Trying to change the behaviour of other people by resorting to logic and reason is like swatting a fly, it’s a complete waste of energy.
Usually, this process is applied with the logical mind of the Compliant or Analytical personality with an appeal to reason. However, if you want to dramatically change the behaviour of others then logic becomes passé.
Psychological studies show that people generally become more resistant to change after being given reasons why they should do something differently. It is referred to as “Confirmation Bias.”
The reason behind this is simple. When someone is confronted with the idea of change, rather than put their brain into search mode, they simply react by figuring a way to maintain their original position. Humanity is uncompromising when it comes to being told how they should behave. That is a major challenge in today’s world of constant change where management, for example, has to present change concepts which would have been questioned ten years ago. Yet they have to get their ideas across quickly.
Understanding people’s attitude.
In his book “A Treatise of Human Nature,” philosopher David Hume states, “Nothing is more usual in philosophy, and even in common life, than to talk of the combat of passion and reason, to give the preference to reason, and to assert that people are only so far virtuous as they conform themselves to it’s dictates.”
He goes on to say – “that reason alone can never be a motive to any action of the Will and that it can never oppose passion in the Will.”
Up till quite recently, people usually adopted the old adage of ‘Get their attention, explain the logic, then point out the rewards.’
This is not very effective. Why?
Because one needs to understand what governs a person’s attitude.
There are four psychological components of attitude: Feelings, Behaviour, Cognition and Belief.
If you want someone to change their behaviour, take massive action or increase their performance, then focus on their FEELINGS.
Two thousand years ago, Aristotle proposed that the power of effective communication lay in understanding, Perception, Emotions and Logic. He stated that if you want to move someone to thought or action, concern yourself with their Emotions, what he called, ‘Pathos.’
For anyone to make dramatic changes requires them to get into the feelings part of the idea. This way, founders, business owners and managers can inspire long term enthusiasm and bring about results more effectively.
In my opinion, leaders need to develop mega-thinking in the minds of their staff and need to stimulate change by fostering a desire for a different future. Without the emotional connection, nothing happens.