At the heavy weights section in a gym you can read the following text:
¨If you are too weak to return your weights, please contact the reception staff and the girls will be happy to assist you¨
This is way more friendly than:
NOTICE: Members please rerack your weights after use.
This is a nudge. A nudge differs from an order or a prohibition, it is a hidden behavioural suggestion to change or influence undesirable social behavior.
Those Awful Hats is a 1909 American shortcomedy film directed by D.W. Griffith and starring Mack Sennett. It takes place in a small, crowded movie theatre, where the patrons are perpetually distracted by people – primarily women – wearing large, ostentatious hats that obstruct everyone else’s views of the screen. The film ends with a title card reading:
“Ladies Will Please Remove Their Hats.”
An effective nudge will often make use of humor and flattery, or a sense of inadequacy.
¨Madam, how would you like to sit behind the hat hat you are wearing¨
This one seems harmless, but it is timeless;
¨Only older women are allowed to keep their hats on during the screening of the film¨
Perhaps you live together with a partner with a few bad qualities. Or you do work for a boss with quite a few irritating habits. Or your have a good friend with some disturbing behavioural unadaptednesses. . .
Instead of directing confronting her of him with -the standard way of to correct other people’s behaviour- you might design an irresistable nudge. For that, you need creative thinking and have to use tools of deliberate and systematic thinking.
So, take a person you like but would like some change in him or her.
- Write down some things that occasionally annoy you.
- Choose a creative thinking technique.
- Apply the creative thinking tool.
- Design the nudge.
- Record the result of your thinking in writing.
- Test the nudge.
Some suggestions for a creative thinking technique: