As I write this, it’s been almost seven weeks since I’ve been to my office. My town has been under stay-at-home orders for about a week less than that. Like so many people, I’m suddenly co-working from my home with family members, having put anxiously awaited plans on hold, worried about the state of the world, and unsure of what comes next. Continue reading A Brief Pandemic Reflection
Earlier this week I had the pleasure of sitting on a panel at the Next Edge Summit in Boston. The two day event’s theme was “Reimagining the Patient Journey.” Much of that re-imagination came through the lens of technology, and specifically artificial intelligence and its role in creating and delivering personalized health interventions. The focus stems from the expertise of Next IT Healthcare, which presents the summit. Continue reading Next Edge Summit 2016 Recap
Want someone to quit tobacco? Chances are your persuasive tactics to get them to stop smoking will include some cold hard facts about the damage that cigarettes can cause to your lungs and heart. Maybe you’ll use some photos that show the aging effects of smoking on skin and teeth. Or perhaps you can share statistics around the rates of disease for people who smoke compared to people who don’t. These approaches may make intuitive sense, but they rarely work to get someone to quit smoking. Knowledge alone doesn’t change behavior. Continue reading The Diminishing Returns of Education for Health Behavior Change
For all of my interest in both motivation and authenticity, I was stunned to realize in reading a book about con artists (of all things) that the two have lived side-by-side in psychology for decades. It’s something I should have realized–I was familiar with the work in question–but hadn’t pulled back my perspective in so long that I missed the link. It turns out that Abraham Maslow, best known for the hierarchy of needs that continues to inform work on motivation and engagement, saw an important place for authenticity at the top of the hierarchy, self-actualization. Continue reading Motivation and Authenticity: Old Bedfellows
I recently read the book The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels by Michael D. Watkins. It was recommended to me as a good guide to starting a new position, and while I admired the structured analytical eye the author takes to understand work challenges, I felt it was lacking in an understanding of human behavior. One key area where the advice particularly seemed to deal with people (in this case, the people reporting to a new manager) as theoretical versus human entities was compensation for performance. Continue reading How Much Can We Personalize Job Rewards Without Being Unfair?
Having goals is a key component of motivation. My default setting is to think of goals as something new and harder than anything I’ve done before. I should always be trying get better, right? But is that really true? Do goals always have to be about improvement? What happens when goals are about maintenance instead? How can you create goals for yourself that keep you involved in an activity? Continue reading Running Through The Finish Line: Goals for Ongoing Motivation
With the end of the year and final exams approaching, many students are scrambling to find ways to either boost their grades or postpone their deadlines. That means that all over the world, teachers are suddenly fielding a thick flurry of emails containing variations on a theme. If you are the grandparent of a college student, you should be very fearful for your health and indeed your life around the time of final exams. Science has shown grandmothers are a whopping 19 times more likely to die before their grandchild’s final exams (when proof of death is the grandchild’s say-so). Continue reading Teachers’ Motivation, Semester-End Excuses: A Plea to College Students
BJ Fogg talks about “hot triggers,” the design equivalent of a big shiny red button that you just can’t help but press. The hot trigger is a call to action that is immediate and easy. By making the commitment of time and energy low, and making an action easy to take, a hot trigger helps overcome the need to have high levels of motivation to get someone to do something. Fogg talks about hot triggers in terms of those ubiquitous emails from Facebook letting you know you’ve been tagged and allowing you to see the photo in question with just one click; I wrote about them with respect to similar emails from LinkedIn. Hot triggers can be very powerful when they work, but as I’ve recently experienced, sometimes they can backfire. Continue reading Case Study: Ipsy’s Hot Trigger Hot Mess
This week, the resignation letter of a special education teacher in Florida has gone viral online. Through my friends and relatives who are teachers, and eventually others who read the letter and were moved to share it, I’ve seen it many times in my social network feeds in the last few days. Wendy Bradshaw, Ph.D., decided to resign her teaching post after giving birth and realizing that she felt a sense of dread thinking about her new daughter attending the schools in which she teachers. In her letter, she writes: Continue reading Wendy Bradshaw’s Resignation: In the Absence of Competence Support
Legend holds that I was a picky eater as a young child. I can remember being skeptical of some new items (calamari was a particular challenge, and to this day I don’t really like the be-tentacle’d pieces). While some of my childhood food aversions have survived to present day (I’m looking at you, cream cheese), for the most part I am today a pretty adventurous eater who you can take to any type of restaurant. Looking back on my own childhood battles at mealtimes, I have some opinions about how to shape a picky eater into a brave one. So does science. Continue reading Why Does Choice Make Picky Eaters More Adventurous?