Why it’s important to focus on the desired behavior
When we look to create a change in behavior, our instinct is to tell audiences why they should stop doing what they are currently doing.
I can see the logic in that approach.
We believe that we must first tell people why their current behavior is harmful, bad for the planet and themselves, or simply wrong. Once they embrace that truth, then they’ll look to change what they’re doing.
Unfortunately, this method isn’t working for us. (Side note: it’s also not working for smoking cessation, drunk driving, or drug use.)
It doesn’t work since we – as humans – rarely act in a linear, rational, formulaic manner.
To lift an analogy from ideas42: we more often act like Homer Simpson than we act like Spock from Star Trek.
Placing a heavy emphasis on explaining why current behaviors are bad doesn’t actually reduce the likelihood of doing that behavior and it doesn’t offer a more desirable, alternate behavior or lifestyle option.
It’s time to flip the script!
And focus our energy on making the new, different, alternate behavior and lifestyle a more desirable option.
This video shows how we can flip this script by leveraging personally meaningful benefits, by making it fun, and by providing social proof.
Check it out: