Automatic behaviours et. al
Why start a substack called Automatic behaviours ?
Shane Parrish from Farnam Street blog says this about Automatic behaviours :
Design default automatic behaviors that put you on the path to success. - If you want to drink less, make a rule that you stop drinking at 8pm. - If you want to sleep better, make a rule that you don't use your phone past 10pm.
I resonate a lot with the idea that instead of relying on my will power and memory of a good practice, I rather focus on building habits that align with how I want myself to operate in the time of crisis, conflicts and situations where my rational thinking may get overwhelmed. I want myself to use behaviours that come automatically to me without the need for thinking deep enough at the moment where perhaps my good judgement is off or my emotions are taking over. This happens to me and perhaps to the readers all the time. That is why, I prefer not to shop when I am hungry :)
Automatic behaviours at work can manifest in different ways. For a team responsible to launch a new product, offering or a technical system, often the automatic behaviour should be to have a checklist of that launch so to avoid relying on faulty human memory. During an incident that affects business or customer, on-call teams rely on automatic behaviours of focussing on stopping the bleeding first and keeping the teams aware of the situation at all times. In a large group format, if there is a topic to be discussed which will likely have different view points, the automatic behaviour should be to have a document first to capture the topic clearly and allow everybody to voice their points before getting on a discussion. In a meeting to decide upon things, the automatic behaviour is to have clear action items with owners along with the meeting notes. Often automatic behaviours could be related to rituals, habits or practices that an individual, group or an organisation wants to use at their time of crisis, conflicts and situations where rational logic is often removed. I like the phrasing of the term “behaviours” over rituals or habits, and I have been deeply interested in this since a long time. Over the last many years, after talking to people from all backgrounds, I find myself adopting them in my daily life and actively sharing these behaviours to others.
A plan to start writing about these behaviours in a form of newsletter or a blog has been a long time in making, but I did not have the courage to put it together so far. I finally making this happen in the form of this substack, going with the thinking that if this is not useful for others, atleast the stories and ideas I share here will help me. I want to scratch my own itch first.