It’s been two days since following in the footsteps of sir Benjamin Franklin, and I must admit I’m loving these 5 am wake ups a lot more than I thought I would.
I’ve completely forgotten what it was like to wake up on your own accord (and in silence for that matter – no crying babies, woo!), and it’s quite empowering to be able to set your own tone for the day too. I’ve been doing a lot more reflecting, a lot more slowing down, and a lot more of getting in that “powerful good stuff” each morning! Which I later found out meant prayer :)
It’s been quite the experiment so far.
I’ve also had the time to appreciate the messages I get more than usual too, one of which completely made my morning yesterday and led to the inspiration of this post! It came from Samantha A., and included a link to a TEDx talk titled “Change Behavior- Change the World” by Joseph Grenny, New York Times bestselling author and behavior change expert (who eerily reminded me of Special Agent Frank Lundy from Dexter, haha…)
I normally don’t have much time to sit there for 18 minutes and immerse myself in a video, but due to B. Franklin’s early-to-rise scheme I eagerly allowed myself a break from inner-thought and thoroughly enjoyed what I saw.
I know most of you won’t want to sit through it yourselves, but I’ll embed it here anyways in case you can sneak it into your lunch break or in between filing all those TPS reports ;) The good $$$ stuff comes at minute marker 6:00 if you need to skip to it.
“Change Behavior – Change the World”
(here’s the direct link if you’re reading via email)
Now while this surrounds the topic of change and doing good in the world, the real takeaway here is how we’re all influenced as human beings.
Specifically, the 6 main sources of these influences, and how to watch for them to better protect ourselves and our wallets!
Or, if you’re a “change agent” as this guy likes to say, how to get people to change their behavior in a more positive way – either in the world, or at your company/organization. Their research found that if you can figure out a way to harness these, you’re ten times likelier to produce profound behavior change than otherwise – which is pretty incredible!
So what are these 6 major influences?
- Personal motivation
- Personal ability
- Social motivation
- Social ability
- Structural motivation
- Structural ability
Per Joseph and team’s research,”The first two domains, Personal Motivation and Ability, relate to sources of influence within an individual (motives and abilities) that determine their behavioral choices. The next two, Social Motivation and Ability, relate to how other people affect an individual’s choices. The final two, Structural Motivation and Ability, encompass the role of nonhuman factors, such as compensation systems, space, and technology.”
This picture may be easier to understand :)
What this looks like in the real world…
To better illustrate this (and what’s partially shown in the video), Joseph and team ran a test with kids.
They put a handful in a room for 10 minutes, gave each one $40.00, and then tempted them with outrageously priced candy (like $6.00 for M&Ms!) and were told they could keep whatever they had at the end of it. They even asked them what they’d do with $40.00 before starting (which is a TON of money for a kid, btw) so they could hopefully lock onto their goals.
Do you think they did? :)
Well, spoiler alert, they did not. The average amount of money each kid had left by the end of the ten minutes was $13.00. Just thirteen!! Out of forty! And when they were asked what happened, none of them could really explain why.
So what happened? The 6 powers of influence happened.
In this first experiment, they skewed the influences to tempt them more:
- They were given a taste test of the candy (personal motivation)
- They weren’t prepared to handle such a new/weird situation (personal ability)
- They were influenced by a couple of kids who went around (by design) saying things like, “You know, there’s a lot of awesome candy over there.” and “Dude, you should get a lot. As much as you can.” (social motivation)
- They caved into peer pressure (social ability)
- They were given an invisible credit card instead of cash (structural motivation)
- They were surrounded by large visual cues of kids gawking over candy (structural ability)
Of course kids aren’t able to turn down that temptation! Haha… But guess what? Us adults aren’t the greatest at it either :) How many of these things have we probably experienced this week alone? Taste testing at Costco or Trader Joes? Friends buying up cool $hit or planning to party hard this weekend? Using credit cards over cash? And what about running into ads everywhere we look?
Round II of the experiment
After showing us that first experiment, they did another – only this time skewed more helpfully. The same parameters were in place, but the influences changed:
- No free taste tests
- Had them practice writing down earnings and expenses for 30 seconds
- Changed the messages for the influencer kids: “I’m going to save my money. How about you?” and “I think I’m going to save my money. I think it’d probably be a good idea.”
- Gave them cash instead of credit
- Took down all the tormenting pictures
Think they saved more? Hell yeah they did! The average these kids held onto was a whopping $34.00. 270% more than the $13 from the other group! How incredible is that?
The point of all this, of course, is that we need to be aware that all these influences are hitting us in the face EVERY – SINGLE – DAY, and to be as prepared as we can when facing them. Most we can’t ignore even if we wanted to, but we can be vigilant on which ones pierce our wallets and which don’t.
SO KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN AND FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT!
It’s a lot harder earning our money than it is to give away :(
PS: If you want to learn more about these influences, here’s the full research paper on it (PDF): The Influencer Research Report. It was named The Change Management Approach of the Year by MIT Sloan Management Review. And then here’s the talk again too: Change Behavior- Change the World.
I’ve given you the spoilers on the kids and $$$ part, but the rest of the video is equally powerful. It focuses on a woman (and prostitute) born into the Mathare Slum of Nairobi, Kenya, and how these influences have changed her life over the years. It’ll give you plenty to be thankful for the next time you address your own Powerful Goodness! ;)