Aubrey Daniels - Bringing Out the Best in People

The basic theme of this book is that rational (that is, predictable) feedback provided quickly can change people's behavior. This is something that you learn about in books about children and baby's and dogs. It is something we may not directly think of for adults. We assume adults are rational and will do what makes sense. Or that, if they are not doing what they should be, that it is because they are lazy or deviant.

But in fact, this book shows that such basic psychology applies to adults as well. You cannot expect them to do the right things if feedback is unreliable and delivered long after the behavior. You also can't expect to squelch negative behavior if you don't give people quick and relevant negative feedback. So, if you want to change people's behavior, you must identify the behaviors you want and quickly give feedback, and also quickly address negative behaviors.

I found this book almost as helpful in managing myself as in interacting with anyone else. It also helped me see many problems in society at large where slow or nonexistent feedback makes it unlikely that people will change their ways. I would very much recommend reading this book to anyone, even if you are not charged with managing other people.


selmoe said...

Are you managing me??

Joseph Larson said...
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