To be a successful manager, one must understand some of the basics of psychology. After all, managing other people is a lot like trying to change their behavior—which psychologists know much about. Here are five crucial lessons from psychology that every manager should learn.
1: The power of persuasion
Management is about convincing others to do what you want them to do. And there is a science to persuasion. Psychologists have found that the most effective way to persuade someone is to appeal to self-interest. So, if you want someone to do something, it’s essential to clarify how it will benefit them.
2: The importance of incentives
Incentives are a powerful tool for managers. If you want someone to do something, offer them a reward for doing it. This is called positive reinforcement, an incredibly effective way to change behavior. Of course, you have to be careful with incentives. If they’re too small, they won’t be effective. And if they’re too large, they can create problems.
3: The power of social pressure
People are significantly influenced by what other people do. This is called social pressure. And it’s something managers can use to their advantage. If you want someone to do something, make it clear that everyone else is doing it. This will create a sense of pressure and make it more likely that the person will comply with your request.
4: The importance of commitment
Once someone has committed to doing something, they’re much more likely to do it. This is because of something psychologists call the “commitment effect.” So, if you want someone to do something, get them to commit to it. For example, you could ask them to sign a contract or make a public commitment.
5: The power of peer pressure
Peer pressure is similar to social anxiety but is even more powerful. That’s because people are more influenced by those they perceive to be like them. So, if you want someone to do something, find someone like them and get that person to do it first. This will create a sense of peer pressure and make it more likely that the person will comply with your request.
These are just a few of the many lessons from psychology that every manager should know. By understanding and applying these concepts, you can be a more effective leader and help your team achieve its goals.