The Small BIG: Small Changes that Spark Big Influence is a pretty good book on the topic of ethically persuading people to change their behaviour. Grounded in research and mixing discussion with examples, the book intrigued me enough that I jotted notes and my own ideas as I read. This is pretty rare these days for me, and a sign of how engaged I was.


Running quickly through my notes.


Changing people's environment can change their minds. Context is important.

Focus on similarities - shared identity

You can lock into other people's commitments (and the implication I took from this was that when companies ask us to filling surveys, they're not after feedback, but about the commitment we feel to the firm after we've committed our time via filling in the survey).

A sense of owing your future self can motivate self-change

Procrastination - use short expiration dates

A promise of potential (which has an arousing quality) outshines reality (this I hadn't expected)

When an expert is uncertain, that intrigues us.

We assume important people sit in the centre of a gathering

Power increases and our cortisol (stress hormone) levels decrease when we adopt open, expansive posture.

Just ASK

Focus people on the opportunity cost of not doing what you want them to do.


And the notes go on.


Shortish chapters, engaging style. I got a lot from this book.