Most of us have firm opinions about the current political climate or COVID restrictions—and the mere thought of changing our viewpoint about these issues gets our blood pumping. That’s because we really don’t like to be told what to do or how to think. It’s basic human nature.
But changing minds or perspectives doesn’t have to carry a negative connotation. This is especially true in business: If you continue to do things the way you’ve always done them, you can expect to get (mostly) the same results. But if you open your mind to new ideas, processes or technologies, you can make changes that impact outcomes. While we know this rule to be true, change can still be difficult.
To help shift people’s options without triggering their defenses, try these tips highlighted in a recent Entrepreneur article:
Give them choices.
When you give people control, they’re more likely to respond in a positive manner. Here’s an example: Instead of rolling out a new program or a mandate, present your team with options. When they get to review, evaluate and choose between Option A or Option B, it gives them the control. Providing freedom of choice engages people and can lead to greater buy-in.
Educate, don’t mandate.
Rather than just telling your team what you’re going to do (as in, implement a new technology platform for tracking billable hours) tell them why. Help them understand the thought process that went into making your decision by sharing facts, features, benefits, etc. Transparency goes a long way toward helping people feel included and informed.
Let them create their own solutions.
Present your team with the end goal or challenge—and then let them develop the solution. Instead of telling them what do, empowering them to create their own path helps you all arrive at the desired outcome.
Highlight the gap.
Instead of telling people what they’re doing wrong, point out the disparity between behavior vs. desired outcome. A simple example: you say you want to lose weight yet you continue to eat ice cream every night. Sometimes people are too close to a situation to see clearly, and by simply pointing out the inconsistency in thought-action alignment, you can help incite change.
Read the full Entrepreneur article here: 4 Simple Ways to Change People’s Minds – entrepreneur.com
I’m a big believer in the “there’s always a better way” mindset.
At Shamrock, we help our customers think differently about their marketing and communications programs. We push our suppliers to educate and innovate, providing us with the best in technologies and services that, in turn, we offer our customers as viable solutions. As an organization, we seek and embrace those new ideas—we see change as good, which I think has a powerful and positive impact on our business.
My mind’s open—if you’ve got other ideas for shifting and influencing people’s thinking, I’d love to hear from you.