The Power of Nudge Theory

Aug 29, 2022 | Podcast

The Power of Nudge Therapy


The Power of Nudge Theory is a fascinating subject. Ziba Goddard is a behavioural scientist and Chief Consulting Officer at Cowry Consulting and joins Gary Williams on this episode of Work Winning Ways. Ziba specialises in human behaviour and how we make decisions. If you’ve ever heard of Nudge Theory and wonder why we make the decisions we make particularly in the context of buying, this is for you!


  • People are wired to make snap judgements and rarely are making decisions based on having all of the information available. Thinking is often less rational than people would assume.
  • Nudge Theory is the idea of using encouragement or suggestions to change people’s behaviour while still giving them freedom to make their own decisions. For example governments have used this recently to encourage people to socially distance during the pandemic.
  • We have two systems of thinking, the cerebellum based thinking, which is subconscious and primal. Then there’s the prefrontal cortex that allows us as humans to deduct and reason and use language. Think of them as the Homer Simpson brain and the Dr Spock brain.
    90% of our decisions come from our Homer Simpson brain.
    There is a toolkit of around 200 shortcuts that scientists use to connect directly to our primal thinking.
  • Ziba has done some work with construction companies to increase health and safety. After 4 days on site observing, Ziba’s team painted the canteen area a shade of pink that essentially has a calming effect and reduced the amount of people taking risks. She also changed the card system used for keeping track of safety to one of reward rather than punishment. This reduced unsafe behaviours by 85% at this site.
    reframing sales to a personal relationship makes it easier for sellers. It’s not about using clients to achieve goals, it’s about forming a bond and doing a favour for one another.
  • We have an inherent bias towards those people we think are specialists, for example we trust doctors with stethoscopes around their necks more than doctors without one.


  • “The key to sales is relationships”
  • ‘When people are credible enough and show a weakness, we like them more”
  • “People aren’t rational and don’t have perfect knowledge


Gary Williams

Gary Williams

Gary Williams has been in sales and marketing his entire career. The past 10 years have been dedicated to helping technically minded non-salespeople become skilled and confident in selling themselves and their services.

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