Feb 17, 2020
Manufacturing is an ever-changing, fast-paced world for safety leaders. It has been said that a great leader gets people to do what needs to be done without demanding it. A worker must feel that the decision to act is coming from themselves and not because management suggested the idea. This leadership tool is what is known as "Social Proof".
The Social Proof Theory, popularized by psychologist Robert Cialdini, maintains that an individual will look to others for guidance if they do not know what the proper behavior for a certain situation is. In other words, expected behavior can be modeled and then imitated.
Where can we see the Social Proof Theory of leadership in action? Just turn on the television.
Social Proof is a commonly used trick to influence a television and advertising audience. Laugh tracks, for example, are a way to influence the viewers to laugh along and determine the content to be funny. In advertising, it can be seen in the "star-ratings" on Yelp and other customer-rating platforms. We are more likely to patronize the top-rated places determined by previous customers.
Want to try your own Social Proof experiment? Next time you are walking down a bustling city street, pause and look up. Squint your eyes and keep looking. See what happens next. Most likely, you will be joined by curious onlookers who are also scanning the skies to "see" what it is you're gazing up at!
What is an example of the Social Proof Theory working in your own life?
In the fast-paced manufacturing world, change is inevitable and safety professionals need all of the tricks and tools available to keep up. If your facilities are like mine, your safety department is not overstaffed, but instead is running lean and mean, which requires resourcefulness to be effective and successful.
My father, who was regarded as a great leader in his work and civic activities, taught me his leadership philosophy: “A good leader gets people to do what needs to be done without demanding it and makes them think they made the decisions by themselves.” My company has learned to meet the challenges at our facilities as well as satisfy my father’s definition of leadership by using a tool called “Social Proof.”
The Social Proof Theory, popularized by psychologist Robert Cialdini, maintains that a person who does not know what the proper behavior for a certain situation is will imitate what people are doing around them. The group acts as a model of expected behavior. Since this theory emphasizes the importance of social influence on our own behavior, it is also called the “Informational Social Influence Theory.”
Arrange a call with one of our consultants today. Please complete your details below: