Choose your words carefully

7th July 2015 |   Nick de Cent

Dr Rein Sikveland

Dr Rein Sikveland

Dr Rein Sikveland, a research associate and conversation analyst at Loughborough University set out the findings of some evidence-based studies around what he termed the Conversation Analytic Role-play Method. He and his colleagues have been working with a range of applications, including GP-patient interactions, mediation services, police and suspect interactions, hostage negotiations, and sales – particularly, inside sales.

He introduced the concept of “interactional nudges”, whereby small changes to the environment can induce massive changes in people’s behaviour. “A lot of these changes come about with a slight change in language,” Dr Sikveland explained.

He gave the example of a change in language around the reuse of hotel towels by guests. Changing the wording from a message about environmental protection to “75% of guests in this room usually use their towels more than once” resulted in a “massive increase” in the number of guests reusing their towels.

Founder of the International Journal of Sales Transformation | + posts

Nick de Cent is the founder and editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Sales Transformation. A business journalist for over 35 years, he has been covering sales since the mid-1980s and has been a strong advocate of enhancing its professional status. He has freelanced for the Financial Times and edited the Sales Performance supplement in The Times. He also writes and edits extensively on behalf of corporate clients, including a Big 3 management consultancy and a top four global executive search firm.