How can we get our staunchest opponents to come around to our way of thinking?
When we're trying to convince other people, we often start by sharing our ideas. If they resist our efforts, we usually just push harder. Sometimes it works, but, most of the time, our efforts fail.
That's what got Jonah Berger, author of the bestselling book, The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone's Mind, wondering, what do the most successful change agents do?
He discovered that they think and act more strategically. Rather than pushing harder and ratcheting things up, they act more like catalysts. He explains, "What they do is they lower the barrier to change. They figure out an alternate way to make the same change occur with less energy, not more."
Jonah's talked to successful hostage negotiators, substance abuse counselors, and salespeople to learn what they do. From his research, he's discovered five barriers that inhibit change, along with ways to get around them.
For example, we often ask for more change than the average person can handle. To counter that, he says, "We have to figure out ways essentially to ask for less. Rather than asking people to make a big change right away, ask for smaller changes."
Jonah is Marketing Professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. He's published more than 50 papers, and his work has appeared in The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and Harvard Business Review. He's appeared on Curious Minds twice before to discuss his pervious books, Contagious and Invisible Influence.
Learn more about Host and Creator, Gayle Allen, and Producer and Editor, Rob Mancabelli, here.
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