How psychology can help you in business

posted by Chris Valentine

Today, there is a greater focus on psychology in the business world. Psychology involves the study of the mind and how people think, so it benefits you to use psychology in business. Understanding psychology is useful for anyone hoping to earn more money, to be selected for the next promotion, or to manage others. As a manager, understanding psychology may help you to hire better staff, motivate your staff, boost employees’ performance, negotiate more successfully, and attract customers.

Influence others

What you do for others will be paid back in time – that is the idea behind the influence model under the law of reciprocity. This model suggests that you should approach a difficult coworker, employee, or client with the assumption that they are your ally. Determine what you need and why without involving personal goals. Also, consider the other person. Put yourself in their place to better understand their expectations, what drives them, what affects their behavior, and the rewards they seek.

Identifying your team

Understanding the traits of your team members can help make the team a success. For example, the conformist is a person who almost always agrees, is dependent on the leader, and is unwavering in their support of the leader and project. The passive person usually only follows what they are directly told to do and nothing more. A pragmatic person is a follower who is focused on function and survival, and they may contribute occasionally while remaining in the background. The exemplary is an independent follower who is a team player and often takes initiative in tasks and problem-solving. Since exemplary types of people make the best team members, it is the leader’s goal to transform followers into exemplary followers.

Remember that however you classify employees, everyone has positive and negative traits. Manage your team by assigning the appropriate tasks to the right person. Keep in mind that people act a certain way when in groups. People perform simple tasks better in groups, but complex tasks are usually not performed as well in a group. Groups can give people motivation, but self-consciousness and pressure to perform can cause more mistakes to be made.

Motivation and psychology

Motivate your teammates by understanding their needs under Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. This theory suggests that people need to meet one level of requirements before advancing. Employees must meet their physical needs with salary and work environment before they hope to accomplish personal growth, creativity, and promotion.

There are a number of other theories to help with motivation. Consider the expectancy theory, stating that people perform as well as expected when they have potential for advancement. Operant conditioning suggests that reinforcing positive behavior will increase the chances that people will continue to behave in such a way. Simply giving an employee praise now and then might result in a more effective work environment.

Creativity and psychology

Fields that require creativity and innovation need fun and freedom for employees to flourish. New experiences and activities help generate new ways of solving problems. Creating a fun and creative environment can boost innovative thinking.

Being able to read people and understand the reason why they do things a certain way can help in designing a consumer product or service. This is key for product designers. Qualitative research, such as focus groups, can be very useful. Focus groups allow you to read consumers and monitor their body language so that you know what they really think about your product or service.

Scarcity drives sales

Scarcity is the idea that there are limited amounts of something. This translates to items appearing more attractive when they are more difficult to obtain or if there is a limited chance to get them. This is often used for product sales. As a producer, you might advertise the limited availability or closing deadline for a special rate. You are creating a sense of urgency to buy what you are selling.

How to learn about psychology

To understand coworkers, supervisors, and consumers better, learn more about psychology. You will want to research courses and programs, and you might like the convenience of online classes. USC offers a master’s program in applied psychology, so you can find the classes that you need to boost your knowledge of psychology or even earn your degree in this fascinating field.

Studying psychology is important if you work in a communications field or design products for people to use. Knowing how to communicate with your clients and meet their needs is just as important as understanding employees in many cases.

Psychology is useful whether you want to understand coworkers or motivate employees that you manage. It can help companies determine the best way to reach consumers. Psychology can help you any time you interact with anyone in the business world or personal life, so any knowledge you can gain about psychology is worthwhile.

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