One of the delusions of Behaviourism is that guilt and punitive consequence are motivational. The opposite is the case.
There is endless research to demonstrate that the assumptions of Behaviourism don’t work. It’s quite straightforward: humans are not machines and not the sum of inputs and outputs. Here is a start in readings if you are interested but hey, don’t let evidence get in the way of a loved theory:
· Bachman, R., and Zaheer, A., (2006) Handbook of Trust Research. Edward Elgar. New York.
· Deci, E., (1996) Why We Do What We Do, Understanding Self-Motivation. Penguin. New York.
· Higgins, E., (2012) Beyond Pleasure and Pain, How Motivation Works. Oxford. London.
· Moskowitz, G and Grant, H., (2009) The Psychology of Goals. Guilford Press. New York.
· Vohs, K., and Bauameister, R., (2011) Handbook of Self-Regulation, Research, Theory and Applications. Guilford Press. New York.
These are just a start on understanding the complexities of human motivation. So, as Safety keeps up the: demands of paperwork, punishments like Industrial Manslaughter (that doesn’t work – https://www.amsj.com.au/industrial-manslaughter-debate/ ) and increased fines – nothing will changing.
Behaviourism in safety (https://safetyrisk.net/the-curse-of-behaviourism/) also promotes the nonsense of ‘do the right thing’ and ‘common sense’, all wrapped up in an ethic of duty, compliance and ‘check you gut’ and this doesn’t work either. And don’t be fooled, even the latest junk out on the safety market masked as neuroscience is nothing more than Behaviourist ‘mutton dressed up as lamb’(https://safetyrisk.net/turning-neuroscience-into-behaviourism/). This is why the AIHS Chapter on Ethics is a dangerous document . There is nothing more irresponsible that saying to a cohort of people: ‘check your gut’, do the tight thing and comply, it’s your duty’. Such language is meaningless, naïve and doesn’t work.
I was on a mine site this week in NSW where they are concerned about Covid19, like we all are. I saw memos on walls that were pages long, signs about sanitize, wash, distance etc. but no messaging that tackled motivation, self-regulation and the collective unconscious. Strange as it may seem, most of what we put on walls in safety is just good wallpaper and de-motivating. Here are a few tips about motivation:
Let me repeat just a few extra tips, unless:
· Your messaging is packed in meaning, purpose and self-control, it won’t work (Higgins).
· Your goal setting is achievable, it won’t work (Moskowitz & Grant). Yes, that means zero is BS.
· Your culture focuses on establishing trust, relationships, helping and care, it won’t work.
· Your communication is based on listening NOT telling, it won’t work.
· Your messaging targets the collective unconscious, it won’t work.
· Your semiotics are consistent, it won’t work.
The only way a workplace or social group can beat Covid19 is through self-regulation and motivation. There are simply not enough police and army to maintain Behaviourism as a system. Policing is always a last resort, as a primary strategy, it doesn’t work. It is much more powerful to have strategies that have a different ethic, focus on motivation and the collective unconscious. Of course, this requires a change in ideology, not likely for Safety, the global lovers of Zero and Behaviorism (http://visionzero.global/node/6).
The strange thing about Covid19 is that more and more workplace responsibility for response is being delegated to Safety, and all it knows is the indoctrination of Behaviourism and zero. The WHS curriculum and BoK has no help for safety people in the essentials of motivation, helping or ethics. So, onward policing soldiers, you’ll get exhausted by this one.
Great to see the latest book out by Clive Lloyd (https://safetyrisk.net/next-generation-safety-leadership/) where he exposes the delusions of zero and Behaviourism, I wonder how long it’s going to take Safety to catch up?