An excellent (and short) article by Peter Bregman on the Harvard Business Review blog. It turns out that the easiest way to change people's behaviour is not through threats, not through 'leadership', but by making it easier for them to do what you want and harder for them not to. (thanks to Mollie Dierbeck for the heads-up).

Sometimes tiny changes in the way the environment is set up can have big results. For example, I know from being a trainer that if you want people to talk to each other and feel part of a group, you arrange the chairs in the training room in a circle. If you want them to shut up and listen to you giving them information, arrange the chairs theatre-style in flat lines.

In my small-group NLP courses, I arrange the chairs in a single shallow horseshoe shape which gives a nice blend of participation and focus on the trainer. In Appreciative Inquiry facilitator training, I arrange the chairs 'cabaret style' with round tables, to encourage participation in workgroups.

What changes could you make in your working or home environment to make yourself or your team more productive?

The Easiest Way To Change People’s Behaviour

3 thoughts on “The Easiest Way To Change People’s Behaviour

  • Hi Andy

    Sounds a bit like classic Kurt Lewin theory, particularly the Force Field analysis where you measure the factors for and against change – and then decide to either increase the factors for change, or decrease the factors against. Either way movement is towards change.Mark

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