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Communication

Compliments Are the First Step toward Changing Minds

In an article for Harvard Business Review, Christopher Graves explains how paying someone a compliment can be a crucial first step in trying to change that person’s mind on something. The reason why is that people’s beliefs typically reflect back on their own self-identity, and challenging their beliefs thus feels like an attack on their sense of self. But paying a compliment before challenging a belief can affirm the other party’s sense of self, making ...

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Can You Change Someone’s Mind over Social Media?

To generalize, the answer to the above question is—heck no. Go get a better hobby; arguing over the Internet is fruitless. But if you are the craziest level of optimist and want to try anyway, Joanne O’Connell shares some tips for the Guardian. She presents a four-step strategy: Position: Start by acknowledging common ground between the two of you before you jump into your counterargument. If the person responds by shifting to a “different pillar ...

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SPICE: The Con Man Approach to Changing Minds

In an article for Psychology Today, Dr. Susan K. Perry shares a mildly manipulative approach used to change people’s minds. It is up to you to use this knowledge either to protect yourself or to make wicked gains. It is the “SPICE” method: Simplicity: The more concise you can make your argument, the more effective it will be. Perceived self-interest: Talk about why changing one’s mind will create a positive life benefit for that person. ...

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Explanatory Coherence: The Long Game in Changing Perspective

Realistically, changing someone’s mind on a big issue in one fell swoop happens only extremely rarely. In an article for Fast Company, Art Markman describes how an aggressive long-term campaign is your best shot at changing a person’s perspective. It has to do with “explanatory coherence,” the idea that “strongly held beliefs form a network of consistent concepts.” Thus, if you want to change someone’s mind on one subject, you are not just trying to ...

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Science & Reddit Teach You How to Change Minds

In an article for the Washington Post, Ana Swanson reports on Cornell University research that uses the r/ChangeMyView sub-Reddit to unlock some science behind how minds are changed. ChangeMyView is a forum in which posters present an elaborate viewpoint and invite others to challenge that view. In the rare case that someone does actually change someone else’s mind, that person is given a delta symbol (being the Greek letter used to express change in math). ...

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4 Tips to Change Someone’s Mind

Jake has decided on solution A for the project, but you know in your bones that solution B is the way to go. Now what? In an article for Inc., Geoffrey James offers four simple tips that may be applied quickly: Sympathize with Jake’s position, agreeing with as much of his perspective as you possibly can. Reframe the problem in such a way that your two perspectives stop directly conflicting. Introduce a new solution to ...

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Negotiating with Difficult People: We Have a Hostage Situation!

Chances are high that at at least one point in your career or personal life, you’ve had to negotiate with someone who was holding something you value as “hostage.” This may have included a particular service, payment, or resource, or quite possibly the TV remote, your favorite TV show, or having to tell your 5-year-old to put down the phone extension. Chances are even higher that you probably dreaded the whole process of getting what you ...

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Is Fear the Only Reason Employees Don’t Speak Up?

Usually when an article is titled with a yes/no question and uses the word “only,” the answer is “no,” so you can see where this is going. In a quick post at his blog, Mark Graban asks this question and the answer may (not) surprise you. No, fear is not the only reason why employees do not speak up at work. In fact, statistically it seems a sense of futility is the culprit more than ...

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Speaking Up: What Encourages and Discourages It

There are hills and valleys to communication. Sometimes it is utterly natural; sometimes it is agonizing. International business speaker Mike Kerr shares examples of both in a post at his blog. First, here are some barriers that inhibit speaking up: Utter lack of trust or no infrastructure for ensuring ideas are sent up the leadership chain Lack of encouragement to speak up, accidentally implying that others’ voices are not valued Overly critical managers or fear ...

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How to Get Over a Fear of Speaking Up

When you are new, or when you are just meek, speaking up at work can feel like a risky proposition. But as Jon Simmons explains in an article for Monster, this fear is both natural and probably unfounded. In fact, not speaking up may be more dangerous. Research suggests not speaking up is the first step toward absenteeism, productivity loss, and eventually job turnover. You kind of marginalize yourself out of existence in a negative ...

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