• Utilizing the power of identity by proudly declaring yourself as indistractable can be a persuasive step in becoming the kind of person we want to be. By changing the language we use to describe ourselves, we can actually influence our own behavior.

    This is just one of the techniques that our popular guest, Nir Eyal describes in his new book, “Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life”. Nir is the international bestselling author of “Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products”, a behavioral design expert, and host of the wonderful podcast “Nir and Far”.

    In a world full of demands on our attention, we may think that getting distracted is a recent phenomenon and blame our technology use. But in this episode, Nir describes how getting distracted is simply part of our human nature, something we’ve been plagued with for centuries. Listen to our fascinating interview with Nir to learn how to be intentional with our tasks, what planning our time should look like and why leaving time for reflection can lead to more creative achievements.

    If you enjoy this interview with Nir Eyal on Behavioral Grooves, please consider donating to our work through our Patreon page: We use all the donations to fund the production of the podcast. Thanks!


    (3:42) Welcome and speed round questions.

    (7:22) Why to-do lists are the worst way to increase productivity.

    (12:41) Internal triggers and external triggers.

    (16:13) Why is it easier to look outside ourselves than inside ourselves?

    (17:57) Nir’s personal journey into behavioral design.

    (23:37) The morality of manipulation: behavioral design and ethics.

    (27:06) The regret test: how you test ethical design at the corporate level.

    (37:02) Practicing self compassion has surprising results on reaching your goals.

    (42:23) How the language we use affects our behavior.

    (49:28) Nir's very unusual answer to the desert island music question.

    (52:29) Grooving session with Kurt and Tim on being indistractable.

    © 2022 Behavioral Grooves


    Nir Eyal’s book: “Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life”:

    Indistractable bonus content:

    Nir and Far Podcast:

    Habits vs routines:

    Why schedules are better than to-do lists:

    Time boxing:

    Kurt Lewin:

    Dan Pink, Episode 277: No Regrets? Really? Why Regrets Actually Bring Us Hope:

    Roy Baumeister, Episode 171: Self Control, Belonging, and Why Your Most Dedicated Employees Are the Ones To Watch Out For:

    Bernecker Katharina, Job Veronika (2015) “Beliefs about willpower moderate the effect of previous day demands on next day’s expectations and effective goal striving”:

    Behavioral Grooves Patreon :

    Musical Links

    The Beatles “Don’t Let Me Down”:

    Kanye West “Stronger”:

  • Mitt Romney once mistakenly quipped that people were either "makers or takers" echoing a common sentiment among US politicians that by working we provide society with value and are rewarded with a sense of dignity. But what if we considered that each of us had dignity that wasn't engulfed in our work identity? Would we be less susceptible to burnout if we accepted ourselves as enough as we are, regardless of our job status?

    Having come through a dark period of burnout himself, Jonathan Malesic firmly believes that we all have dignity. Period. He has written a timely book called The End of Burnout: Why work drains us and how to build better lives. We are delighted that Jon has come to talk to Behavioral Grooves Podcast about what leads to burnout and how to prevent it.

    Jon delves into how the Protestant work ethic can contribute to burnout. And echoes Jennifer Moss’ sentiments from last week's episode that burnout is an issue with corporate culture, not an individual problem.

    And to Tim's delight, Jon provides some historical context to the first musical mentions of burnout by Bob Dylan and Neil Young back in the 70s. We learn why that period in particular was a pivotal moment in the US labor market and how this is reflected in music from that era.

    If you are a regular listener to Behavioral Grooves, please consider donating to our work through Patreon. If donating isn’t an option, don’t worry, writing a podcast review helps others find our show, and we love reading them!


    (2:28) Welcome and speed round questions.

    (7:47) The expectations of work vs. the reality of work.

    (11:38) Jonathan’s experience of burnout.

    (16:21) The 6 factors that can lead to burnout.

    (21:29) Solutions to burnout.

    (23:43) How the Protestant work ethic contributes to burnout.

    (27:43) Putting dignity before work.

    (32:44) How Jonathan wrote his whole book listening to just one album.

    (37:33) Bob Dylan and Neil Young started singing about burnout in the 70s.

    (42:45) How to avoid burnout.

    (45:56) Grooving Session with Kurt and Tim on the causes and solutions to burnout.

    © 2022 Behavioral Grooves


    Jonathan Malesic:

    “The End of Burnout: Why Work Drains Us and How to Build Better Lives” By Jonathan Malesic:

    The Parking Lot Movie by Meghan Eckman:

    Christina Maslach:

    Michael Leiter:

    Episode 247, Dr Phil Zimbardo: Stanford Prison Experiment, 50 Years On: What Have We Really Learnt?

    The Pope’s Encyclicals:

    Herbert Freudenberger:

    The Myth of Sisyphus:

    Episode 301, Jennifer Moss: How To Fix Burnout (Hint: It Isn’t Another Yoga Session):

    Episode 281, Sesil Pir: Why Leaders Need To Care For People, Not Manage Them:

    Behavioral Grooves Patreon:

    Musical Links

    Neil Young “Ambulance Blues”:

    Bob Dylan “Shelter from the Storm”:

    The War on Drugs “Lost In The Dream”:

    Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan “Mustt Mustt”:

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  • We’ve been programmed to treat burnout as a self-care issue, as if we’re just one yoga session or a relaxation app away from fixing the problem. Jennifer Moss, however, describes the solution to burnout as an organizational issue, not an individual hurdle. Creating a workplace culture where leaders model healthy work behavior, engage with empathy and cater for employees' individual needs can foster an environment that helps prevent burnout before it starts.

    "Employees can’t be what they can’t see."

    We love Jen’s analogy of the dusty ping pong table to illustrate the perks that some businesses offer but then don’t back-up with a work culture that encourages 20 minute breaks throughout the day. What your left with is a business that sounds like a great place to work, but in reality, there’s a dusty ping pong table in the basement that never gets used. Organizations need to adapt.

    Jennifer Moss is a Harvard Business Review contributor and nationally syndicated radio columnist. She was on the Global Happiness Council—a small group of leading scientists and economists that support the UN’s sustainable goals related to global well-being and the Annual Global Happiness Policy Report. Jennifer is also the author of a new book, The Burnout Epidemic which came out in September 2021.

    In this episode, Jen will open your eyes to new ways of thinking about burnout - particularly how it gets framed in our culture and that loving your job doesn’t make you immune to burnout.

    If you would like to become a special supporter of Behavioral Grooves Podcast, you can join Behavioral Grooves Patreon.


    (4:43) Welcome to Jen and speed round questions.

    (8:26) Is loving your work enough to avoid burnout?

    (9:20) Why do we struggle so much with burnout?

    (10:52) The 6 causes of burnout.

    (13:30) The dusty ping pong table.

    (15:55) What role does leadership play in preventing burnout?

    (21:45) Can you learn empathy?

    (25:07) Should companies become more paternalistic?

    (26:40) Culture eats strategy for breakfast.

    (29:23) Becoming professional eavesdroppers.

    (33:36) Non work related check ins.

    (38:47) How small team scrums can improve productivity.

    (42:19) Does mindset affect agility in teams?

    (44:29) What music does Jen enjoy listening to?

    (49:00) Grooving Session with Kurt and Tim on burnout.

    © 2022 Behavioral Grooves


    Jennifer Moss’ book “The Burnout Epidemic: The Rise of Chronic Stress and How We Can Fix It”:

    Jennifer Moss:

    Chester Elton, Episode 256 “Anxiety at Work: Why We Feel It and How To Manage It”:

    Dan Pink, Episode 277 “No Regrets? Really? Why Regrets Actually Bring Us Hope“:

    Victoria Shaffer, Episode 95 “End of Life Decision Tools“:

    Liz Fosslien, Episode 120 “Covid-19 Crisis: Emotional Impact of WFH with Liz Fosslien”:

    Linda Babcock,. Episode 293 “Women Do Too Much Non-Promotable Work: How To Say No More with Linda Babcock”:

    Sandra Sucher, Episode 266 “Trust: The Four Key Steps to Genuinely Build It | Sandra Sucher”:

    Musical Links

    Ella Fitzgerald “Mack The Knife” Live in Berlin:

    Jørgen Dahl Moe “Dancing in the Dark”:

    Etta James “At Last”:

    Aretha Franklin “Respect”:

    Sam Cooke “A Change is Gonna Come”:

    Adele “Someone Like You”:

    Beethoven "Moonlight Sonata":

  • We all know someone who believes in conspiracy theories and we wish we could change their mind. It is possible. There are techniques that can work to transform how people think. But what we love about our conversation with David McRaney is that he adds in a Step 0 to the process and asks “why do you want to change their mind?”

    Are you open to changing your own mind? If you have any interest in changing someone else’s mind, you should be open to changing your own mind too. To effectively collaborate with others and compassionately explore differences in opinion, we need to accept that our minds too can be changed.

    We are delighted to welcome our esteemed guest David McRaney to this, our 300th episode of Behavioral Grooves Podcast! David takes a fascinating dive into why exactly we hold our beliefs, the science behind each of us seeing the world through slightly different lenses, and the stark reality that truth is tribal. While this is a long episode of Behavioral Grooves, you may just find yourself wanting to listen again as David’s detailed explanations are mind-blowing.

    David McRaney is a science journalist and creator of the podcast You Are Not So Smart which explores self delusion and motivated reasoning. His excellent new book (coming out June 2022), “How Minds Change: The Surprising Science of Belief, Opinion, and Persuasion” carefully unravels the science and personal experience of transformed thinking.

    Remember the dress that divided social media a few years ago; was it blue and black or white and gold? David explains exactly why some of us saw it differently and adds a new experiment about perception to the mix - crocs and socks!

    Conversations like David’s are the reason we produce Behavioral Grooves Podcast. It is a labor of love for us, and so, we really appreciate any financial support our listeners can provide, through our Patreon page. All donations help us continue the work of producing the podcast weekly. If donating isn’t an option for you, don’t worry, you can write us a podcast review which helps promote our show to other listeners. Thank you.


    (4:18) Welcome and speed round questions.

    (11:18) How minds change vs. how to change minds.

    (14:35) How is elaboration different from learning?

    (27:27) Mini Grooving Session on the difference between beliefs, opinions and attitudes.

    (34:09) Why do you want to change someone’s mind?

    (41:03) The moment David realized he should question why, not just how to change minds.

    (52:55) Mini Grooving Session on why to change minds.

    (57:27) Why some see the dress as gold & white and some see it as blue & black.

    (1:18:28) Mini Grooving Session on the dress and the crocs.

    (1:22:15) Truth is tribal.

    (1:35:33) Mini Grooving Session on having a social safety net.

    (1:40:38) What was the catalyst for David becoming interested in conspiracy theories?

    (1:46:19) How to get people off the conspiratorial loop?

    (1:51:23) What musical artists would David take to a desert island?

    © 2022 Behavioral Grooves


    David McRaney’s book, “How Minds Change: The Surprising Science of Belief, Opinion, and Persuasion”:

    David McRaney:

    You Are Not So Smart Podcast:

    Why We Fight WWII Films:

    Hugo Mercier “The Enigma of Reason”:

    Episode 53, John Sweeney, Everything Is a Story:

    “SURFPAD”- Exploring the roots of disagreement with crocs and socks:

    Wallisch, Pascal & Karlovich, Michael. (2019). Disagreeing about Crocs and socks: Creating profoundly ambiguous color displays:

    Take the crocs and socks test:

    The dress:

    Episode 178, Kwame Christian On Compassionate Curiosity, Social Justice Conversations, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch:

    Change blindness:

    Musical Links

    Radiohead “No Surprises”:

    Colin Stetson “Spindrift”:

  • What if we were so optimistic, nothing ever felt like an obstacle, only an opportunity? As an unapologetic optimist, Patreon page. If donating isn’t an option for you, don’t worry, you can write us a podcast review which will help promote our show to other listeners. Thank you.


    (4:07) Welcome and speed round questions.

    (7:06) Should we rewrite the American constitution?

    (11:17) Paul is affected by SIPO. What is it?

    (15:14) Going from hating himself to loving himself.

    (19:32) How can we transform our neuroplasticity?

    (25:24) Love all, serve all.

    (27:58) Four global initiatives Paul is involved in.

    (29:52) How climate transformation is possible.

    (36:49) Paul’s travel to 62 countries and how it's influenced his musical taste.

    (43:18) An optimistic Grooving session with Kurt and Tim.

    © 2022 Behavioral Grooves


    Dr. Paul Zeitz:

    Opinion Science Podcast:

    Alicia Keys:

    Desmond Tutu:

    Dr. Paul Zeitz's books:

    "Waging Optimism; Ushering in a New Era of Justice: Part 1: Ensuring the Survival and Flourishing of Humanity":"Waging Justice: A Doctor's Journey to Speak Truth and Be Bold":

    Global Carbon Removal Partnership:

    Julie Battilana, Episode 288, “The Steps Needed To Empower the Powerless”:

    John A. List, Episode 296, Fail to Scale: Why Good Research Doesn’t Always Make Great Policy:

    Alia Crum:

    Shawn Anchor, “The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work”:

    Behavioral Grooves Patreon:

    Musical Links

    Robert Goulet “The Impossible Dream”:

    Nina Simone “Consummation”:

    Flavors of Gratefulness – 120 versions of Modah Ani:

    Shulem “Avinu Malkeinu”:

  • Many of us struggle with the demands of parenting. Our response to feeling overwhelmed can be to try and control our kids’ behavior. But guest Sue Donnellan challenges us to lessen our parenting load by giving our children more control, more responsibility and ultimately more respect. While this might go against our instincts, when we take ownership of our own behavior, rather than controlling our kids', we will become happier parents with children able to learn from their mistakes.

    Sue Donnellan is the recent author of “Secrets to Parenting Without Giving a F^ck: The Non-Conformist Playbook to Raising Happy Kids Without Public Meltdowns, Power Struggles, & Punishments”. With the surprise arrival of her triplets, Sue had suddenly found herself parenting 4 young kids while also running her own business. She walks us through the moment that radically changed her parenting style, and how she transformed herself into a "reformed yeller". Over the years, Sue's journey of discovery has turned her into a parenting specialist who is known for restoring harmony to homes.

    Please note that because of the title of our guest’s book on this episode, there is a lot of colorful language used throughout the podcast. While it’s an episode about parenting, you may want to tune in to this one, away from little ears!

    At Behavioral Grooves we really value all of our listeners. If you want to demonstrate your support for our show, you can donate to our work through Patreon. We also love reading reviews of the podcast, and frequently read these out on the show.


    (3:44) Welcome and speed round questions.

    (8:49) What is parenting without giving a f^ck?

    (11:53) Sues’ parenting journey and why she wrote the book.

    (16:36) Why do parents struggle to let go of control?

    (19:00) What is The Magic Mantra?

    (22:32) Choice architecture in parenting.

    (26:04) Dealing with parental guilt.

    (29:44) What is 360 decision making?

    (35:54) The 4 Fs of parenting.

    (39:53) What music would Sue take to a desert island?

    (45:09) Grooving Session with Kurt and Tim about parenting.

    © 2022 Behavioral Grooves


    Sue Donnellan’s book: “Secrets to Parenting Without Giving a F^ck: The Non-Conformist Playbook to Raising Happy Kids Without Public Meltdowns, Power Struggles, & Punishments”:

    Follow Sue Donnellan on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter with the handle @AskMomParenting

    The Zeigarnik Effect:

    Sesil Pir, Episode 281, Why Leaders Need To Care For People, Not Manage Them:

    Behavioral Grooves Patreon:

    Musical Links

    Sade “Smooth Operator”:

    Sade “Cherish The Day”:

  • World-class pediatric surgeon, social scientist, and best-selling author Dr Dana Suskind MD talks about the Three T's (tune in, talk more and take turns) that parents can do to nurture their children’s brain development and the key ways that society needs to change to invest in the next generation.

    Dana is the founder and co-director of the TMW Center for Early Learning & Public Health, and Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics at the University of Chicago. She is also the director of the Pediatric Cochlear Implant Program, and is recognized as a national thought leader in early language development. Her research is dedicated to optimizing foundational brain development and preventing early cognitive disparities and their lifelong impact. Honestly, when she talks about raising kids…we need to listen.

    Most recently, Dana has released a fantastic new book detailing the powerful blueprint that society should be taking to meet the developmental needs of all children. We talk more with Dana about why she wrote Parent Nation: Unlocking Every Child's Potential, Fulfilling Society's Promise and how the status quo for parenting in America is not serving parents and children well.

    If you enjoy Dana’s episode on Behavioral Grooves Podcast, you can support our work through our Patreon page. You can also write a short podcast review on your podcast player; doing so helps other listeners find our show.


    (4:58) Welcome and speed round questions.

    (9:25) How has American individualism influenced the way we parent our children?

    (13:05) How significant is the lack of parental leave in the US?

    (17:37) Internalizing parental guilt.

    (19:28) Reframing your self talk around raising your kids.

    (21:17) The influence of the pandemic on parenting.

    (25:19) What has been the impact of the pandemic on children?

    (27:28) Why language is so important to early development.

    (30:20) The 3 Ts of foundational brain development.

    (31:56) The personal trauma that influenced Dana’s writing.

    (34:19) What positive support systems are there to help parents?

    (39:31) Dana’s ambition to write behavioral economics music!

    (41:26) Grooving Session discussing Parent Nation.

    © 2022 Behavioral Grooves


    “Parent Nation: Unlocking Every Child's Potential, Fulfilling Society's Promise” by Dana Suskind MD:

    John List, Episode 296: Fail to Scale: Why Good Research Doesn’t Always Make Great Policy:

    Linda Babcock, Episode 293: Women Do Too Much Non-Promotable Work: How To Say No More with Linda Babcock:

    Meryl Streep:

    John Amos Comenius:

    Caitlyn Collins, Washington University:

    TMW Center for Early Learning + Public Health at the University of Chicago:

    “Thirty Million Words: Building a Child's Brain” by Dana Suskind MD:

    Dolly Chugh, Episode 230: How Good People Fight Bias with Dolly Chugh:

    David Yokum, Episode 282: Why Applying Behavioral Science to Public Policy Delivers Better Policy:

    Cristina Bicchieri, Episode 102: Social Norms are Bundles of Expectations:

    Support Behavioral Grooves Patreon page:

    Musical Links

    Johnny Cash “I Walk The Line”:

  • Lots of us have good ideas, some even back their ideas up with successful research. So why do these good ideas fail to scale into great, big ideas? John A. List shares the personal example of his highly successful kindergarten reform in South Side Chicago which then didn’t scale across the nation. His intrigue into this case led him to pen a phenomenal new book about scalability, “The Voltage Effect”.

    John A. List, is a Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago as well as recently becoming the first ever Chief Economist at Walmart. Our conversation with John touches on the ambition he has to change the world for the better in this new role at Walmart. But the primary drive for our chat was to discuss his great new book “The Voltage Effect: How to Make Good Ideas Great and Great Ideas Scale”. Listen in to learn about the concept of scalability and why it is so hard to go from, “the petri dish’ (as he puts it) to successful broad scale programs.

    As is often the case, we round off our episode with a desert island music selection from our guest. And John’s very thoughtful consideration of the question yields a top notch selection of musical artists. Don’t miss this part of the discussion!

    Regular listeners to Behavioral Grooves might consider donating to our work through our Patreon page. Or you can also support us by writing a podcast review on your podcast player; doing so helps scale our audience!


    (6:06) Welcome and speed round questions.

    (11:03) Why John named his book The Voltage Effect.

    (13:41) John’s involvement in the Chicago Heights Early Childhood (CHECC) school project.

    (23:05) What biases influence people?

    (26:29) How Nancy Reagan’s good intentions are an example of scaling failure.

    (30:52) Scaling behavioral science.

    (39:17) How is John going to change the world as Chief Economist at Walmart?

    (43:33) How can insights from charity be applied to other sectors?

    (54:55) John’s desert island music selection.

    (1:04:11) A “High Voltage” Grooving Session with Kurt and Tim.

    © 2022 Behavioral Grooves


    John A. List’s book, “The Voltage Effect: How to Make Good Ideas Great and Great Ideas Scale”:

    “Just Say No” campaign:

    Anna Karenina:

    “Stakes Matter in Ultimatum Games” (2011) by Steffen Andersen, Seda Ertaç, Uri Gneezy, Moshe Hoffman and John List:

    George Lowenstein, Episode 67 “George Loewenstein: On a Functional Theory of Boredom”:

    “Parent Nation: Unlocking Every Child's Potential, Fulfilling Society's Promise” by Dana Suskind:

    Sam Tatam, Episode 295 “For Revolutionary Solutions, Look To Evolutionary Ideas”:

    Scott Jeffrey, Episode 3:

    Thomas Steenburgh, Episode 51: “How to Sell New Products”:

    To leave Apple podcast review:

    To support Behavioral Grooves via Patreon:

    Musical Links

    The Beatles “Don’t Let Me Down”:

    Freddie Mercury/Queen “These are the Days of Our Lives”:

    Johnny Cash “Ring Of Fire”:

    Marty Robbins “El Paso”:

    The Red Hot Chili Peppers “Under The Bridge”:

    AC/DC “High Voltage”:

    Gordon Lightfoot “If You Could Read My Mind”:

    Kris Kristofferson “For the Good Times”:

    Waylon Jennings “I’ve Always Been Crazy”:

    Fleetwood Mac “Dreams”:

    Stevie Nicks “Stand Back”:

    White Stripes “We’re Going to Be Friends”:

  • Innovation doesn’t always require inventing new solutions to problems; chances are that evolution has already solved the issue with a unique design. This simple notion of looking to the natural world for design inspiration is called biomimicry. Guest, Sam Tatam uses biomimicry in his creative application of behavioral science.

    Friend of the show, Sam Tatam is the author of a fantastic new book called Evolutionary Ideas: Unlocking ancient innovation to solve tomorrow’s challenges. Sam is the Global Principal and Head of Behavioural Science at Ogilvy Growth & Innovation. From New York to Nairobi, Sam has led behavior change projects across virtually every category and continent. Today, he leads a global team of talented psychologists and behavioral economists to develop interventions and shape the communications of some of the world’s most influential brands and organizations.

    Listen in to our conversation with Sam to learn about biomimicry, The Theory of Inventive Problem Solving (TRIZ) and the Goal Gradient theory. But our conversation isn't all "sciency", we also have a light hearted chat about the musical artist Sam went to Italy with, and about the differences in pubs between London and Sydney.

    If you are a regular listener to Behavioral Grooves, please consider donating to our work through Patreon. We also absolutely love reading your reviews on the podcast, which help others find our content.


    (4:59) Welcome and speed round questions.

    (13:23) What is biomimicry?

    (18:20) TRIZ (Theory of Inventive Problem Solving) and evolutionary thinking.

    (25:32) How language can be a liberator for innovation.

    (29:28) Categorizing biases into patterns.

    (34:58) What is the Goal Gradient Theory and why isn’t it applied more often?

    (39:14) Five psychological contradictions.

    (47:26) What music would Sam take to a desert island?

    (51:03) Kurt and Tim discussing Sam’s Evolutionary Ideas.

    © 2021 Behavioral Grooves


    Sam Tatam's Book: "Evolutionary Ideas: Unlocking ancient innovation to solve tomorrow’s challenges":

    Episode 44, Sam Tatam: Smelling the Brand:

    Episode 107: Rory Sutherland: The Opposite of a Good Idea is a Good Idea:



    Shinkansen, Japanese speed train:

    Generich Altshuller:

    Episode 215, Leidy Klotz: Secrets of Subtraction: Donut Holes, Lego and Bruce Springsteen:

    Episode 289: Why Not All Nudges Work ”In The Wild” | Nina Mazar PhD & Dilip Soman PhD:

    Baader–Meinhof phenomenon:

    Episode 202, How Chaning Jang Works Around Not Being WEIRD:

    Behavioral Grooves Patreon:

    Musical Links

    David Gray “Sail Away”:

    Powderfinger “My Happiness”:

  • A goal is a stepping stone on the way to a higher achievement, not an end point. By reframing our expectations, we can transform our mindset into an incredibly powerful psychological tool.

    Our guest on this episode is Paul Szyarto who has overcome some heartbreaking personal adversity to become an incredibly successful entrepreneur.

    Paul speaks with us in detail about the blind spots entrepreneurs experience and why many organizations fail because they don’t hire the right people with the right talent. And he reminds us that the most challenging thing to do in times of chaos is to focus on something meaningful, something beyond the current chaos of that current challenge.

    © 2022 Behavioral Grooves


    (2:50) Welcome and speed round questions.

    (5:11) Goals are not end points, they are stepping stones to a higher achievement.

    (8:47) The psychology of human capital.

    (12:16) Why most businesses fail.

    (13:31) Paul’s secret tips for entrepreneurs.

    (16:23) What is the Never Broken mindset?

    (19:51) The barriers to feeling grateful.

    (21:14) Does Paul’s playlist reflect his Never Broken mindset?

    (22:40) Grooving session with Kurt and Tim discussing mindsets.


    Never Broken Mindset:

    Episode 277, Daniel Pink, No Regrets? Really? Why Regrets Actually Bring Us Hope:

    Episode 276, Ayelet Fishbach, How To Stay Motivated So You Exceed Your Goals:

  • Women are more likely to volunteer for a non-promotable task at work, than men. But why do women volunteer themselves more? What repercussions does this have on women and on the organization? And how can workplaces fix this inequity?

    Non promotable tasks (NPTs) are the pieces of work that are good for the organization, but not so good for the individual. It’s the request from your boss to organize the holiday party, or the task of ordering sandwiches for the team lunch, or the mission of being on the review committee. And the problem, says Linda and her co-authors, is that women are doing the vast majority of these non-promotable tasks for no reason other than people expect them to.

    Linda Babcock is a longtime friend of the show, having first appeared on Behavioral Grooves Podcast back in April 2019 to talk about promoting the careers of women in the workplace. Since then, Linda has co-authored a fantastic new book advocating further for women in the workplace; “The No Club: Putting a Stop to Women's Dead-End Work”. Having formed “The No Club” with a group of other women, in an effort to regain balance in their workload, Linda and her fellow group members have written about their personal experience of learning to say NO to NPTs.

    Make no mistake, Linda’s book is not a guide for women, it is a guide for anyone who works with or knows women! Weaving practical tips into ever chapter of the book, Linda and her co-authors outline clear steps in how to avoid and fix the problem of workload inequity. And the benefits aren’t limited to women either - organizations can improve their productivity and profitability as a result of addressing these problems.

    In this episode with Linda we relish the opportunity to discuss with her the practical ways women, men and organizations can rebalance the workload of NPTs. If you are a regular listener to the show, please consider support our work through our Patreon page. If donating isn’t an option for you, don’t worry, you can’t write us a podcast review on your podcast player which will help other listeners find our show.


    (4:40) What are non promotable tasks (NPTs)?

    (7:47) Why do women do more NPTs?

    (12:50) Is there racial inequity with NPTs as well?

    (14:11) Tips for how women can say no to NPTs.

    (18:31) How can organizations fix the problem of NPTs?

    (21:27) How men can change the NPT culture at work.

    (25:55) Linda’s personal story of forming The No Club.

    (27:45) Linda’s desert island music choices.

    (31:21) Grooving session with Kurt and Tim on how to improve the culture of NPTs at your work..

    © 2022 Behavioral Grooves


    “The No Club: Putting a Stop to Women's Dead-End Work”:

    Episode 62, Linda Babcock: Helping Women Build Better Careers at Carnegie Mellon:

    Episode 67, George Loewenstein: On a Functional Theory of Boredom:

    Behavioral Grooves Patreon:

    Leading Human Workbook and Playbook:

    Musical Links

    The Rolling Stones “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”:

    Bruno Mars “24K Magic”:

    The Mountain Goats “Golden Boy Peanuts”:

  • The culture we live in has an invisible influence over our individual and collective behaviors. The tendency towards openness or order in a society is expressed by Michele Gelfand, as the looseness or tightness of a culture. How loose or tight a country is can be correlated to the amount of threat the nation has faced in the past, and in turn, can indicate how its people will respond to a new threat, such as a global pandemic.

    Michele Gelfand is Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Professor of Psychology by Courtesy at Stanford University. She wrote her book “Rule Makers, Rule Breakers: Tight and Loose Cultures and the Secret Signals That Direct Our Lives” in the era before COVID. Despite that she astutely addressed how tight and loose nations would respond to the threat of a global pandemic. We were honored to have the time to chat more with Michele about this topic and many others in this episode.


    (5:49) Welcome and speed round questions.

    (6:27) How culture influences our behavior.

    (10:26) How the threat to a nation influences how tight and loose cultures are.

    (13:21) What Bert and Ernie can teach us about our tight and loose personalities.

    (16:27) What factors influence our default tendency to be tight or loose people?

    (20:21) The global threat of the pandemic and how loose and tight cultures responded.

    (28:48) What Ukraine has taught us about national identity.

    (30:47) How can societies maximize both order and openness?

    (35:02) Can organizations instigate flexible tightness?

    (39:42) Do we have blind spots on how open we are?

    (43:26) How values and attitudes influence your behaviors in different cultures.

    (47:41) What nudge worked to encourage mask wearing among Republicans and Democrats?

    (51:50) The music that influences Michele’s work.

    © 2022 Behavioral Grooves


    Michele Gelfand:

    “Rule Makers, Rule Breakers: Tight and Loose Cultures and the Secret Signals That Direct Our Lives” book by Michele Gelfand:

    Mindset Quiz: How tight or loose are you?

    Episode 266, Sandra Sucher, Trust: The Four Key Steps to Genuinely Build It:

    Episode 102, Cristina Bicchieri, Social Norms are Bundles of Expectations:

    Musical Links

    Oscar Peterson “C Jam Blues”:

    Les McCann “A Bag of Gold”:

    Dave Brubeck “Take Five”:

    Bach “Brandenburg Concertos”:

  • Processes decrease our cognitive load and increase our productivity. On Behavioral Grooves we have talked with out guests a lot about habits and routines, but not so much about the processes behind them. In this bitesize episode we discuss the psychological benefits of using processes and how you can leverage them in your life.

    To illustrate the use of processes to achieve different outcomes, we are joined by both a practitioner and a researcher on this episode. Joseph R. Keebler is a Researcher and a Professor of Human Factors and Behavioral Neurobiology at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida. He has done some really amazing work on the use of processes and checklists for improving performance.

    Our practitioner guest is Peter M. Krask, who is an artist and coach based in New York City. Peter helps people maximize their creative and non creative output. By tapping into processes, he will share how processes from one aspect of our lives can be used to help us work through new and unfamiliar tasks in other parts of our lives.


    (3:29) How processes reduce our cognitive load.

    (7:38) You can use the same process but get a different outcome.

    (14:50) Being intentional creates better processes.

    (16:50) Flexible goals are motivational.

    (20:14) Summary of what we’ve learnt.

    © 2021 Behavioral Grooves


    Joseph R. Keebler, PhD:

    Peter M. Krask:

    PMK Creativity Guide:

    Episode 128, Wendy Wood, PhD: Habits, Productivity and Being Gentle with Yourself:

    Episode 232, Katy Milkman: How to Make Healthy Habits that Actually Last:

    Episode 171, Roy Baumeister: Self Control, Belonging, and Why Your Most Dedicated Employees Are the Ones To Watch Out For:

    Episode 276, Ayelet Fishbach, PhD: How To Stay Motivated So You Exceed Your Goals:

  • Transporting humans from A to B is about more than just speed, efficiency and duration. Comfort, Wi-Fi access, entertainment and our habits, among many other factors, influence our choice of transportation. As we become increasingly aware of the way our travel decisions affect climate change, how can behavioral science positively impact the journeys we make?

    Let our entertaining discussion with Pete Dyson and Rory Sutherland take you on a journey through their new book, “Transport for Humans: Are We Nearly There Yet?” Pete is the Principal Behavioural Scientist at the UK Department for Transport and has paired up with Rory who needs little introduction to many behavioral science enthusiasts. The vice chairman of Ogilvy UK and the co-founder of its Behavioural Science Practice, Rory is also a guest on one of the most popular ever episodes of Behavioral Grooves, Episode 107: The Opposite of a Good Idea is a Good Idea.

    Our episode, along with the book, appeals to the “frustrated but optimistic traveler.” We hope listening helps you reframe your journey.


    (3:23) Welcome to Pete and Rory with speed round questions.

    (9:05) Our transport preferences are all different, so the market should reflect that.

    (13:36) The book for the frustrated but optimistic traveler.

    (15:30) What do travelers value?

    (20:27) How does human nature affect our use of transport?

    (22:37) How passenger technology has influenced train journeys.

    (24:51) The consequences of journeys on climate change.

    (26:31) Transportation challenges in the US.

    (35:56) Thinking holistically, Zoom is an example of transportation.

    (39:01) Rebranding a bus route increases ridership.

    (43:39) Listening to music while cycling or commuting?

    (49:52) Grooving Session on how Pete and Rory transported our thinking!

    © 2022 Behavioral Grooves


    “Transport for Humans: Are We Nearly There Yet?” by Pete Dyson and Rory Sutherland:

    Episode 107, Rory Sutherland: The Opposite of a Good Idea is a Good Idea:

    George Monbiot:

    Episode 287, Nick Epley: Why Talking To Strangers Is Actually Good For Your Wellbeing:

  • Read Nudge and you are inspired by how behavioral science works. But how can we translate and scale behavioral science effectively into policies and organizations? Indeed, can all academic research be applied “in the wild”?

    Our two guests on this episode, Nina Mazar PhD and Dilip Soman PhD have co-edited a book “Behavioral Science in the Wild” that addresses exactly this. If you’re a practitioner, wanting to apply behavioral science in corporate, non-profit, or governmental work, we think you should check this book out. It’s full of excellent ideas for how to apply behavioral science in the wild!

    Nina Mazar is a professor of marketing and co-director of the Susilo Institute for Ethics in the Global Economy at the Boston University Questrom School of Business. Her work focuses on topics ranging from ethics to social & environmental impact. She sits on the board of Irrational Labs and belongs to the team of scientists of the Behavior Change for Good Initiative at Wharton.

    Dilip Soman is a Canada Research Chair in Behavioural Science and Economics. His research is in the area of behavioral science and its applications to consumer wellbeing, marketing and policy. Together Nina and Dilip established the Director of the Behavioural Economics in Action Research Centre at Rotman [BEAR], on which Dilip still serves as director.

    Our discussion with Nina and Dilip explores the journey of working on their book together and why it’s vital reading for all behavioral scientists. To summarize the discussion, as always, Tim and Kurt end the show with a Grooving Session to recap what we learn about behavioral science in the wild!


    (5:04) Welcome to Dilip and Nina with speed round questions.

    (10:01) Why do we need a book about applying behavioral science research “in the wild”.

    (14:29) Why not all academic research is destined for the practitioner world?

    (18:04) Social norms matter but the right reference group is vital.

    (21:35) Background variables influence behavioral science in the wild.

    (29:27) Speed of testing can be a barrier.

    (31:33) Overcoming the issue of scalability.

    (35:24) How your time frame can affect output.

    (38:55) What to do when you don’t get the results you expect.

    (44:07) Don’t get caught shopping in the nudge store.

    (45:50) Music choices of Dilip and Nina.

    (51:29) Grooving session about behavioral science in the wild.

    © 2022 Behavioral Grooves

    Leading Human™

    Leading Human™ Workbook and Playbook:

    Leading Human™, Free Whitepaper Download:


    “Behavioral Science in the Wild (Behaviorally Informed Organizations)”:

    Nina Mazar:

    Dilip Soman:

    Episode 102, Cristina Bicchieri: Social Norms are Bundles of Expectations:

    Episode 232, Katy Milkman: How to Make Healthy Habits that Actually Last:

    Episode 16, Nudge-A-Thon with Dr. Christina Gravert:

    Episode 202, How Chaning Jang Works Around Not Being WEIRD:

    Behavioural Economics in Action at Rotman (BEAR):

    Musical Links

    Paul Simon “Graceland”:

    Mark Knopfler “What It Is”:

    Kishori Amonkar “Swaranjali”:

    Dire Straits “Brothers in Arms”:

    Supertramp “Take The Long Way Home”:

    Fleetwood Mac “Dreams”:

    Subramaniam and Stephane Grappelli “Conversations”:

    The 1988 Subramaniam-Bismillah Geneva:

    The Cure “Just Like Heaven”:

    Kate Bush “Wuthering Heights”:

  • Personality or wealth are often assumed to be prerequisites to gaining power, something that is only garnered by having control over others. An organization chart in a company, however, does not illustrate who has power within the workplace, it only tells you who has authority. And as we learn in this episode, authority and power are not the same.

    By using workplace illustrations from the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom to a cigarette factory in France, Julie Battilana walks us through the precise definitions of power and authority. By understanding exactly what power is and how it really works, Julie breaks down the critical steps to successfully acquiring power and using it to disrupt hierarchies; by innovating, agitating and orchestrating.

    Julie Battilana is the Joseph C. Wilson Professor of Business Administration in the Organizational Behavior unit at Harvard Business School and the Alan L. Gleitsman Professor of Social Innovation at Harvard Kennedy School, where she is also the founder and faculty chair of the Social Innovation and Change Initiative.

    We value support from our listeners through our Patreon page: If donating isn’t an option for you, don’t worry, you can’t write us a podcast review on your podcast player which will help other listeners find our show. Thank you.

    © 2022 Behavioral Grooves


    (3:32) Welcome and speed round questions.

    (7:29) Power and authority are NOT the same.

    (11:59) Who are the most effective change makers?

    (14:37) Power is having an influence over others but is also a freedom from the influence of others.

    (16:15) How can we choose the right leaders?

    (20:18) Empowering the powerless.

    (25:57) The power of collectivism.

    (30:17) Abuse of power by Putin.

    (36:02) How technology plays a part in abuse of power.

    (41:38) What checks on power are needed?

    (45:29) Is there hope for the future?

    (52:20) What music does Julie listen to.

    (54:55) Grooving Session discussing what we learnt from Julie.


    Leading Human Workbook and Playbook:

    Groovy Snacks Newsletter:

    “Power, for All: How It Really Works and Why It's Everyone's Business” by Julie Battilana and Tiziana Casciaro:

    Julie Battilana, PhD:

    Fragrance De Soie tea:

    Vanessa Bohns, Episode 253. Why You Don‘t Need to be Powerful to be Influential:

    LaTosha Brown:

    Jean Rogers, founder of Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB):

    Social Innovation Change Initiative at Harvard Kennedy School:

    Barefoot College:

    Musical Links

    Stromae “Sante”:

  • Do you strike up a conversation with a stranger on a plane or while waiting in line? If you don’t already, you will after listening to Nick Epley in this episode. Nick talks through his extensive research about talking to people we encounter and how it actually boosts our wellbeing.

    While many of us prefer engaging in some small talk with strangers, Nick advocates for the benefits of having a deep and meaningful conversation with people. The problem is, how do we actually start such a conversation with the person who just sat down next to us? Fear not, Nick delves into why we’re reluctant and how we can overcome our hesitation.

    Nick Epley is the John Templeton Keller Professor of Behavior Science and Director of the Center for Decision Research at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He studies social cognition — how thinking people think about other thinking people — to understand why smart people so routinely misunderstand each other. Recently Nick has written the book “Mindwise: Why We Misunderstand What Others Think, Believe, Feel, and Want” and he talks in his interview about what he's working on next.

    As always, hosts Kurt and Tim end the show with a light-hearted Grooving Session to summarize what we have learnt from our guest. I’m sure you will agree that Nick’s interview leaves us with lots of helpful insights. But if there is just one thing you take away from this episode, great listeners, is never hesitant to seize the opportunity to pay a compliment.

    © 2022 Behavioral Grooves


    (3:40) Welcome and speed round questions.

    (4:57) Why it’s better to have a deep and meaningful conversation with a stranger?

    (7:18) Why are we reluctant to talk to strangers about something meaningful?

    (13:46) Why did Nick start studying undersociality?

    (21:06) What happens when strangers talk on a train?

    (29:33) How do you start a conversation with a stranger?

    (33:20) The benefits of a compliment.

    (39:21) Nick’s work in the future.

    (43:35) The mind-blowing way to get someone else’s perspective?

    (47:49) What music influences Nick.

    (51:24) Grooving Session with Kurt and Tim discussing what we learned from Nick Epley.


    Nicholas Epley:

    “Mindwise: Why We Misunderstand What Others Think, Believe, Feel, and Want” by Nick Epley:

    Gary Becker:

    Liz Dunn at University of British Columbia:

    Episode 220: How Do You Become Influential? Jon Levy Reveals His Surprising Secrets:

    Behavioral Grooves Patreon page:

    Musical Links

    Metallica “Master of Puppets”:

    David Tolk, piano player “Amazing Grace”:

    “All Creatures Great and Small” music:

  • As the political divide between left and right widens in the US and around the world, we seem to spend increasing amounts of time focusing on the idea that other people are wrong. But what if we stopped arguing about facts and talked about improving ourselves instead?

    “All of my knowledge is temporary, pending new information.”

    This is a motto that guest Peter Montoya lives by, which questions our own ego and behavior, more than other people’s.

    Peter Montoya is the author of “The Second Civil War: A Citizen's Guide to Healing Our Fractured Nation”, which we understand to be the first “political self help” for Americans. Instead of pointing the finger of blame at one side or the other, Peter challenges us to look inward at our own behavior, our own ego battle and our own craving to belong which can reveal a lot about the relationships we are building.

    Looking inwards is a personal journey that Peter has recently taken himself and we are incredibly grateful to him for the vulnerability and openness he shows in this episode. We are all just trying to be a better version of ourselves and we can see this endeavor reflected in the stories that Peter shares with us.

    If you enjoyed listening to this episode, we would be grateful if you could donate to our work through Patreon. Contributions we receive from listeners are used to fund the work on our podcast, and help ensure we can deliver more great content to you. Thank you!


    (7:19) Why do people fight on social media?

    (13:31) Why do we need a political self help book?

    (15:51) Arguing about politics really is stupid; but what’s the alternative?

    (20:43) What to do about social media and news rewarding extreme stories.

    (26:19) Why don’t facts or morality matter when changing minds?

    (29:34) What are our actual differences vs. our perceived differences?

    (30:13) Change starts with ourselves.

    (33:19) Understanding our own ego.

    (35:09) When you change yourself, you change your relationships.

    (47:17) The greatest song Peter has ever heard.

    (53:31) Grooving Session discussing what we’ve learnt from Peter.

    © 2021 Behavioral Grooves


    Peter Montoya:

    “The Second Civil War: A Citizen's Guide to Healing Our Fractured Nation” by Peter Montoya:

    Interested in becoming an Urth Co-Creator? Visit:

    Episode 215, Secrets of Subtraction: Donut Holes, Lego and Bruce Springsteen with Leidy Klotz:

    Episode 10, Changing the World One View at a Time – with Reddit Superstar Kal Turnbull:

    Dances with Wolves:

    “The Seven Principles of Making Marriage Work” by John Gottman:

    Glossary of Behavioral Terms:

    Episode 283, Henry Gee - Is The Anus Really The Key To All Intelligent Life?

    Episode 226, The Power of Unity: Robert Cialdini Expands His Best Selling Book Influence:

    Episode 279, We Are Greater Together; The Power Of Belonging with Dominic Packer PhD:

    Behavioral Grooves Patreon Page:

    Musical Links

    The Beatles “I Wanna Hold Your Hand”:

    The Sandells “Dirty Water”:

    Radiohead “Daydreaming”:

    Bjork “Human Behaviour”:

    The Clash “Rock The Casbah”:

    The Clash “London’s Calling”:

    Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros: “Yalla Yalla”:

  • We are always learning, whether it’s changing careers or learning a new instrument. But how do we transition from the curiosity stage, to completely mastering the skill? It turns out it’s a rather predictable process. The growth and learning journey we all embark on, many times in our life, can, according to Whitney Johnson, be visualized on the S Curve of Learning. The growth and learning journey comes in three phases: the Launch Point, the Sweet Spot, and Mastery.

    In this episode with Whitney and in her new book “Smart Growth: How to Grow Your People to Grow Your Company”, we can learn how to keep going when growth is slow and why we sometimes leap from one journey to another. By familiarizing ourselves with the growth journey, we can better ourselves, our workplaces and our societies.

    Not only has Whitney been a fascinating guest on our podcast, she has also generously given us some signed copies of her book for our listeners! All you have to do is write a Twitter post about why you would like to read Whitney’s book Smart Growth on social media and tag us in the post: @behavioralgroov. We will choose the lucky winners and send you a FREE SIGNED COPY!


    (1:18) Find out how to WIN Whitney’s new book, “Smart Growth: How to Grow Your People to Grow Your Company”.

    (4:11) What is the S Curve of Learning?

    (11:33) How we have learnt to integrate our work life and home life during the pandemic.

    (15:44) Nobody climbs their S Curve alone; how important is context?

    (18:49) The 6 phases of the S Curve.

    (26:28) How Shellye Archambeau jumped onto new S Curves in order to reach the summit.

    (34:51) What is Whitney’s next challenge?

    (40:58) Whitney’s S Curve with music.

    (47:00) Grooving Session with Kurt and Tim recapping what we learnt from Whitney.

    © 2022 Behavioral Grooves


    Win a signed copy of Whitney’s new book at @behavioralgroov

    “Smart Growth: How to Grow Your People to Grow Your Company” by Whitney Johnson:

    “The Innovator's Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail (Management of Innovation and Change)” by Clayton Christensen:

    Thich Nhat Hanh quote: “You have to do it by yourself. You can not do it alone.”

    Episode 204, How Shellye Archambeau Flies Like an Eagle:

    Disrupt Yourself Podcast:

    Jacqueline Novogratz on Disrupt Yourself Podcast:

    Simon Sinek on Disrupt Yourself Podcast:

    Livingston Taylor On Disrupt Yourself Podcast:

    Sunil Gupta on Disrupt Yourself Podcast:

    Behavioral Grooves Patreon:

    Musical Links

    Diana Krall “Just The Way You Are”:

    Stevie Wonder “As”:

    Rodgers & Hammerstein“Getting To Know You” from The King and I:

    Aimee Nolte piano jazz tutorial:

    Tori Kelly “Don’t You Worry About A Thing”:

  • Creating a motivating mindset is the most important component of any sales role. In fact, it’s a critical component of everything we do, but Donald C. Kelly enthusiastically reminds us in this episode that it’s a vital step in the sales process. Adopting a sales mindset can elevate you from a good sales person to a great sales person. Learn from Donald about how to get into the zone of a sales mindset.

    Donald has an extremely passionate, dedicated, and infectious personality. As producer and host of the extremely popular podcast, The Sales Evangelist, Donald lives, eats and breathes sales. He believes that anyone can become a sales person if they believe in themselves. Something that he started to discover for himself at the age of 7, when he started to sell mangoes in his hometown in Jamaica in order to help get him the cool Ninja bike that he wanted so badly.

    We dedicate part of our interview with Donald to discuss the blend of behavioral science in sales. If you’re interested in finding out even more about how behavioral science can be used in your workplace, the team at Behavioral Grooves have designed a new handbook on leadership called Leading Human. It is cater-made for leaders in sales or any management role to help explore the human challenges and overcome the stresses of working in a hyper-dynamic world. The handbook walks you through exercises that you can do with your team - to make sure that you are being the most effective manager possible. In this ever changing world, having a deep understanding of how to apply behavioral science insights to better lead your team is vitally important.


    (3:04) Welcome and speed round questions.

    (8:40) Are people born with a natural sales ability?

    (13:30) Why does our impression of sales come from car salesmen?

    (18:12) Donald’s sales journey started by selling mangoes.

    (22:38) How important is your mindset in sales?

    (24:37) How your environment activates your reticular activating system.

    (36:03) Why is behavioral science not integrated more in sales?

    (41:10) How Donald uses music to get in the zone.

    (45:27) Grooving Session with Kurt and Tim sharing what we learnt from Donald.

    © 2022 Behavioral Grooves


    Kurt and Tim on The Sales Evangelist Podcast, “Why Your Brain Lies To You: Cash Is NOT The Best Motivator”:

    “Sell It Like a Mango: A New Seller's Guide to Closing More Deals” by Donald C. Kelly:

    “The Sales Evangelist Sales Planner” by Donald C. Kelly:

    Michael Jordan:

    Seth Godin:

    Leading Human Handbook designed for leaders:

    Musical Links

    Chronixx “Here Comes Trouble”:

    Koffee “Lockdown”:

    Drake “Money In The Grave”:

    Damian Marley “Living It Up”: