How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
Why You Need To Engage Emotions To Change Minds
Guest articles > Why You Need To Engage Emotions To Change Minds
by: Ben Nesvig
One of the many beliefs I’ve held and eventually had to reverse over the course of my life is that people make rational decisions based on a careful measure of value and price. What I learned a long time ago, and would have learned sooner if I had analyzed my own decisions, is that the key to driving decisions and getting people to change their minds is engaging their emotions.
The English words emotion and motivation both stem from the Latin root movere, which means “to move,” indicating that this insight is nothing new but often forgotten. From a rational perspective, everyone wants to eat healthy, exercise and sleep more, and make better choices, but when we actually decide what to do, the emotional brain often takes over.
The tendency to appeal to people’s rational brain only becomes amplified in the corporate world when communicating change. Managers who are short on time often don’t see the need to appeal to the emotions of employees, yet it’s the fastest way to drive change. Perhaps the lack of framing the change in a way that appeals to emotions isn’t out of a disregard for emotions, but an uncertainty in exactly how to do it.
To engage peoples emotions, you need to find the emotional core of the idea you’re selling them on. In the book Made To Stick, Dan and Chip Heath provide a “three whys” method for uncovering the emotional core of an idea.
Start by writing down why you believe people should be, or are, doing something and then ask, “why is this important?” three times. This method will help you uncover the emotional core and engage people in making a positive change.
Contributor: Ben Nesvig
Published here on: 16-Mar-14