Remember when your mom talked about hanging out with the wrong crowd? As usual, mom was right. When it comes to influencing others, our environment – both people we’re with, and places we are, make a big difference. For instance, research indicates that apartment dwellers who live closer to the steps than the elevators are in better physical shape. Apartment dwellers closer to the mailbox know more people, because that’s where the people hang out. Similar research randomly handed out free (but stale) popcorn to movie theater patrons. In spite of the nasty, stale popcorn, the movie patrons with bigger popcorn buckets ate 53% more popcorn than people with little buckets.
The bottom line is that with any group you’re trying to influence, consider the environment. What changes could happen with your team if you re-arranged the office? Put people in different locations? What about the city you live in? Are you taking advantage of the unique aspects of that geographic location?
In fact, how can you alter your environment, so that making bad choices becomes much more difficult? Influencing people, employees, congregations, and even cultures isn’t that difficult when you learn the factors that cause them to make poor decisions.
Environment is a big one. So start making changes.