Nudge of the Week: Show, Don’t Tell

Trusting people to be adults and make the right decision can go a long way.

To tell people what to do is to treat them like children. Instead, show them the outcome of an action, trust they’ll be responsible. Think: stores don’t tell you to “come in and buy something.” Instead, they simply say they’re “open”.

Another example: “employees must wash hands” sounds like a threat. But “washing your hands prevents the spread of disease” is informative.

Also, compare “give me that report by 5 o’clock”, with “I’m meeting with the client first thing in the morning, and I’ll be more effective the earlier I can get your report.”