My notes from reading the book “Influencer”

Search for vital behaviors

  • Search for *behaviors*
  • Search for *vital* behaviors
  • Find some *recovery* behaviors
  • Test your results

Changing minds

  • Convince people
    • That they *can* do it
    • That it will be *worth it*
  • Don’t rely on verbal persuasion
  • Guide them through actually doing it, or
  • Arrange a field trip – a real experience, or
  • Create vicarious experiences – a well-told story
    • Tell the whole story, don’t summarize
    • Clearly link current behaviors to bad results
    • Include new behaviors and link to better results
    • Deal with both “can I do it” and “is it worth it”

Six domains of influence strategy and tactics

  Motivation Ability
Personal Make the undesirable desirable Surpass your limits
Social Harness peer pressure Find strength in numbers
Structural Design rewards and demand accountability Change the environment

Personal motivation: Make the undesirable desirable

  • Help people get intrinsic satisfaction from right behavior
  • Make wrong behavior cause displeasure
  • Sense of accomplishment in result
  • Tap into pride and competitiveness
  • Longer term – tap into people’s view of who they want to be
  • When good acts aren’t satisfying (or bad ones are)
    • Take focus off the activity and connect it with *values*
    • Talk openly about values
  • If bad acts are entrenched
    • Reconnect actions to sense of morality
    • Fight moral disengagement
    • Don’t let people minimize or justify
  • For really resistant people
    • Don’t try to convince – *ask* them what *they* want
    • Allow them to discover links between actions and values

Personal ability: Surpass your limits

  • Demand higher achievement levels
    • Set aside time to study and practice vital behaviors
    • Pay attention to clear, specific, repeatable actions
    • Seek outside help and coaching
    • Insist on immediate feedback against clear standards
    • Break tasks into discrete actions, with goals for each
    • Practice in a low-risk environment
    • Apply “practice” tactics to all skills
    • Physical, intellectual, even complex emotional/social ones
  • Two of your mind’s most important systems
    • The “Go” system – instinctive, quick, emotional demands
      • Useful for legitimate risks to life and limb, less useful other times
    • The “Know” system – intellectual, thorough, slow
    • To regain control from the “Go” system
      • Create distractions for yourself
      • Avoid the battle: make the difficult easy, the averse pleasant, and the boring interesting
      • When strong emotions take over because you have drawn harsh negative conclusions
        • Reappraise the situation
        • Ask yourself complex questions that demand intellect and frontal lobe rather than emotional/amygdala
  • Good news: overcoming habits and developing complex skills can be done with deliberate practice and ability to manage your own emotions, both of which can be learned.

Social motivation: Harnessing peer pressure

  • People who are *respected* and *connected* exert great influence
  • Identify and co-opt opinion leaders
    • Ignore them at your peril
  • Problems that require changes to widely-held norms
    • Almost everyone has to talk openly about controversial subjects
    • Topic may be considered undiscussable
    • Make it safe to talk about controversial subjects
  • Some efforts are so profound, people must be plucked from the old environment and immersed in a new one
  • Everyone desires to be
    • Accepted
    • Respected
    • Connected

Social ability: find strength in numbers

  • The world is interdependent
    • Inability to work in concert is a handicap
    • We need to build social capital
    • Popular/media message of “rugged individualism” is wrong
  • Consider what people need when facing daunting, risky change
    • Help, authority, consent, cooperation
  • Develop and influence strategy that offers social capital

Structural motivation: Design rewards, demand accountability

  • Administering rewards can be tricky–use *third* not first
    • 1st – Personal motivators
    • 2nd – Social motivators
    • 3rd – Extrinsic rewards
  • If you choose extrinsic rewards
    • Make them immediate
    • Link to vital *actions*, not results
  • Less is more
    • Small, heart-felt tokens of appreciation
    • Almost like an extension of social approval
  • If you have to administer punishment
    • Take a shot across the bow first

Structural ability: Change the environment

  • Make data obvious, accessible and clear
  • Location, location, location
  • Make it easy – make it unavoidable