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UK Coaching Participation Team
Developing Mindsets

Behaviour Change: Promoting Social Norms

Coaches can use people’s innate tendency to adhere to a set of unwritten, informal rules of how to behave within a group setting to their advantage when attempting to influence changes in behaviour patterns

Our behaviours can be strongly influenced by what we think others are doing: this is known as the social norm. 

We tend to adopt the same opinions as, and follow behaviours of, the majority. Some people dislike the idea of missing out on what others are doing.

Which social norms do you like to have in and around your session? Some examples might include:

  1. We always say hello, introduce ourselves and use people’s names. 
  2. Everyone has a buddy, and no one is left out.
  3. We encourage and celebrate our efforts and achievements.
  4. We never cancel due to poor weather.
  5. We drink water during exercise.
  6. We attend most sessions most of the time.
  7. We try to make up a session that we have missed.


Which norms would you like to not have in and around your session, and how could you ‘reset’ them?


Behaviour Change Tactics

This resource is part of a series aimed at providing you with strategies to encourage people to develop healthier habits and maintain an active lifestyle.

Find more like this

Related Resources

  • Behaviour Change: Providing Meaningful Feedback

  • An Introduction to Behaviour Change

  • Why Coaches Should be Buzzing to Understand Behaviour Change Tactics


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UK Coaching Participation Team