Behavioral psychologist Chantal van der Liss examines our behavior in the workplace: Who or what determines our daily decisions? Today: Best Advice
Lately I’ve been hearing more and more of those old sayings. Ah well, you’ve got that too at your age,” I tell my younger colleagues. Stunned, I slapped my hand over my mouth, before an unsolicited tip accidentally popped up. Because this does not help others. Research into motivation and performance by Associate Professor Lauren Escris Winkler has shown that it’s not someone else, but the people themselves who know the best solutions to their problems.
Her study participants thought they would be more excited if they were allowed to read expert advice. But then they get even more excited if they give the advice to someone else instead. For example, she asked 2,000 students to advise younger classmates on the best way to motivate yourself and which study techniques work best. The younger schoolmates appreciated the advice, but in the end it was the students who were in the advisor role who got better grades.
Whether they want to lose weight, be more economical with money or find a new job
The researcher is not yet completely sure of the reason for this. Perhaps because your own tips are tailored. It perfectly matches your personality and situation. For example, a student thought you could put a candy on the last page of your homework so that you would get a reward when you finished. Another just imagine that the house is on fire and that he will not survive unless he finishes his payments fast enough.
Escris Winkler believes that the most important thing is that this gives people self-confidence. They are not ignorant, no, they are the experts in this field themselves. The researcher admits that it is certainly strange to ask a smoker if he or she has any advice to stop smoking. Or to award an employee who does not perform the role of a mentor. However, her studies repeatedly show that people come up with excellent plans for themselves. Whether they want to lose weight, be more economical with money or find a new job.
Looking for your best advice? Ask yourself: What would I advise a friend if they were in the same situation? Or put together a group of people in the same situation and advise each other. I may learn more from my unsolicited advice.
Want to learn more about psychology and work? Read Chantal’s books Why Perfectionists Are Rarely Happy, 13 Tips Against Perfection (2021) and Our Fallible Thinking at Work (2018).
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