This is as close to magic as I know in changing people’s behaviors.
If you want to change how someone acts, change their identity, how they see themselves.
If you see yourself as a certain kind of person, that’s how you’ll act. Makes sense, right? If you see yourself as an involved member of your community, that’s how you’ll act. When you get a chance to act involved, you’re more likely to take it than someone who doesn’t see themselves as involved.
The good news is how you see yourself can change, and you can help others change, also.
If I ask you to put a tiny sign that says “I love our town” in your window, you might say yes. It’s tiny, not too hard to say yes to.
Then if I come back in a few weeks and ask you to let me put a big noticeable sign in your yard, you’ll be more likely to say yes than if I never asked you to put that tiny sign in your window.
The very act of doing the small thing helps you see yourself in a new way. You put that tiny sign in your window. Now you are an involved community member. And that changes your identity, and that changes your behavior.
See how this lines up with the Idea Friendly Method and Take Small Steps? When you give people small but meaningful steps to be involved, you help them act more like involved community members.
You’re helping people act their way into a new way of thinking.
(If that sounds familiar, it’s inspired by Switch by Chip and Dan Heath.)
You can even help people see what they are already doing as the first step. Deb spoke with a group of business owners in Akron, Iowa. She pointed out that what they are already doing makes them involved in the community. They allow local groups to hang flyers in their windows. They donate to local causes. They ARE active community members!
When you help people see themselves in a new way, they’ll act more like that.
Deb and I share 9 practical ways to help business owners see themselves as active in the community through small actions in our latest video: Cooperation Creates More Customers.
Keep shaping the future of your town,
PS – Don’t miss out. Our Cooperation Creates More Customers video is only available through the 15th.