Have you ever tried changing someone’s behaviour with threats or warnings? Chances are, it did not work and that’s because warnings have limited impact on behaviour.
Research shows that we have a natural tendency to discount bad news and we are more likely to change our habits and beliefs when we hear something positive. This is known as the “good news–bad news effect”. This interesting bias has important implications for our well-being and implies that we should not try to change someone’s belief system or behaviour through warning, threat or any kind of information that seems negative. This bias is especially seen in the teenaged years and in those aged 40 and above.
Even through our own experiences we know that we tend to avoid anything that seems negative and we are attracted to what makes us feel good. So, if we want to change someone’s belief system and in turn, their behaviour/ habit it’s much more effective to expose them to reasoning that makes them feel good.
Few motivators that drive behaviour change are:
- Social Incentive, where the good the other people are doing is highlighted. We tend to copy if we see those around us doing something good. Social cognitive theory explains behavior learning through observation and social contexts.
- Immediate Rewards: When we see immediate benefit of a change.
- When Progress is monitored
- Perceived Control: When self monitoring is involved. Self-regulation theory embodies the belief that people have control over their own behavior change journey, as long as they have the resources and understanding to do so.
So now you have another reason to use positive communication.
Come to the brighter side!