Compliance, Identity, Internalisation

A reminder from the field of social influence.

You can punish or reward people until they comply with what you want them to do. They still want to perform the behaviors (or not perform the behaviors) as before, but they will go along for now.

You can highlight and showcase possible examples members might identify with. As long as members keep liking and respecting this/these person(s), they will identify with that behavior and do it/not do it themselves.

Or you can make the behavior itself so enjoyable and internally rewarding, that members internalise their rationale for doing it. This happens most when members build a sense of connection with other members or find the behavior itself a positive experience.

Too many of the discussions about changing member behavior focus on the compliance level. It’s the easiest to influence and control. But it only offers a short-term impact.

Far better to focus on identification with top members and making core behaviors something members are proud to undertake.

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