Leadership is a strong model by which to influence changes in behavior.
YELLING – Blanchard may have decided this style was to politically incorrect. There are few situations where yelling, pushing and badgering are warranted. Life threatening situations are one, where the leader determined to have the best outcome for the individual and group, acts. There are serious repercussions to this leadership style in the aftermath of its needed use. The end sometimes justifies the means but only time will tell and even if totally successfull a consequence is just the same as the consequence never happened in the mind of those yelled at.
If you ever get in a car and the driver starts to text, you have my permission to yell at them at the top of your voice, blame General Sherman and burn those bridges.
TELLING – works in certain cultures with a high degree of integrity of values – the Swedes trust each other, as do the US Marines. Telling works, it is fast efficient and when built on mutual trust furthermore, it also builds trust.
How often does a “Hey Buddy, don’t text and drive” get the ire of the recipient and a reaction and determination not only to text and drive but to do so “in your face”. Americans are renowned for not wanting to be told and at the same it often seems to be the preferred style of many including politicians and law enforcement. Let’s just have another fine to pay and another misdemeanor law. Just like prohibition these have little effect and a high rate of recidivism when there is no subsequent transition to another leadership style, particularly those of Selling and Coaching.
SELLING – works in cultures and situations where acronyms thrive: WIIFM (What’s in it for me?), FUD (Fear Uncertainty and Doubt), FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). Mass media and now Social media allow “Social Proof” to deliver great influence. Money and the exchange of goods or services satisfy the ego needs.
Sales professionals get people interested by taking an interest in them. People text and are on Social Media for a reason, their own reason. If you can’t understand an individual’s reason then you should not continue to tell people what to do nor how they should stop texting and driving.
Selling involves a number of steps and all of the steps are required for someone to buy into changing their behavior. Take just another step with the buyer and they become raving advocates.
COACHING – works for those who are “Trainable” those with low ego drive, great drive for common objectives and to take on responsibility for finding and perpetuating the elements that bring success. Even as the definition for success changes. Facts, processes and feedback drive behavioral change often strengthened by peer support.
We have lots of facts and tools for trainable people to help themselves along the way to more attentive driving.
DELEGATING – Expands where there is high trust and common values embedded in the mission, often with a tool kit of collateral provided.
So where are we now in moving the needle on distracted driving?
We have tried Telling drivers to stop. I know no American who likes to be told, in fact many would ignore, prevaricate, rebel or fight for no other reason than they HATE to be told. Washington State’s Texting and Driving laws, until recently, the strongest in the country had an initial wave of texting and driving reductions. Georgia just introduced similar laws, however, Georgians may have a higher degree of integrity of values and results may be better than the recidivism experienced in Washington State, at least for a while.
Many great organizations intent on reducing texting and driving provide so many facts and statistics, even I as an evangelist and advocate for Attentive Driving have become inured to the battering I seem to receive from these facts that drive some people’s opinion. Those people’s overwhelming desire to TELL me what to do.
As you see there are two other leadership styles that Hersey and Blanchard promote, there are other ways to motivate behavior change in enduring ways. NNID has acquired rights to the network technology that simply provides feedback. In a breakthrough mass way that could get to 90% of the population within 12 months, pilot within 3 months and measurable benefits within those time frames, saving thousands of lives and billions of property value in 2019.
Feedback is a fundamental necessary requirement to set a value in the marketplace for goods and services and thus we as a community can SELL the benefits and the sizzle of more attentive driving. Tools are the next so that the downside of a choice is only temporary or the impact following a change is of no great consequence. I.E. change is made easy and even rewarding. So what is that reward? Money works, so let’s use that. Let’s use that where the insurance company’s see a profit for themselves and get to share that with those who cost them less. Those that can prove that they don’t text and drive.
Feedback is what makes those trainable, objective-seeking type people drive relentlessly for the goal, taking their peers along for the ride and providing positive encouragement on the progress toward safer roads.
They just need a tool that provides the right feedback in the right message to fully embrace behaviors that save lives and give their ego the right strokes. Don’t forget, different strokes for different folks and that is why NNID needs your help to make sure that everyone gets the right strokes.
The big challenge is how to scale these tools and processes. NNID with your help can do that. The wireless service providers have to implement some changes on their networks, it will cost them money, so let’s pay them to do that and give them a little PR credit along the way. We did that before to implement the 911 act that allows emergency responders to find the GPS location and get to the scene of a traffic accident faster. Let’s reduce the number of accidents in the first place – it is possible through feedback and incentives and drivers making better choices to use in-car technology safer than a hand-held cell phone.
How to scale the rewards? Each State’s commissioner of insurance has the opportunity to “Dual-Rate”, just give them evidence that not using cell phones in vehicles is demonstrably safer. Some template State legislation can assist with the commissioners’ decision. If there is equivocation with the evidence at hand, have the data from NNID’s pilot be used as the required proof.
Public service announcements, funded by the generous wireless service providers, gets the parts of the complete message to those who only want to listen in their own distinct vernacular. Why would the WSPs fund the PSAs? Simply setting the stage for the changes and providing at least two alternatives that keep the subscribers connectivity addiction a possibility. Exercising the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) to have on-network features (remember call waiting and the “*” functions?) deliver experiences and functionality easily and maybe even as an addon paid for feature helps the cell phone addict move on to safer behaviors while driving.
Existing Apps should be held accountable for their in-car safety. Do they meet some industry generated criteria for not interrupting a driver’s attention, while a phone is in a dashboard mount? Once they are proven safer, and many are, those Apps are a great way to integrate to the network functions and deliver both feedback and functions in a much more scalable manner. The FOMO drives users to buy more safe apps, dash mounts or new vehicles to get more useable features.