Today’s post is short and sweet, and it’s based on a fascinating concept called the peak–end rule.

The peak–end rule is a mental heuristic: a shortcut our brains take. It states that people tend to remember two highlights of any experience: the most intense part (the peak) and the end.1 This has implications for human interactions, of course.

When you’ve got serious business to discuss, get down to business first and chat about personal matters second. The other party will tend to remember the pleasant finish to the conversation. And if possible, end conversations on a positive note (especially difficult conversations).2

The peak–end rule is a simple concept that’s dead-easy to apply. Take it for a spin and see if you like the results.

  1. Daniel Kahneman wrote about the peak—end rule in Thinking, Fast and Slow, which is where I first heard of it. The concept grew out of Kahneman’s work with Barbara Frederickson. ↩︎

  2. This is one of many immediately applicable ideas from Chris Voss’ Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It. It’s become an all-time favorite of mine. ↩︎