B4. Psychology

psychology-index-pictureUnderstanding people and why they behave as they do…

…by exploring areas such as:

  • Money, and incentives
  • Motivation, as compared to compliance
  • People and their relationships
  • Trust, as compared to fear
  • Obedience
  • ….and human irrationality!
Post Title: Summary ‘teaser’: Month Published:
Well done team, keep up the good work! On Praise: People react positively to praise when it is genuine, highly specific and not rationed or competitive in nature. Remove any of these attributes and such praise is seriously compromised and potentially damaging. Dec 2014
Money as pay: how it should be used… and how not Pay is not a motivator: However, insufficient and inequality in pay is a de-motivator. Dec 2014
Don’t feed the animals Rewards induce compliance, which should not be confused with (intrinsic) motivation. Dec 2014
Change – just suck it up! People don’t resist change, they resist being changed. Dec 2014
Making a wrong thing righter! Stop trying to fix the unfixable: There is no perfect incentives scheme, for the simple fact that contingent rewards drive the wrong behaviours. Dec 2014
Does your organisation trust you? Bereavement Leave Policy example: People’s behaviour will be directly linked to whether their organisation shows trust in them, and is (genuinely) transparent. Jan 2015
Proud…and excited! Two words uttered regularly: But what is the meaning within?  Feb 2015
The Chasm Dan Pink TED talk: extrinsic motivators encourage people to get the reward, rather than ‘do the right think’. The science of rewards shows that the ‘incentives’ ideology is harmful to business. Mar 2015
A state of flow Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and flow: People want to enjoy their work, to be of value, to feel secure and respected, to develop and master new skills. ‘Command and control’ constrains people from achieving such a state of flow. Mar 2015
Blackmail ‘Cotton On’ example: Linking carrot and stick to behaviour creates a rigged game, which will deliver warped indicators. May 2015
Appreciated A quote on being appreciated…and some caveats before managers run off to do something about it!  May 2015
Have I got a deal for you! UK Financial Services miss-selling examples: It doesn’t start with bad people. It starts with good people having to work in a bad system. Don’t use sales incentives. Jun 2015
Turkeys don’t vote for Christmas! The importance of trust: If people believe that their improvement efforts will adversely affect their security or, worse, do them out of a job…then don’t expect too much from them! Sep 2015
Getting away from Pyramid selling Neuroscience: The fundamental organising principle of our brain is to maximise reward and minimise threat. This applies when it comes to our feeling of status…but promotion isn’t (and shouldn’t be) the only way to gain status within an organisation. Nov 2015
I knew it wasn’t that simple! The annual bonus: The difference between Utility Theory and Prospect Theory, and why the annual bonus ritual can become a damp squib and even cause serious emotional pain. Dec 2015
Obedience to Authority The Milgram Experiment explained: A detailed explanation of the classic 1960s experiment on how people behave when given orders from those in authority…with (hopefully) a mind-opening outcome for some serious thought. May 2016
…because I wanted to! Becoming a Kiwi: Doing something to get something vs. doing something merely because you really want to! A profound difference. Aug 2016
Wear sunscreen Baz Luhrmann: Have you ever thought about living in New York? Or perhaps Northern California? …and so to a work related analogy. Aug 2016
People don’t change their minds! Let’s debate! So, you’ve arranged a ‘debate’ between a Trump ‘nut’ and a Hilary ‘supporter’. Do you think either of them will change their minds?…and so to work: what about when you give, or receive, a lecture? Sep 2016
How do you think about people’s abilities? Carol Dweck: On Fixed vs. Growth Mindsets Aug 2019
The comedy of… What is authenticity? Sep 2019
Autonomy Support An explanation of Edward Deci’s concept of Autonomy Support Nov 2019
Fight for Connection The four parts of a person-to-person interaction and how easy it is for us to fall into unhelpful thoughts and replies Apr 2020
Yin and Yang An exploration of the duality of a person and their environment May 2020
On Resilience How the Hellenic philosophy of Stoicism fits with the topic of resilience May 2020