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Start With No

Jim Camp, 2002.

Start with a No - Jim Camp

Jim Camp has written a wonderful book on negotiating called Start with No. The concepts and communications approaches he suggests apply to big and little situations, common and unusual, business and personal, and have held up over time. His ideas have prompted me to think about difficult or uncomfortable situations in different ways, and always to my benefit.

 

When he says, “Start with No,” Camp doesn’t want you to dig in your heels, refuse all offers, and act like a petulant two-year old. That approach doesn’t address the issues or maintain relationships.

 

Instead, . . .

The Power of Habit - Charles Duhigg

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do and How to Change

Charles Duhigg

How does a behavior become a habit? Why do we continue it? How can we change it?
 
Reading this book felt like reading a mystery. I read most of it one sitting. It’s accessible, interesting, and even surprising, as when he looks at culture as the “habit” of organizations. The stories that illustrate his points about the benefits and downsides of habits resonate with everyone, for example, how Michael Phelps won even when his goggles filled with water and he couldn't see where he was going.
 
Duhigg defines the “habit loop,” the behavior that is the habit, and the motivation and desired reward behind it, which are so often not even recognized. He then defines the motivation as a “craving” and helps the reader understand the source of the craving and how to change it.
 
I was especially interested in how Duhigg looks at organizational culture as habit. His examples are pertinent and offer examples of how even the worst habitual behaviors can be changed by developing a system for handling them, especially habits like dealing with difficult customers. Starbucks. for example, taught employees a defined process that, with training, became a habit that prevented angry responses to difficult customers, focused on the anticipated reward for appropriate behavior (a compliment from a satisfied customer), and resulted in improved customer relations and performance. 
 
One important guideline: Write down what you will do instead of the behavior you want to change and be sure you remember what you wrote the next time you go for that snack.
 
The Power of Habit is well worth reading. 
 

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