The Power of the Post-it

 

Please ReadI’m not sure I believe this, but it’s scientifically proven, so maybe I just have to accept it. From Harvard Business Review:

Imagine that you really need to convince someone to do something, such as following through on a task. You might be surprised to learn that one of the best ways to get someone to comply with your request is through a tiny nuance that adds a personal touch—attaching a sticky note.

I hate these. But a recent experiment showed that when respondents were asked to fill out and return a survey, 76 percent of them complied only when the cover letter had a little personalized sticky note attached.

When there was no sticky note, the rate collapsed to 36 percent.

Okay, so why? Here’s what the experimenter came up with:

  1. It doesn’t match the environment—the sticky note takes up space and looks a bit cluttered. The brain, therefore, wants it gone.
  2. It gets attention first because of #1. It’s difficult to ignore.
  3. It’s personalized. (That’s the difference between Group 2 and Group 3 in the experiment.)
  4. Ultimately, the sticky note represents one person communicating with another important person—almost as if it is a favor or special request, which makes the recipient feel important.

I still hate them. Doesn’t everyone?

Members have made 41 comments.

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  1. Profile photo of Dick from Brooklyn Reagan

    yes

    • #1
    • August 17, 2015 at 3:08 pm
  2. Profile photo of Jimmy Carter Member

    Sticky note

    • #2
    • August 17, 2015 at 3:15 pm
  3. Profile photo of Dick from Brooklyn Reagan

    Jimmy Carter:Sticky note

    Curse you Jimmy Carter!!!!!!!!!

    • #3
    • August 17, 2015 at 3:15 pm
  4. Profile photo of Man With the Axe Member

    Screen shot 2015-08-17 at 6.16.51 PM

    • #4
    • August 17, 2015 at 3:17 pm
  5. Profile photo of Pencilvania Inactive

    Don’t like ’em.

    Unfortunately, I’m trained like Pavlov’s puppy to read them first. Worked in publishing, editors used them for cx’s – the bright pink ones are especially alarming.

    • #5
    • August 17, 2015 at 3:21 pm
  6. Profile photo of Basil Fawlty Inactive

    Noted.

    • #6
    • August 17, 2015 at 3:21 pm
  7. Profile photo of Jimmy Carter Member

    Struck a nerve

    • #8
    • August 17, 2015 at 3:26 pm
  8. Profile photo of Misthiocracy Member

    When going door-to-door with the candidate, we have a pack of sticky notes with “Sorry I missed you.” pre-printed on ’em for the houses where nobody answers the door.

    • #9
    • August 17, 2015 at 3:29 pm
  9. Profile photo of Dick from Brooklyn Reagan

    Sticky-note4

    • #10
    • August 17, 2015 at 3:37 pm
  10. Profile photo of Jimmy Carter Member

    Sticky note

    • #11
    • August 17, 2015 at 3:42 pm
  11. Profile photo of Dick from Brooklyn Reagan

    Sticky-note5

    • #12
    • August 17, 2015 at 3:50 pm
  12. Profile photo of Annefy Member

    I am a little confused by passion of any kind by a sticky note.

    But I can see how even the hatred of them can inspire people to do whatever is requested just to get rid of it.

    My very first “big girl” job was in a commercial lending office. My desk was right outside my boss’; he would walk by by 10-12 times a day and throw a legal-sized yellow sheet of paper onto my desk with a written something to do.

    Because I hated them (and sometimes him) so much I was always inspired to get the task done quickly and throw the damn sheet of paper back on HIS desk.

    • #13
    • August 17, 2015 at 3:52 pm
  13. Profile photo of Rob Long Founder
    Rob Long Post author

    Dick from Brooklyn:yes

    I feel compelled to respond to this. Not sure why.

    • #14
    • August 17, 2015 at 3:54 pm
  14. Profile photo of Rob Long Founder
    Rob Long Post author

    Dick from Brooklyn:Sticky-note5

    This is what’s wrong with American productivity, people! Don’t you have JOBS? This is why the Chinese are ahead of us!

    • #15
    • August 17, 2015 at 3:55 pm
  15. Profile photo of Bereket Kelile Member

    Rob Long:

    Dick from Brooklyn:Sticky-note5

    This is what’s wrong with American productivity, people! Don’t you have JOBS? This is why the Chinese are ahead of us!

    They devalue their currency, we devalue our time.

    • #16
    • August 17, 2015 at 4:00 pm
  16. Profile photo of Bereket Kelile Member

    Maybe Hillary should have used a sticky note instead of a reset button.

    • #17
    • August 17, 2015 at 4:00 pm
  17. Profile photo of Basil Fawlty Inactive

    I’ve never stuck a sticky note

    I never hope to stick one

    But if you ask me for my vote

    I’d rather stick than lick one.

    • #18
    • August 17, 2015 at 4:08 pm
  18. Profile photo of Dick from Brooklyn Reagan

    Screen Shot 2015-08-17 at 7.09.27 PM

    • #19
    • August 17, 2015 at 4:10 pm
  19. Profile photo of Dick from Brooklyn Reagan

    Bereket Kelile:Maybe Hillary should have used a sticky note instead of a reset button.

    Screenshot 2015-03-18 16.26.28

    • #20
    • August 17, 2015 at 4:11 pm
  20. Profile photo of Richard Anderson Member

    Funniest thread in weeks. Brilliant.

    • #21
    • August 17, 2015 at 4:21 pm
  21. Profile photo of Jules PA Member

    Post-Its?

    Post-Its compose a natural part of a musician’s life. I apply post-its on top of post-its. My playing and teaching is quite flat without post-its.

    IMG_2939

    • #22
    • August 17, 2015 at 4:59 pm
  22. Profile photo of Rob Long Founder
    Rob Long Post author

    Dick from Brooklyn:Screen Shot 2015-08-17 at 7.09.27 PM

    Excellent point.

    • #23
    • August 17, 2015 at 5:04 pm
  23. Profile photo of Percival Thatcher

    1Image3

    • #25
    • August 17, 2015 at 5:21 pm
  24. Profile photo of Charlotte Inactive

    Sometimes sticky notes are pretty cool.

    • #26
    • August 17, 2015 at 5:32 pm
  25. Profile photo of Jules PA Member

    Charlotte:Sometimes sticky notes are pretty cool.

    Post-It Prank Video from Brazil

    Here is a still shot.

    2015-brazil-boom-parking-handicap-prank

    • #27
    • August 17, 2015 at 5:40 pm
  26. Profile photo of Leigh Member

    OK, I love post-it notes.

    Not those bland yellow monstrosities, though. Those are a blot on the face of the earth. I love cute post-it notes: apple-shaped or flower-shaped. Little ones for a quick note; lined ones for lists.

    I suppose I could live without post-it notes, but it would be rough.

    • #28
    • August 17, 2015 at 6:02 pm
  27. Profile photo of Grey Lady Member

    Just a note to tell Dick From Brooklyn and Jimmy Carter thanks for the laugh throughout this post (it).

    • #29
    • August 17, 2015 at 6:10 pm
  28. Profile photo of Dick from Brooklyn Reagan

    Aimee Jones:Just a note to tell Dick From Brooklyn and Jimmy Carter thanks for the laugh throughout this post (it).

    IMG_20150817_211830

    • #30
    • August 17, 2015 at 6:25 pm
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