Slow Day: Triggering A Change of Mind

Another self-development reading for a slow day :S

Had actually came across the below piece in my email some time back (when I got a tad frustrated with a stubborn client) and found it pretty relevant to my situation at that time. Had wanted to make a log of it here + save it in my PC so here I am.

P/S: Below is courtesy of David Goldwich.


Mini-Tutorial #9 – Triggering A Change of Mind

It is challenging enough to persuade someone who has an open mind.  It is even more difficult to change the mind of someone who disagrees with you.  Harvard professor Howard Gardner identified seven “levers” for changing someone’s mind.  The more of these levers you can trigger, the more likely you will be able to change a person’s mind.

1. The first lever is Reasoning – Reasoning involves using logic, analogies, and other rational processes to persuade.

2. Next is Evidence – You must be able to support your reasoning with evidence.

3. The third lever is Resonance – Resonance is an emotional appeal.  The reasoning and evidence may be solid, but it won’t be enough if your audience doesn’t care about the issue.

4. Fourth is Multiple media – People have different methods of processing information.  Some can quickly assimilate information from a graph or chart, others prefer to read a narrative, and yet others prefer pictures or stories to illustrate a point.  Present the same idea in several forms to appeal to different preferences and to reinforce your message.

5. The fifth lever is Incentives – Are there any incentives you can offer along with your argument?

6. Sixth is Major world events – Sometimes something happens that changes mindsets on a global scale.  Recent examples include 9/11, H1N1, and global warming.  If you can link your issue to a major world event, it will resonate better and you can be more persuasive.

7. The seventh lever is Resistance – People like the status quo and resist change.  Be prepared to manage resistance.

Reasoning.  Evidence.  Resonance.  Multiple media.  Incentives.  Major world events.  Resistance.  The more of these seven levers you can trigger, the more persuasive you will be.  Just remember that a change of mind occurs gradually.  So begin your persuasion campaign as early as possible and work at it systematically over a period of time.


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