29 Jun 2021 23:02 IST

Influencing someone without telling them what to do

A combination of four proven tactics for helping guide people to make the choice you prefer

Wharton marketing professor and author of The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone’s Mind, Jonah Berger, provides four ways to change someone’s mind. These effective leadership tools have the potential to significantly impact your success as a leader. Read the complete story here.

  • Having empathy: Try to understand why the person is resistant. By really listening to the responses, and quoting them back to the respondent, it shows that you’re valuing their opinions, even while disagreeing. Listening properly will also help discover the underlying motivations that must be tapped to break through the resistance.
  • Ask, don’t tell: Asking questions shifts the listener’s role from thinking about all the reasons they disagree with a statement, they’re entrusted with the task of answering the question. Questions also make them invested in the process. So instead of telling them junk food is bad, ask them what they think about junk food.
  • A menu: Provide a select number of options to choose from instead of offering just one idea. This way, people get a sense of autonomy and there is a greater likelihood one of the ideas will be chosen.
  • Identify gaps: Showing someone that there’s a disconnect between their thoughts and actions, or a difference between what they would recommend for others versus what they do themselves, makes a huge difference. The awareness of this dissonance can be enough to change minds.