“Greetings everyone, my name is Julie Masters and welcome to another episode of Inside Influence. In which I delve into the minds of some of the world’s most fascinating influencers – or experts in influence – to get to the bottom of what it really takes to own your voice – and then amplify it to drive an industry, a conversation, a movement or a Nation.
Now, some might say, that one of the ultimate forms of influence is the ability to change the mind of someone’s else.
Which shouldn’t be that hard right? Replace fact A with updated Fact B and then done. System overwrite. Opinion changed.
If you’re smiling right now – then I’m guessing you’re with me in that – never once – in my entire career of trying to get ideas adopted and actioned. Have I EVER had that experience.
Generally speaking, and by that I mean pretty much always, if we feel we’re being pushed to do something, we push back. If something new or novel is suggested, our brains automatically pick out every reason it’s a terrible idea before we even CONSIDER it.
Even when confronted with proven evidence that a change is needed research shows that – human nature (in its infinite wisdom) – then makes us MORE determined to double down on our current version of events.
So – when opposition is literally hard wired into our nature – and without access to Yoda and some serious Jedi mind tricks – then then question then becomes – how do you change someone’s mind?
My guest today has spent a career unpacking the hidden forces behind influence.
Professor Jonah Berger is a marketing professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and internationally bestselling author of Contagious, Invisible Influence and now The Catalyst.
At the heart of Contagious – which (without overestimating) is a complete must read – is why certain products, ideas, services, and behaviours catch on. While others stay on the side-lines.
The success of Contagious and resulting consulting requests for some of the worlds top tier firms – including Google, Apple, Nike – then led him to another insight. That there are two phases to impact. The first is getting someone’s attention – the second is converting that attention into action.
That realisation – and resulting research – led to his latest book ‘The Catalyst: How To Change Anyone’s Mind’; a counterintuitive approach to initiating change – which isn’t about pushing harder or exerting more energy, but instead lowering the barriers that prevent that change from happening.
• In this episode, we talk about what those barriers are – and how pushing against them, as instinctive as it feels, rarely works.
• We discuss the technique of providing a menu; and why giving someone options allows them to buy in while retaining control. Sounds simple, but apply it and you’ll find this one is a game changer.
• We look at the impact of movements – the role of protests – and the what next when it comes to harnessing attention into action.
• And finally, one for the world we currently find ourselves facing: How to lift the handbrake of uncertainty. Allowing people to experience what you’re offering, by temporarily removing the risk involved in changing their mind.
At this point I would usually provide a menu of ways to enjoy the podcast – along with some suggestions of what to reflect on – but in the spirit of this episode – I’ll leave that up to your own free will.
Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing – I hope you enjoy my conversation with the incredible Professor Jonah Berger….
The Catalyst: How to change anyones mind without having to push