What are the three steps to making change easy?



Chip and Dan Heath distill effective behavior change down to three simple steps in their well-researched and enjoyable book Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard.

1) First, direct the rational mind

  • Provide crystal-clear direction. What looks like resistance is often a lack of clarity.
  • Script the critical moves — don’t think big picture, think in terms of specific behaviors.
  • Point to the destination. Change is easier when you know where you’re going and why it’s worth it.

2) Second, motivate the emotional mind

  • Focus on emotions. Knowing something isn’t enough to cause change. Make people (or yourself) feel something.
  • Shrink the change. Break down the change so it’s not scary.
  • When leading a group, cultivate a sense of identity and instill a growth mindset. Believe change is possible.

3) “Shape the Path”

  • What looks like a people problem is often a situation problem.
  • Tweak the environment. When a situation changes, behavior changes. So change the situation.
  • Build habits. When a behavior is habitual it doesn’t tax our minds as much.

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