Choose your words carefully
7th July 2015 | Nick de Cent
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.