governments making better public policies to leadership teams to become less leaderless, the impact of his work was widespread.

Daniel Kahneman’s legacy is a testament to the transformative power of curiosity, creativity, and collaboration.

Let us all strive to embody these three powerful ‘C’s in our daily lives.

At SUE, we will continue to build on the foundation he laid,
Forever mindful of his profound impact on our understanding,
of the human mind and behaviour. He will be missed.

 

Further reading, watching and learning:

Kahneman fast and slow thinking explained
System 1 and 2 quick guide
The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds
Daniel Kahneman | Talks at Google
Learn yourself how to apply Kahneman’s thinking

0,5 MINUTE:
NOT TO BE MISSED THIS WEEK

With spring blossoming around us, it’s the perfect moment for a fresh start. Did you know that the start of a new week, month, or even a birthday can dramatically boost your motivation to achieve your goals?

This phenomenon, known as the ‘Fresh Start Effect’, is a psychological boost that empowers us to pursue our goals with renewed vigor. Here’s a little guide on how to make it work for you:

1.     Spot Your New Beginning: Keep an eye out for those dates that naturally feel like a fresh start. It could be the coming of spring, the beginning of a new school term, or just any Monday.

2.     Define What You Want to Achieve: Use these moments as opportunities to set clear, achievable goals. Whether you’re embarking on a fitness journey, learning a new skill, or improving daily habits, clear goals are crucial.

3.     Embrace Your Clean Slate: Fresh start moments offer you a psychological break from your past, including any missteps or setbacks. Treat it as a clean slate, a chance to start anew without the burden of yesterday.

4.     Map Out Your Path: Plan the steps you’ll take towards your goals. A detailed plan transforms your aspirations from wishes into actionable objectives.

So, here’s your takeaway:
Don’t wait for a new year for a fresh start. Every day presents a new opportunity. Let’s use the Fresh Start Effect to kickstart our goals 🌱.

 

Further reading:

The Fresh-Start Effect: Motivational Boosts Beyond New Years’ Resolutions
The Fresh Start Effect: Temporal Landmarks Motivate Aspirational Behavior

 

Want to share this week’s newsletter via social media or email? Just copy and paste this link:
https://suebehaviouraldesign.com/kahneman-achieving-goals/

Until next week,

Astrid Groenewegen

Co-Founder of SUE | Behavioural Design Academy

Thanks for reading. You can get more actionable ideas in our popular email newsletter ‘1,5 Minutes on Influence’. Every Thursday, we share 1,5 minutes of insights to explore compelling questions and uncover strategies to positively impact decision-making by applying Behavioural Design. Enter your email 👇 and join over 15.000 other forward-thinking professionals.

1,5 Minutes on Influence: Negotiation and Getting What You Want

By 1.5 minutes on influence, newsletter

1,5 Minutes on Influence: Negotiation and Getting What You Want

Happy 1,5 Minutes on Influence!

Here is your weekly dose of applying the psychology of influence
to positively impact choices and behaviours.

Looking forward to sharing insights with you!

Warm regards,

Astrid

1 MINUTE:
INSIGHT OF THE WEEK

I want to show you how our work for a Belgian town, negotiating with a German chemical company, is a prime example of how communication, based on the psychology of influence, can lead to impactful outcomes.

The situation:
This chemical company sent his heavy trucks right through the town centre. The town had been trying for 10 years to get them to use a different road around the city instead. The company’s CEO always dismissed the request using technical procedures. That’s when we came in:

We managed a breakthrough by applying 4 influence principles that you can also start using in negotiations:

1. We showed the real problem:
We used simple, emotional words and metaphors,
To surpass the technicalities,
Making the CEO feel the problem and the urgency.

“Whenever a truck passes through our city centre, it leaves parents terrified you’ll hit their children, and it causes our school windows to tremble as you pass by, disturbing the children’s concentration.”

2. We changed the focus:
Instead of arguing over minor details,
We talked about how the town and the company,
Could live and work together peacefully.
We explained it’s essential for everyone,
Including their workers and their families who live in the city,
To have a safe place to live without big trucks everywhere.

3. We made the choice clear:
We told the company they could keep fighting in court,
Or help the community and be seen as heroes.
This choice made them think about what’s important:
Looking good by helping out or caring about their own business.

But what was the killer principle?

4. We asked a different question:
That shifted the perspective from focusing solely on rerouting a road,
To considering a personal, positive impact on the community,
Encouraging the CEO to see the value,
Of him contributing to the town’s welfare.

“Do you want to be known only as a German factory CEO, or do you want to be remembered as a respected leader who enriches the community?”

The result:
The town and the company started working together,
And the CEO even asked if he could co-host,
The press conference launching the new road.

Never underestimate the power of personal and emotional jobs-to-be-done and understanding how the psychology of influence works!

Further learning:
Contact us if you want us to train your team with a one-day workshop in framing. We can help you find the words and frames to positively change minds or reputations, both in Dutch and English.

0,5 MINUTE:
NOT TO BE MISSED THIS WEEK

As we kind of surpassed our one-minute time slot. Here just a link to a video we think you should see: negotiation 101 by a kid

Want to share this week’s newsletter via social media or email? Just copy and paste this link:
https://suebehaviouraldesign.com/negotiation-and-…ng-what-you-want/

Until next week,

Astrid Groenewegen

Co-Founder of SUE | Behavioural Design Academy

Thanks for reading. You can get more actionable ideas in our popular email newsletter ‘1,5 Minutes on Influence’. Every Thursday, we share 1,5 minutes of insights to explore compelling questions and uncover strategies to positively impact decision-making by applying Behavioural Design. Enter your email 👇 and join over 15.000 other forward-thinking professionals.