|Image Courtesy: captology.stanford.edu|
How do I get fitter? How do I learn a new language? How do I save more money to secure my family's future? How do I contribute more to my team? How do I become a better leader?
We all have things we want to do and goals we want to Accomplish. These can range from personal to professional in nature. Why is it, then, that we lose out on accomplishing all the goals that we set for ourselves? What if we changed our behavior to accomplish those goals?
According to Dr. B. J. Fogg of the Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab, three elements have to come together at the same time for a behavior to occur:
- Motivation: The person is HIGHLY motivated to accomplish the goal or exude a behavior.
- Ability: The person can very EASILY carry out the behavior or accomplish the goal.
- Trigger: The person is triggered/ cued/ asked to accomplish the goal
Motivation to accomplish a goal can be internal but, as leaders, it is imperative that we provide the Motivation wherever necessary. That external motivation can be anything from a monetary reward to giving a platform or an opportunity where the very human need for social cohesiveness, self confidence, self esteem or achievement can be met.
The factor of ability can be influenced by providing training with the intent to help a person get better continuously. Ability, however, once again, can be increased without any external agent by following a path of learning. It can also be influenced by doing and accomplishing easy things. Running a marathon on the first day of getting fit might very well lead to failure, but what if the goal was to walk for a minute? That would be easy.
A trigger, unlike the other two, might mostly be an external entity. Friends and family members that I rely on for good advice, for example, might have to tell me that I need to get fit. My relocation, in another example, to a foreign country might trigger the need to learn a new language. Something, or someone, must remind me at the right time of my ability to accomplish a goal and where motivation already existed.
An entire industry of games and gaming exists around this behavior model. It is no different, however, than leading change in our team or our family. The same model of keeping the motivation up, doing simple things but learning continuously and responding to a trigger (a call to change or to accomplish) can be followed in any setting.