HBR: How to Change Anyone 's Mind by Adam Grant HBRP; Wikipedia
In these days of disruptive change and raging conspiracy theories, the leadership challenge of changing minds is central. welcome to see Harvard Business Review (HBR) highlighting its article titled "," but like most business articles on persuasion, the article offers limited advice on how exactly to do this. 'People think we need a deeper understanding of the dynamics of persuasion and the use of additional tools, such as leadership storytelling.
Steve Jobs has often changed his mind
The gives us four anecdotes about a single individual - the late Steve Jobs - who is presented as the epitome of someone 'one that's hard to convince - a stubborn, obnoxious, all-knowing and overconfident narcissist. Granted, Steve Jobs was all of these things and more. But the article fails to mention that Steve Jobs was also a brilliant entrepreneur who embodied the spirit of innovation and constantly seeking better ways to achieve the world-class performance that he so passionately desired. In the process of designing these products, Jobs was known to have changed his mind. notice many times, as the article itself notes. Yes, he was stubborn, but stubborn in achieving better performance. Yes, he could be obnoxious and even dismissive in his dealings with people, but generally with those he considered not to shareowing to its high standards of performance.
The, written by, the esteemed Wharton School psychologist, consists mainly of four anecdotes in which Steve Jobs was persuaded to do certain things another way, namely (a) how strengthen the glass screen of the iPhone; (b) how to improve Apple software; (c) how to manage digital networks, and (d) how to listen to music other than on a laptop.
The techniques used by the communicators in each case were: (a) to let Jobs explain his idea first; (b) flatter jobs in another field; c) appeal to Jobs' fighting spirit; and (d) continue to ask questions. Note that in each case the actual persuasion was accomplished through the provision of information. It worked because Jobs passionately wanted the same thing communicators did: to make better Apple products. Anecdotes are less aboutthe means of persuasion than on Jobs's attention. In each case, once the persuading caught Jobs' attention, Jobs himself used the information provided and did the hard work of assessing and changing his mind.
The central challenge of persuasion: people who disagree with us
Thus, the provision of information can be an effective tool of persuasion when the listener already fundamentally agrees with us on the objective and we have the attention of the 'auditor. However, the most common and important challenge of persuasion concerns the case of people who fundamentally disagree with us. For these people, providing information is not only inefficient. Every word we saypushes the listener deeper and deeper into opposition to our point of view.
This is because of a phenomenon known as the "tendency of the human being to seek, interpret, favor and recall information in a way that confirms or supports their previous beliefs or values. Confirmation bias has been extensively studied by psychologists. have shown that it exists across cultures and fields of expertise. This resulted in areas such as politics, organizations, finance, and science. Bias therefore not only contributes to unreliable personal beliefs in the face of contrary evidence; .
Confirmation bias is in fact the main challenge of persuasion and the reason why most persuasion efforts fail, precisely because the standard way of communicating in the Western intellectual tradition is the provision of 'information - describe a probleme, analyze it and come up with a solution based on the analysis. It seems logical. And it's. But logic rarely works with audiences who fundamentally disagree with us.
To have any chance of successfully convincing such an audience, we have to challenge it differently: we have to inspire listeners to think differently, even before giving them the reasons for doing so. Storytelling isn't the only inspiring tool, as shown in Figure 1. But leadership storytelling is one of the most effective tools that actually work.
Tools for changing minds: inspiration, information and intimidation Stephen Denning
Inspiring people to change through leadership storytelling
Storytelling is of course nothing new. It 's one of the oldest basics of human race. This is the language we naturally feel most comfortable in. If we look at great leaders throughout history who have won hearts and changed their minds, we find that They often resorted to storytelling. This explains for example how the American politician, Al Gore, went from defeat to the presidential election of 2000, precisely because he was so boringly boring, for the become, a few years later,. In the process, he won an Emmy, an Oscar and even the Nobel Peace Prize. How to come? Al Gore had learned to tell engaging stories that inspired people to want to change. Comment Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, Bill Clinton or Barack Obama Become national leaders? Much of this lies in their ability to tell effective leadership stories.
Although storytelling is as old as the human race, its importance in organizational change is often overlooked.
Mechanisms for Changing Minds Through Storytelling
The first thing to learn about leadership storytelling is that most stories don't change your mind or do not arouse the intention to act differently Stories naturally allow us to enter the mindit from another human being. Stories expand our understanding of others. Stories give us a vicarious experience that we cannot get any other way. These 'in the wild' stories are inherently stimulating and naturally vivid hanging. But if we think back to all the millions of stories that we have heard in our lives, we will see that very few have changed their minds or behavior.
We now know that stories that change their minds and elicit different behaviors tend to have a particular narrative pattern. The key to leadership storytelling is to master this storytelling model. Once we understand this model and know how to put it into practice, we can reproduce effective and change-making stories no matter what situation we find ourselves in, whether your listener is a boss, a subordinate, a colleague, a clientt or a family member. .
There are, but the key elements of a successful storytelling to inspire change are as follows:
· The story is about a person with whom the listener can identify himself, so that the listener not only listens, but lives the story.
· The story is about the very problem on which the communicator hopes to inspire different action.
· The story is about someone who solved the problem, and is therefore positive in tone; Although negative stories are useful for attracting attention, stories need to have a positive tone if we are to inspire action.
· History is not a story about the future; it is about something which really happened and it is likewise authentically true; when listeners check it out - as they will - they will find that the story really happened and is therefore believable.
· Contrairement to a story of disturbance, the leadership story is briefly told in a minimalist form, with only the details necessary for the story to be understood, so that there is plenty of room for "The little voice" in the listener's mind to imagine a future story in which the listener is now the protagonist, that is, "What if I had to….?" The trick is that the listener creates the future story, not the leader; therefore, the future story thus imagined is perfectly suited to the context of the listener.
· The story, in a few words, contrasts the situation before the idea of change and the situation after the idea of change is implemented.
· The story is told with conviction, even passion, as if it were the most important thing in the world; it is the intensity of the leader that does a lot of the persuasive work.
The story must be tolde by someone whom the listener trusts, or at least someone who is not actively suspicious; if the storyteller is personally suspicious, the leader may need to find someone else to tell the story. .
When these characteristics are met, that history has a good chance of changing the mind, even of people who fundamentally disagree with us.
The limits of leadership storytelling
Leadership storytelling doesn't always work . While recognizing the power of storytelling, we must also recognize its limitations. Not everyone can or will change their mind. Some people will go to their grave stubbornly adhering to the same wrong point of view no matter what we do. One hundred percent success in persuasion is simply not possible.
For this reason, the title of, " is very misleading. It is not possible to change anyone's mind. Yet telling leadership stories, when done right, at least gives us a chance for success.
The role of leadership in storytelling today
Why storytelling stories? The pragmatic answer given above is that almost nothing else works. A more scientific answer can be found in the wonderful book by Brian Boyd ,, ( Harvard University Press, 2009)
For Boyd, the story is “a thing that does” rather than “a thing that is”. It is a tool of measurable utility, not just an object of aesthetic admiration. Attention is the first reward that auditorsers agree on the storyteller. Lasting behavior change may be the end price.
In retrospect, the 20th century can be seen as a giant experiment for the human race to find out what could be accomplished if organizations treated people as and were communicated to them in the form of abstractions, of numbers and analysis, rather than through user-friendly communications such as stories.
Employees have become “human resources” to be exploited, rather than people to be considered. Customers have become "demanding", or "consumers" or "eyeballs", to be manipulated, rather than living, feeling that human beings are elated. The storytelling is just one of the many items that suffered collateral damage.
The whole experiment can be regarded as a success as the material standard of living of part of the world's population has improved duringnt a while. But the experiment was a dreadful failure in so many other ways. It made people miserable. And organizations have gradually become less and less productive , while the need for innovation increased.
Either way, efforts to suppress storytelling have failed: storytelling, though not respected, lived in the cracks and crevices of society - in cafeterias, hallways, around water fountains, in bars and restaurants, living roomss and bedrooms. Throughout the 20th century, storytelling received little respect, but it couldn't be suppressed. This has turned out to be a central characteristic of the human being.
Today, the reinventing management to transform workplaces from boring, sterile, and disheartening 20th century cubicles into bustling centers of inspiration and creativity needed by creative economyThe 21st century requires elevating the leadership narrative to the central place in the leadership it deserves.
And read also:
Why Leadership Storytelling is Important
The Science Of Storytelling