Anyone interested in influence should start by focusing on the environment of the individual they are trying to affect. Analyze that environment and find ways to make desirable actions easy and undesirable actions difficult. Remember that the human cognitive system aims to get the best possible outcome for the least possible energy cost.
Successfully achieving a behavior change requires three types of power: want power, will power, and won't power: Want power requires patients to understand that making a change is consistent with their own internal vision of what they have for themselves and their lives, not what someone else wants Will power involves patients figuring out what they need to do to make the change — whether it's getting up earlier to have time to exercise, grocery shopping in a different way, or a willingness to get on a treadmill even when they're tired — before they are good at it, when it's still uncomfortable or distressing Won't power requires acknowledging what is getting in the way of making a specific behavior changed and figuring out a way to say “no” to whatever is pushing them toward counterproductive behaviors
The Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) conducted research with local partners in Peru, Senegal, Tanzania, and Vietnam to understand the factors that affect an individual’s decision to practice handwashing with soap. The research informed the implementation of handwashing project activities in the four countries. Following national and local government implementation, WSP and its partners gathered valuable lessons, which inform this handwashing with soap toolkit. The toolkit, intended for practitioners interested in behavior change, is organized into four modules, each with reports and presentations about the lessons learned from the projects, as well as mass media, direct consumer contact, and interpersonal communication tools used throughout the project.