I’ve been taking an August break from the blog as I embark on some travels. Wherever I went, however, I discovered rather wonderful examples of the ‘positive framing’ technique that I discussed in my final pre-holiday post.
What I was saying was that, even if you have some rather negative things to say, you can still make a positive impact buy applying positive language. The first example came up on the train to Edinburgh for my visit to the Festival. How irritating do you find those signs listing all the different (sometimes unmentionable) things you are not allowed to throw down the loo? So well done Virgin Trains for not irritating me and actually making me want to get involved in keeping their plumbing clear.
Security was tight in Las Vegas and David Copperfield had the additional concern of not wanting us to film his illusions. He achieved this by engaging us directly – asking us to take out our phones and send him an email. This created some interesting interactivity on the big screen and he then sent us an email predicting everything that was to about to happen in the show. We had to promise, though, not to look at it yet (that would spoil the show for us). Indeed he asked us, while our phones were in our hands, to now put them into a rather beautiful box on the table immediately in front of us. What is usually a nagging chore that washes over you had become a pleasure!
Finally, I am indebted to behavioural economics guru Paul Craven for a most charming example of asking people not to use their phones – it’s what Paul calls a ‘nudge’.