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by John Austin in Behavior change, Leadership, Safety, Stress

Our assumptions about people and what makes them ‘tick’ drive the strategies we choose to use in influencing.

If we get the assumptions wrong, then we tend toward ineffective strategies.

We’re taught that increased effort = increased reward, but just putting effort into your work does not guarantee you the results. I guess we’d all agree that you have to put the effort into the right things to get the best results.

But how about putting in effort in the wrong places? That results in opportunity cost, or worse…it can cause harm.

Right now, we see more and more of this behavior from people in society and leaders in organizations…

…when things get difficult or stressful we sometimes grasp at straws or the nearest branch that we can reach. Humans will try lots of things to find something that works.

During this stressful and super busy times, I suggest an alternative…when things get tough, focus on the basics. Here are a few of them that I’m discussing with clients right now:

…Do your people feel safe? Psychologically? Physically?

…Are you doing everything you can to engineer out unnecessary risk and give people safe choices?

…Are your leaders focused on building and maintaining relationships?

…Is your communication careful?

…Are you asking the right questions, and listening closely to the answers?

What have I left out?

What are your biggest challenges right now?  Send me an email and tell me. Maybe it will help others who have similar challenges.

Thanks for reading-


PS: Here is a webinar ( that Bob Cummins and I did on applying behavioral science thinking to restarting your work and bringing back your workforce

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