I am currently reading “Last Child in the Woods” by Richard Louv and as I am reading a couple of lines jumped out at me. “Behavior leads to behavior”, a maxim of Gilbert Lieberman he also says “For a long time we talked about knowledge leading to behavior; instead, we believe that behavior leads to behavior.” To put this in context they are talking about teaching our children about nature and bringing nature into the classroom. I think these two quotes have more meaning beyond this book and context. It seems that as an industry, L&D is very focused on simply getting knowledge to people, which in some cases is needed. In the other cases is passing knowledge going to make people exhibit behavior change? Not necessarily, especially if there is no context relating the knowledge being passed to them to what they do or need to do. If we want people to exhibit behavior change I think we need to immerse them in stories relating what we are trying to teach them to what they are doing. There are many ways that we can do that, through scenarios, practice exercises, graphic novels, etc. If you haven’t taken a look at what Kevin Thorn is doing with a serious comic, you really should here. I think it is a perfect example of showing behavior in a story to try and change behavior. Not only does it show behavior, but it shows the consequences of behavior. Ultimately we hope this leads to behavior change, which takes us back to behavior leading to behavior. The more we can get people to engross themselves in the behavior, the more likely we are to aid them in changing the behavior. Off base? Thoughts? Let me know in the comments.
Behavior Leads to Behavior