SAVE THE BEETLES: Behavior Analysis as I see it

So I think I have this really cool job.

The thing is...nobody knows what the heck it is, especially here in New York.

Titles, and neatly defined roles and positions are of the utmost importance to recruiters so regardless of how cool and beneficial my job is, it simply is not going to come up in the search query.

I want more people to understand what I do because I find that most professional contacts, as well as friends and family, see the importance of my field but their companies have never heard of what I do. They know that I do something related to performance management but…I have a complicated title that does not fit the mold.


Board Certified Behavior Analyst.


Not a shrink. Not an HR generalist. Not an instructional designer. Honestly…not a management consultant (more on THAT in my next blog).

I’m a scientist. I use very straightforward principles (that ANYONE can understand) to manage behavior and teach others to manage behavior. These are principles that have withstood the test of many years of empirical research and there is nothing secret, overly-complicated, or covert about it.


Behavior Analysis is the field.


It deals with observable, measurable behavior.

We can go more into the specifics of what behavior is and how we look at it in more detail later; but in general, behavior is everywhere. It IS everything we say and do. Some of it “works,” some of it doesn’t. Behavior Analysis is there to help us understand behaviors and shift them if need be or ensure they continue if they are already working well. Simple premise.

The science helps us to accomplish this the right way. Using the path of least resistance. The path that gets us to the intended outcome with the highest potential for success and the lowest potential for disruption.

The way we interact with others matters. It matters if you are a friend, wife, employer, father. There IS a wrong way and a right way to engage with others so that the people around us are happy, functional or whatever it is we are looking to achieve with the relationships we have with people.


That is behavior analysis as I see it.



I’ll leave you with a little Game of Thrones to start making some of the principles more clear.


(Beware of strong language)

Notice how Tyrion describes the behavior and more importantly, what he did to try and understand the behavior.

He was off to a good start (minus the bit of belittling his cousin…let’s try to move past that to the point).

The takeaway is that we would know more about Orson, his behavior, and ultimately how to save the beetles if Tyrion had been a Behavior Analyst. We wouldn’t need to blog about the hidden meaning behind Lannister thirst for blood and debate about their lust for all things crimson and how that might have affected his psyche (...however fun that may be).

Why? Because that might (or might not) explain some things that could (or might not) be relevant to Orson’s behavior but it would not help us get the change we needed.

It wouldn’t help us save the beetles.

What we need to know is what Orson got out of this behavior and how we could change his environment so that he stopped crushing beetles. We can know all of that without a chaise lounge and a dream interpretation.


Follow my blog as I dive into the "how" with upcoming posts!