Selfish, Scared and Stupid: Stop Fighting Human Nature And Increase Your Performance, Engagement And Influence

Book description

Appealing to humans' basic instincts to increase influence, buy-in and results

Survival of the species comes down to three basic instincts, say behavioural research strategists Dan Gregory and Kieran Flanagan—fear, self-interest and simplicity. These basic human behaviours come into play in all types of relationships, including those between businesses and customers. Selfish, Scared and Stupid: Stop fighting human nature and increase your performance, engagement and influence, demystifies these behaviours and examines the psychology behind why even the best ideas sometimes fail.

This book helps businesses design their organisations for reality rather than perfection, and also offers strategies to head off unprecedented levels of disengagement within, and outside, the business. It answers baffling questions around why the public sometimes fails to engage despite overwhelming data suggesting otherwise, why so many new products end up on clearance shelves and why so many great salespeople often fall short of their monthly targets.

  • Learn how the survival of the species plays into business, including delusionary realities and the reasons ideas can fail

  • Discover how to offer customers strategic rewards, thereby making the buying process more attractive to selfish natures

  • Examine the link between fear and the unknown, including strategies for quelling fears and turning them into action

  • Learn to use a simple mindset to create low-involvement products, helping appeal to instinct and making products hard to resist

  • This provocative book is built on the idea that businesses must return to a more human engagement methodology in order to succeed. It is an informative read for anyone interested in improving influence, growing business reach, improving sales figures or understanding the complexities of human behaviour.

    Table of contents

    1. About The Authors
    2. Acknowledgements
    3. Introduction
      1. Who we are and how we came to write this book
      2. What really drives human behaviour?
      3. Who this book is for
    4. Part I: We are all selfish, scared and stupid
      1. Chapter 1: A matter of survival
        1. Selflessness is a recipe for extinction
        2. Selfish is hard to resist
        3. Fearlessness leads to extinction
        4. Fear: one of the most motivating emotions we possess
        5. Complication and complexity lead to extinction
        6. Don’t fight your nature: work with it
      2. Chapter 2: The Happy Delusion
        1. What is The Happy Delusion?
        2. How does this delusion form?
        3. The qualities of the mythical hero
        4. But it is a delusion and delusions cost us
      3. Chapter 3: Why failure happens
        1. The truth is, we set ourselves up for failure
        2. Discipline is hard work
        3. Human irrationality
        4. Beliefs are hard to shift
        5. Our brains are over-confident
        6. Laboratory conditions don’t exist
        7. We over-focus on results
        8. Failure is an error in design
    5. Part II: Think selfish
      1. Chapter 4: Tell me WIIFM
        1. Selfishness can be a force for good
        2. Build identity congruence
        3. Create values alignment
        4. Demonstrate a connection to broader goals
        5. Show them what’s in it for their communities
        6. Offset the cost
        7. Demonstrate that your issue is my issue
        8. The real question is, ‘What’s in it for them?’
      2. Chapter 5: Offer a reward
        1. On carrots and sticks
        2. The psychology of rewards
        3. The importance of acknowledgement
        4. Rewards must be valuable in context
        5. The greatest rewards are unexpected
        6. The difference between ‘more’ and ‘better’
        7. When rewards stop working
      3. Chapter 6: Make it enjoyable
        1. It’s not just girls who want to have fun
        2. Make it a game
        3. The yawning chasm between pleasure and pain
        4. The ‘no pain no gain’ myth
        5. Eat the chocolate frog
        6. Focus on the boring bits
        7. Why so serious?
    6. Part III: Think scared
      1. Chapter 7: Flip the fear
        1. Fear drives change
        2. Some fears cost us
        3. Learn to see fear as a lever for positive change
        4. Define and contain fear
        5. Instil appropriate fear
        6. Rebalance the fear
      2. Chapter 8: Link it to the known
        1. Familiarity is just so familiar
        2. Something like an analogy
        3. Link it to the past
        4. The language of change
        5. Perception is everything
      3. Chapter 9: Show them they’re not alone
        1. We are a social species
        2. Social media exists for a reason
        3. There is safety in numbers
        4. The desire to be ‘normal’
        5. Help us ‘fit in’
        6. Connect us to each other
        7. Connect us to something bigger than ourselves
        8. Watch our six
        9. Show us the love
    7. Part IV: Think stupid
      1. Chapter 10: Make it simple
        1. Confusion paralyses us
        2. Complexity doesn’t equal intelligence
        3. We’re tuning out and turning off
        4. Too hard is just too hard
        5. Curators needed!
        6. Will it fit on a Post-it Note?
        7. Take the ‘six-year-old’ test
        8. Take something off
        9. Simplify the steps
        10. Use fewer words
        11. Basic needs are pretty basic
      2. Chapter 11: Make it easy (lazy)
        1. Human beings are notoriously lazy
        2. Laziness is the mother of invention
        3. How might lazy be efficient?
        4. Ease raises confidence and competence
      3. Chapter 12: Make it hard not to
        1. Changing opinions versus changing behaviour
        2. We will resist change if we can
        3. The rise of behavioural economics
        4. Place barriers in the path of unwanted behaviour
        5. Limit the available options
        6. Frustrate previous behaviour
        7. Make the preferred behaviour more available
        8. Control the environment
    8. Selfish, scared and stupid in the real world
      1. For selfish, scared and stupid entrepreneurs
      2. For selfish, scared and stupid leaders
      3. For selfish, scared and stupid teams
      4. For selfish, scared and stupid behavioural change
      5. For selfish, scared and stupid sales
      6. For your selfish, scared and stupid self
      7. We are all selfish, scared and stupid … thank goodness
    9. The Impossible Institute™
      1. Human behaviour and belief systems
    10. Index
    11. Advert
    12. End User License Agreement

    Product information

    • Title: Selfish, Scared and Stupid: Stop Fighting Human Nature And Increase Your Performance, Engagement And Influence
    • Author(s):
    • Release date: November 2014
    • Publisher(s): Wiley
    • ISBN: 9780730312789