Saturday, August 10, 2019

What are the Competing Behaviours?

Another installment about Effective MCR Conversations

"Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds." - George Eliot

I like to help friends and neighbours adopt new behaviours that reduce waste. Hopefully I ask them for actions that fit their lifestyle. After all, everyone is working through the list of chores and tasks and projects and programs of the day.

Before I "ask" them to do a specific action, I pause. I consider other actions that might "compete" with what I want them to do.

Step One: List the Competing Behaviours

What actions could they do instead?

Example One: Bring his reusable bags into the grocery store.

Some competing behaviours
  • He plans to carry his groceries out in his hands.
  • He plans to carry his groceries out in a box.
  • He just forgot to put his reusable bags in his car.
  • He just forgot his reusable bags in his car.
  • He plans to buy a reusable bag at the cashier.
Note: We assume IF he brings reusable bags into the store THEN he will use them.

Example Two: Go bagless when she mows her lawn.

Some competing behaviours
  • She bags her grass, puts it in a plastic bag, and sets it out for garbage.
  • She just forgot to take the bag off her lawnmower.
  • She bags her grass and puts it in her compost pile.
  • She bags her grass and brings it to the Eco Station.
  • She is in the Edmonton Cart Rollout, so she bags her grass, puts it in a big paper bag, and sets it out for collection.
  • She doesn't mow her lawn.
  • She re-landscapes everything and gets rid of her lawn.

Step Two: Respect

Pause and respect why each of these actions is a realistic option.

It might be convenient. It might be attractive. It might be easy. It might be desirable. And sometimes, it might be good for the environment. Someone might consider each action. Those reasons are legitimate and meaningful for them.

These two steps help me favour my target behaviour for each person. That's how I have some success in changing waste behaviours.

Rodney became a Master Composter Recycler in 2008. He enjoys working with passionate volunteers, funny co-workers, and his adorable children. He loves long walks on the beach, fluffing his compost pile, and skiing any time of the year.

More "Effective MCR Conversations"

Previous Secret Key to Success... Ask Someone
Next What Behaviours to Choose?

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