Learn the Quantum Nudge (Part 1)

Posted by Joel Bennett on

Learn the Quantum Nudge (Quality 1: Heart)

This is the first in a series. See the next one here.

If you don wings of love, you can ascend without the need of steps -- Shams i Tabriz

Tabriz inspires us to find a heart-centered approach. Such inspiration can likely help all those seeking higher levels of health, especially in the workplace. But rapid cultural change is rare. Healthy culture more often results from a series of small careful steps, or nudges. Our professional training program targets four workplace "touch-points" for nudging the wellness culture:
  1. Coaching individuals in lifestyle change
  2. Consulting with managers to integrate wellness with leadership goals
  3. Consulting with health advocates or work-site “champions” who spark a culture of health
  4. Training workers to coach/nudge each other in peer-support

The curriculum for this approach was taught at the 2015 "Art & Science of Health Promotion" conference with Dr. Joel Bennett and Dr. Michael Arloski. This article provides background on the underlying or  "inside-out" philosophy to nudging the touch-points. When such nudges are done with love, precision, and carefulness, fewer steps are required to produce noticeable change. It is sometimes possible to get it "just right" so that a series of nudges leads to an ascendant shift in health. This shift is often not obvious, taking much time to emerge. And such nudges are more successful when you integrate the four touch points into a coherent strategy.

The phrase "quantum leap" comes from Max Planck's idea that energy comes in discrete packets, or quanta. A discontinuous change of the state in that packet from one energy level to another, is often described as a shift or a leap. Hence, a quantum nudge is one where our coaching efforts start or accelerate a positive cycle of growth and wellbeing. Most importantly, the growth is not because of us (our ego). Rather, like the sculptor who intuits the inner beauty in the unique veins of marble or rock, we carefully listen to what is hidden. We work gradually and methodically to nudge out what is already there. Are you looking for an inspired way to nudge? Do the methods you are using for wellness culture change have love, precision, and carefulness? Quantum nudging requires mindful use of skills and tools over time. Below are listed five general qualities to look for in helping you personally develop the mastery of nudging, like a servant sculptor who hones the right skills and tools. It helps to study and cultivate many of these qualities in yourself by joining with like-minded others in a workshop setting. Please review these resources to help cultivate the quantum nudge. 


The five qualities are listed below. This current blog focuses on "Heart" and future blogs will describe the others:
  • Heart: You tap into one of seven heart-centered virtues (e.g., compassion, humility, authenticity, integrity)
  • Strength: The methods/ideas you use with others actually strengthen you and your inner resilience.
  • Intimacy: You seek dialogue and unity more than being an expert.
  • Mindfulness: You tap into one of seven different approaches to interpersonal mindfulness (e.g., be a thriver, garner trust)
  • Soulful Time: You take a more soulful approach to time rather than view tie only in a linear clock-time perspective (e.g., presence, flow, synchronicity).


Do the methods you use have "a heart" or are they more intellectual?

Love Mugs

This hearkens to Carlos Castaneda's idea that a spiritual path is only worthy if it has heart (compassion, care, virtue, and love). Consider reflecting on whether you have any of the seven virtues of a heart-centered leader. These are commitment to growth, open-mindedness, authenticity, integrity, detachment (poise), humility, self-care (compassion). [See Heart-Centered Leadership]

Start with the virtue of Authenticity. It is hard to say if any one virtue is most important.  However, for culture change, authentic leadership is essential. Authenticity can manifest both in how you strategize (or cognitively forecast) your approach as well as in how you relate interpersonally (or apply emotional intelligence). We nudge best when we can move easily between strategic and interpersonal perspectives as clients need us to.

Strategic/Cognitive. One’s own plan and strategy is transparent to others. Credit is given in sincere and genuine ways to others for operational successes. One remains vigilant about the goal path to success and “stays on it” by being willing to admit where things are in an open and honest way. Through a genuine manner, one is able to keep others aligned on the path.

Interpersonal/Supportive. One demonstrates truthfulness and plain‐speaking in meetings and conversation with all. Others believe that one is always speaking the truth, is genuine, and can be trusted. Only those promises are made that can be completed. One monitors and communicates around all follow-up and follow-through on all requests and promises.

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