Less Lecture, More Picture

July 16, 2014 Affective LeadershipAssociation InsightsEmotional IntelligencePeer Powered PerformanceTraining  No comments

we are pulled by our pictures

Several years ago we realized that Charismatic Keynotes and Terrific Trainings were not enough to create sustainable transformation. Changing behavior is often something we chip away at little by little through increasing awareness. It turns out one of the best ways to alter our behaviors is less lectures and more pictures.

Bully Bulldozer BeeTo fill this need we hired an amazing illustrator Shon Watkins. Together we created over 100 “Change the Buzz, Bee the Difference” characters that represented the often “unspeakable” issues that impact both individuals and organizations. Some were designed to bring bad behaviors like bullying, judging or bee-ing condescending out into the “community conversation”. Sometimes just bee-ing encouraged to talk to even one other person about a common challenge can make an enormous difference.

In Switzerland after failing at everything from education to bribery to reduce power consumption they finally bought into the buddy system. This simple “Peer Powered Process” saved 17% just by being accountable to one other person.

being is believingWhat I did not understand until today was that imagery helps even when it is unconsciously observed. This “supra-liminal priming” according to research published in the Human Resource magazine and presented at the Passion, Goals and Psychology Conference in Canada shows that “people’s behavior is affected by goals of which they are unaware”. Since conscious goals consume limited cognitive resources the display of simple imagery can influence behavior and increase job performance.

So the next time you decide to lead through lecture or manufacture yet another massive manual think about how you can convey a more impact-full message with an insightful illustration.


[1] The effect of primed goals on employee performance: Implications for human resource management[1] by Amanda Shantz1,* andGary Latham2


[1] http://goo.gl/x0tLy5


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