Leadercast Series – Matt Wahlert

May 21, 2020

Changing the behavior of others is a powerful thing. 

Whether we know it or not, this is what many of us are attempting to do in the world of business. Even something as simple as a chair is designed to change people’s behavior by making them sit down. 

This concept was the main theme in Matt Wahlert’s Leadercast presentation last week. Now, Matt studies behavior change and gave some great insight into how this particular field of study affects us on a daily basis. 

Nearly every decision that we make is done with certain pressures in mind. Matt calls these promoting pressures (things that encourage us to do something) and inhibiting pressures (things that discourage us from doing something). 

Promoting pressures could be anything from health benefits to affordability, while inhibiting pressures fall on the other side of the scale with things like high price or limited availability. 

One of the simple yet powerful examples Matt used to explain this was his work with GetRaised, an organization that seeks to bridge the income gap experienced by many people in today’s society. By working with these groups, Matt sought to take inhibiting factors out of the equation. In this case, the inhibiting factor for many people was not knowing whether or not they were underpaid. Matt’s team would identify through a series of tests and data calculation whether or not the individual was underpaid, and if so would help that person ask for a raise. 

This simple example describes something that many of us are probably familiar with in the business world. We want to influence others for the better but find it difficult to remove the inhibiting pressures that are in place. 

Matt proves just how effective and impactful we can be in the lives of the people around us if we take the time to identify the pressures they are feeling. By understanding where they’re coming from, we can look to remove the inhibiting pressures they’re feeling. 

I don’t know about you, but that sounds pretty great to me. 

What behavior are you trying to create in the people around you? Whether you realize it or not, you have a great ability to influence other people for good. It simply starts with understanding their behavior.

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