Convince People to Complete Tasks With Personal Stickers

Whether you’re delegating tasks, asking for a favor, or telling kids to do their chores around the house, sticky notes can be critical in convincing them to complete an assignment.

It might sound silly, but research by Randy Garner of Sam Houston State University suggests that a personalized message written on a sticker can actually help you convince someone to do something. In their experiments, day-to-day tasks – such as a long poll – were more likely to be completed when a personalized note was attached to them. This could be for two reasons: it draws attention to the task because the sticker looks out of place and people want to remove it; and the sticky note is personal in nature, demonstrating communication from one person to another (instead of a random task that is simply passed on to you).

This bond that you make with another person with a sticker, albeit a small size, can make the task important to you and make them feel like they were specially chosen by you. This may not work all the time, but if you can imagine the difference between a stack of documents and a stack of documents with a personal note that you are politely asked to do, it makes sense. So the next time you need to convince someone to do something, you can spend that extra 30 seconds writing a nice message.

Persuasion on Stickers: A Notable Impact | The Journal of Consumer Psychology via Harvard Business Review


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