Book – How to Get People to Do Stuff

bookThis is the third  Susan Weinschenk book I was fortunate to enjoy.  As usually, the book is entertaining, practical, and has many pieces of advice that can be applied tomorrow.

A few notes from the book:

  • Use nouns rather than verbs to describe desired behavior.  It is more important to the person to be a voter than to vote.  A chocolate eater feels stronger love to his favorite food than a person who eats chocolate.
  • Competition motivates men, but not women.  Competing in small group motivates more than competing in a large group (higher probability of success).
  • Asking for funds at work – use anecdotes rather than data
  • How to get sales to use CRM:
    • Not particularly effective: use for 30 day – trip to Las Vegas (fixed ratio schedule)
    • More effective: use a leaderboard to show reps using CRM every week (acknowledgement reinforcement)
  • People want familiar brands when they are sad or scared; to encourage to try something new – engage when people are in a good mood
  • giving more autonomy creates desire for mastery
  • Struggling (in education, achieving something…)
    • Western culture: you are not smart enough
    • Eastern culture: normal part of learning process
  • Induce Flow state for the people who assigned a task – do not interrupt and allow control
  • You can appeal to System One or System Two
    • Want a quick decision from people – make thinking easy
    • Want people to “think through” – make thinking hard
  • When you want people to respond quickly, make a simple request that does not require them to think
  • System One loves a story and wants everything to hold together in a coherent way
  • System One is uncomfortable with inconsistencies and changing stories and will turn to System Two for assistance
  • Simple, coherent story increases the chance that people will take an action
  • When you want people to act independently, reference money (it will reduce cooperativeness)
  • When you want people to cooperate, do not reference money
  • Anchoring: if you mention that there is a limit of 10 bottles of soda – people will buy more.  If you do not , anchor is 0 and they will buy less.
  • Anchoring: If you want to make people to chose highest level of product or service, start listing products or services from the highest price.
  • If you want people to think rather than to gloss over the information, you might need to surprise them to activate System Two thinking.
  • If you want people to learn, you need to think about maximum 20 minutes, than a break.  People will use all glucose in the brain during that time 😉
  • Sell people on the experience – they will spend more money on the experience than on a item.
  • Holding something heavy makes the idea seem more important (very interesting! 😉 )
  • Case study: if an employee needs to take more initiative, label the person as an “initiator” (use story prompting); suggest autonomy where mistakes are OK


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s