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What is behavioral economics? Why does it matter to you?

Podcast Episodes

What is behavioral economics? Why does it matter to you?

150. Using Behavioral Science to Build Connections, an interview with Jon Levy, author of You’re Invited

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Today I am very excited to have Jon Levy and I am also very excited for our big milestone. This is the 150th episode of The Brainy Business podcast. Can you believe it? We now have well over 350,000 downloads in more than 170 countries (thank you, everyone, for tuning in and sharing with your friends!).
You are going to learn so much interesting stuff from this conversation, I absolutely loved chatting with Jon. It’s no wonder with all the practice he has had amazing interactions with some of the most accomplished and diverse people on the planet: Grammy award winners, Nobel laureates, editors in chief, Olympic gold medalists, actors. You name it and they have probably accepted an invitation to dinner at Jon’s place. You can learn all about how he has done this and the true genius behind these fantastic interactions and getting to really know and trust people in our conversation today.

Show Notes:

  • [00:06] In today’s episode I’m very excited to introduce you to Jon Levy, author of the new book You’re Invited.
  • [02:07] The most downloaded episode of the year so far was episode number 136 on temptation bundling (fitting, since Dr. Katy Milkman will be here next week to discuss her new book! Link below).
  • [04:39] Jon and Melina’s books are coming out on the same day, May 11th. Funny bundling ideas. 🙂
  • [06:40] Jon shares about his background and some of his favorite studies. 
  • [08:41] He spends most of his life on the application of research. There is so much we have learned about human behavior, but we very rarely use it. 
  • [09:46] Jon shares his experiences with inviting accomplished strangers to his house for dinner. 
  • [12:01] His objective was to bring people together and bond them in hopes that it will improve their lives and hopefully they could have a larger impact on society. 
  • [14:16] The more novel something is, the more we are enticed to explore and understand it. 
  • [15:33] Because of the IKEA effect, they knew if they could get people to assemble, build, or work together on something, they will bond more with each other and care about the company. 
  • [17:23] Applied behavioral science and academic behavioral science both have their places and they are both really important. 
  • [20:07] You don’t want to be a sponsor. You want to be a partner
  • [21:20] Be a partner on two things that people will really remember instead of 10 random sponsorships. It is going to be so much more valuable and impactful over time. 
  • [24:07] In the beginning Jon started by inviting the people he knew that were very impressive and then he kept asking for recommendations. After some time, he did hire a research team to find people to invite. 
  • [25:37] The key is understanding what are the behaviors or interests of the general group you want to invite. 
  • [28:26] If you can curate an environment with other high-profile people they will go far out of their way to attend. 
  • [29:18] It is this opportunity to meet interesting people, a novel experience, and something that is generous so they don’t have to be worried that you are after anything. 
Trust is made up of three components: benevolence, honesty and competence — in that order (unfortunately most businesses hire backwards!) wisdom from @jonlevytlb Click To Tweet
  • [31:34] As a general rule, they have one person per industry, a maximum of two. 
  • [32:37] At the dinners, they can’t talk about their work so they end up having the kind of conversations that you have with your best friends. These conversations are a bit more vulnerable or intimate in your life. 
  • [34:14] Researchers in general view trust as being made up of three things: competence, honesty, and benevolence. Though they are not equally weighted. We value benevolence more than honesty, and honesty more than competence. (Unfortunately, businesses hire people the exact opposite way – shift this practice to stand out and have a better team.) 
  • [36:27] By leveraging the IKEA effect these vulnerability loops happen quickly. We need to be on the lookout for people sending out vulnerability loop signals.
  • [37:07] Trust does not precede vulnerability. We have to be willing to put ourselves out there if we want to have profound trust. 
  • [38:45] Because of loss aversion we feel twice as much pain for when something doesn’t work out as the pleasure of when it does.
  • [41:09] Networking evokes feelings of being dirty because it is not a natural way for people to connect. Instead, we want to look at how we make friends. 
  • [41:57] Usually, shared interests or connections cause people to be friends. Participate in joint activities you actually enjoy. 
  • [44:27] Melina share’s about quarantine activities with her family. Fun quips about Mjolnir. (Bonus points if you know what that means without looking it up! Hint: Marvel.)
  • [45:38] Relationships will really define the quality of your life. Be willing to be a little bit vulnerable. 
  • [47:33] When you have an activity as the social catalyst, it feels significantly less awkward. 
  • [50:44] Melina shares her closing thoughts. 
  • [52:16] Melina’s first book, What Your Customer Wants and Can’t Tell You is officially on presale and available on AmazonBookshop, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, and Booktopia. Buy today and be one of the first to receive a copy when it officially launches May 11, 2021. 

Thanks for listening. Don’t forget to subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Android. If you like what you heard, please leave a review on iTunes and share what you liked about the show. 

I hope you love everything recommended via The Brainy Business! Everything was independently reviewed and selected by me, Melina Palmer. So you know, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means if you decide to shop from the links on this page (via Amazon or others), The Brainy Business may collect a share of sales or other compensation.

Let’s connect:

More from The Brainy Business:

  • 🎉🎉🎉 Preorder Melina’s new book, What Your Customer Wants (And Can’t Tell You) on AmazonBookshop, and Barnes & Noble 🎉🎉🎉

Get the Books Mentioned on (or related to) this Episode:

You're Invited: The Art and Science of Cultivating Influence by our guest, Jon Levy

Speed of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything By Stephen R. Covey

The Life-Saving Skill of Story: The Life-Saving Skill of Story (Resilience) by Michelle Auerbach

Influence PEOPLE: Powerful Everyday Opportunities to Persuade that are Lasting and Ethical by Brian Ahearn

The Behaviour Business: How to apply behavioural science for business success by Richard Chataway

How to Change: The Science of Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be by Katy Milkman


Check out (and preorder!) my upcoming book, What Your Customer Wants (And Can’t Tell You), on AmazonBookshop, and Barnes & Noble.

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