Cindi and Geoff blast away at myths of behavior change and blind us with the new science of habit formation.
In this episode of Management Muse, Cindi and Geoff discusses habits and how to change the ones that are not serving you well. They discuss the trigger-action-reward habit loop and then dive into the power of feelings as a way to encourage habit change. Managers care about habit loops because they care about focusing energy where the greatest contributions can be made. And habits can inhibit or enhance focus and energy. Cindi and Geoff discuss common issues managers face with daily habits and the ways those habits impact productivity. In order to break a habit, it’s necessary to update the reward value associated with it. This involves paying attention to how the habit makes you feel, because some habits are no longer as rewarding as they used to be. Cindi and Geoff also discuss starting with small habits to build momentum for larger behavior change and to avoid procrastination.
• The value of rewards associated with habits often change over time. Managers should explore the feelings associated with habits to more effectively change behaviors. Sometimes, breaking a habit is easier than we think because the reward is outdated.
• Strategies for improving work habits include isolating triggers, implementing small changes, and finding alternative behaviors that offer similar rewards.
• New managers sometimes develop bad habits due to the uncertainty of the role, which encourages action. Reflection and deliberation about the urge to act can help reduce early missteps.
“Our feelings about rewards have a lot more to do with habit than we think and those feelings are often outdated. This can actually help us make new and better habits.” -Cindi Baldi
“Our advice: pay attention to how you’re feeling about what you’re doing and see if that doesn’t lead you to stop things that aren’t working as well as you thought and increase things that bring you more satisfaction, joy, and fulfillment.” – Geoff Tumlin
Brewer, Judson. (2021). Unwinding anxiety. New York, Avery.
Clear, James. (2018). Atomic habits. New York, Avery.
Duhigg, Charles. (2013). The power of habit. New York, Random House.
Fogg, B.J. (2020). Tiny Habits. Boston, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Morgenstern, Julie (2005). Never Check Email in the Morning. New York City
Newport, Cal (2016). Deep Work. New York: Grand Central
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Key words: Habits, rewards, emotions, reinforcement