Taking Action

This was in a magazine for our daughters. The spirit of the article is fine, but the nature is worth discussing. When dealing with people, as we often do, it’s important to remember that people behave in certain ways, for example, by taking action.

In a Capital Allocators’ podcast, Annie Duke spoke about how she convinces people NOT to act. We have a tendency to think that change requires action. Like reading vs listening to a book, we assume effort is good. But sometimes effort is bad.

Duke appeals to identity. Instead of giving advice to do X, try framing things as ‘we are the kind of people who do X’. And prepare others, “You’re going to hear other people who aren’t in on it who don’t understand this kind of stuff.”

In talks about her poker coaching, Duke said that it’s hard to get people to pass on poker hands because folding feels like not-doing. Instead, she works with clients so they choose to fold, because that’s a kind of doing that their group (aka smart players) does.

This beautiful framing from Annie butts heads with recycling because between reduce, reuse, and recycle, it’s the last that the least efficient but most advocated. Buying half as many sodas equates to a recycling efficiency of 200%. Recycling fails compared to reducing or reusing. Yet, recycling sticks because it feels like it’s something.

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