According to social researcher Jeni Cross, changing people’s behaviour requires a bit more than simply telling them how and what to do. Instead, Cross identifies 3 myths and recommended approaches to influence a needed change in your community. Watch the TEDX video here – Change
Myth #1 Education will change behaviour
- How you present your information makes a difference to your audience. Whenever possible, aim to personalize the information and make it relevant and meaningful to the person. Posters are less effective than personal interactions so never underestimate the power of a real conversation to influence change.
- Frame loss NOT gain We are loss averse and humans hate to lose anything.
- Frame the message for each audience different audiences need different information and learning and researching all about your targets will help you to communicate your message by “speaking their language” so to speak.
Myth #2 Change attitudes to change behaviours
- According to Cross, attitudes follow behaviour (they do not predict it)- Set expectations for behaviours.
- Connect to values by finding out what is important to the target group and then figure ways to connect your message to their values.
Myth #3 People know what motivates them to take action
- Unspoken social norms influence our behaviours, which translates to… when other people are doing something…we want to do it too.
Want to read more about people and change:
Forbes article titled Five Steps to Increase your Influence
Harvard Business Review article titled The Real Reason People Won’t Change