The Catalyst How To Change Anyone’s Mind

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Barriers To Change And How To Overcome Them

How to Use Catalysts to Change Anyone’s Mind | Jonah Berger

Reactance

When pushed, people push back. Just like a missile defense system protects against incoming projectiles, people have an innate anti-persuasion system.

So rather than telling people what to do, or trying to persuade, catalysts allow for agency and encourage people to convince themselves.

Do this by listening, asking questions and showing empathy.

Endowment

As the old saying goes, if it aint broke, dont fix it. People are wedded to what theyre already doing.

Catalyzing change isnt just about making people more comfortable with new things its about helping them let go of old ones.

To ease endowment, catalysts surface the costs of inaction and help people realize that doing nothing isnt as costless as it seems.

Do this by asking the question: What are the costs of inaction? In addition, make the status quo impossible to do.

Distance

People have an innate anti-persuasion system, but even when we just provide information, sometimes it backfires. Why? Another barrier is distance. If new information is within peoples zone of acceptance, theyre willing to listen. But if it is too far away, in the region of rejection, everything flips.

Catalysts shrink distance, breaking change down into smaller, less risky steps.

To do this find the middle ground and points of consensus.

Uncertainty

To get people to un-pause, catalysts alleviate uncertainty. Easier to try means more likely to buy.

Lack of Evidence

How To Change Anyones Mind With Jonah Berger

In this episode, Eric and Jonah discuss his book, The Catalyst: How to Change Anyones Mind.

But wait theres more! The episode is not quite over!! We continue the conversation and you can access this exclusive content right in your podcast player feed. Head over to our Patreon page and pledge to donate just $10 a month. Its that simple and well give you good stuff as a thank you!

Jonah Berger And I Discuss How To Change Anyones Mind And

  • How people change
  • That most decisions that we make are shaped by other people
  • The major mistake most of us make when it comes to trying to change behavior in ourselves and others
  • How to create change by reducing the barriers and energy required
  • Feeling like we should do something vs because we want to do something
  • Peoples zones of acceptance and rejection
  • What it means to highlight a gap and how it can help us change
  • How the costs of change often come due before the benefits of change are experienced
  • What factors drive Identification vs Differentiation

Recommended Reading: If You Could Read My Mind

The Catalyst: How To Change Anyones Mind

In his previous books, Wharton professor Jonah Berger explained how to make products and ideas catch on, and how to we can be more influential. In The Catalyst , he explains how to change minds, organizations, industries, and the world.

It sounds like a tall order, and it is. Most of us have tried and failed, using the popular but ineffective method of presenting facts and evidence in order to convince someone that were right. Berger offers a different approach: instead of pushing people toward our desired outcomes, he says we need to focus on removing the roadblocks that prevent them from seeing it our way.

Each chapter in the book is dedicated toward one of those roadblocks, and how best to address it. In Chapter One, we learn why persuasion doesnt work: when pushed, people become reactant, and push back. As an antidote to reactance, Berger outlines several techniques for encouraging people to persuade themselves.

One technique is to provide a menu of choices that you have pre-selected. Any parent whos ever asked their child whether they want to eat the broccoli before the chicken, or the chicken before the broccoli, is familiar with this approach. When you allow people some autonomy, you increase the likelihood that youll get them to choose a preferred option. Advertising agencies do this when presenting work to clients. Instead of offering one idea, which the client could then spend the rest of the meeting poking holes in, they offer two or three.

An Educators Book Review: The Catalyst: How To Change Anyones Mind

Jonah Berger

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My New Book!

The start of learner-centered leadership: Stay True to Your Learners, Stay True to Yourself, and Stay True to Your Staff. Click on the book image to learn more.

Those of us involved in trying to change schools to become learner-centered know how difficult that change can be to implement. I am always on the lookout for books and podcast episodes that help me understand the change process. I just completed reading the book The Catalyst by Jonah Berger. I found it very helpful as I think about leading change in schools. I have included a summary of the book. I wanted to make the summary specific for school leaders. Let me know in the comments if the book summary is helpful.

Title of Book: The Catalyst: How To Change Anyone’s Mind

Year Published: 2020

Chapter 1 Reactance

What is unique: Reactance is the first consideration when you want to change someone’s mind. Reactance is a psychological phenomenon that happens if people think their freedom is lost or threatened. Basically, telling someone not to do something makes them want to do that “something” more. People want to have a choice in their lives…or at least an illusion of choice. Even if what they choose is harmful to them, they are still happier because they had a choice!

What is helpful: To work around the phenomenon of reactance, you stop trying to persuade people and work to have people convince themselves.

You do this with four strategies:

  • Provide a menu of options
  • ask, don’t tell
  • Read Also: Fear Is The Mind-killer

    The Catalyst: How To Change Anyones Mind With Jonah Berger

    Jonah Berger is a professor at Wharton business school and author of a new book titled, The Catalyst: How to Change Anyones Mind.

    Theres a passage in this book that stood out to me, Behavioral scientist Kurt Lewin once noted, If you want to truly understand something, try to change it. But the reverse is also true. To truly change something, you need to understand it.

    Sales is all about change. People are doing things a certain way. They know they probably need to change. But making the decision to change is hard. And it becomes measurably harder to help them make the decision to change if they dont feel that they are understood. Which is one of the topics well talk about in this episode: How to enable conversations by finding common ground in shared experiences. Plus, we get into how people have a built in resistance to being persuaded and the steps you can take to mitigate that and engage people in conversation.

    Episode Transcript

    Andy Paul: Jonah Berger. Welcome to the show.

    Jonah Berger: Thanks so much for having me.

    Andy Paul: Its a pleasure to have you here. Um, so where are you joining us

    Jonah Berger: from?

    Im in North Carolina. Uh, right outside of Durham. Durham.

    Andy Paul: Yes. Yeah. I spoke at Durham last year at a conference.

    Jonah Berger: Fantastic.

    Andy Paul: I hadnt been in Durham since my oldest brother had did as a Duke interview, trying to get into Duke as an undergrad back then 1966.

    Jonah Berger: A little has changed since then.

    Featured

    The Catalyst: How To Change Anyones Mind With Jonah Berger Sales Enablement Podcast With Andy Paul

    Jonah Berger is a professor at Wharton business school and author of a new book titled, “The Catalyst: How to Change Anyones Mind.” There’s a passage in it that stands out, “Behavioral scientist Kurt Lewin once noted, ‘If you want to truly understand something, try to change it.’ But the reverse is also true. To truly change something, you need to understand it. Sales is all about change. People are doing things a certain way. They know they probably need to change. But making the decision to change is hard. And it becomes measurably harder to help them make the decision to change if they dont feel that they are understood. Which is one of the topics well talk about in this episode: How to enable conversations by finding common ground in shared experiences. Plus, we get into how people have a built in resistance to being persuaded and the steps you can take to mitigate that and engage people in conversation.

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    The Catalyst How To Change Anyones Mind

    Why is the traditional approach to changing peoples minds?

    What do you do when you need people to see things from your perspective but it just isnt working? Youd provide more facts and evidence to show them why your idea proposition is better, right? Research conducted by Jonah Berger revealed thats what 99% of people would do in such situations.

    People are more emotional than

    logical when making decisions.

    Dont feed them with facts,

    persuade them instead.

    The general approach out there is to coax, convince, and encourage people to change. And, if that doesnt work, you try again, and again and again. But we all know that it still wouldnt yield any encouraging results. Rather than thinking up newer ways to convince people, isnt it more fruitful to answer the question, Why hasnt the person changed? What is blocking them? Answering these questions effectively will show you how to move that person from inertia to action.

    Restrictions creates reactance which keeps people from doing what you want them to do

    People hate to be pushed. It doesnt matter their age or social status. Adults hate to be told what to do as much as teens dont like being restricted. As a matter of fact, a restriction is one of the leading causes of social conflict when people feel restricted, they react back to regain the perceived threat to their freedom.

    The easiest way to persuade people

    is to make them feel they are in

    charge of the situation.

    How To Change Anyones Mind

    The Catalyst: How to Change Anyones Mind: Jonah Berger

    What do you want to change?

    Everyone has something they want to change. Employees want to change their boss mind and leaders want to change organizations. Marketers want to change customers minds and spouses want to change their partners opinion. Parents want to change their childrens behavior, startups want to change industries, and non-profits want to change the world.

    But change is hard. We push and push, but often nothing happens. Could there be a better way?

    The Catalyst: How to Change Anyones Mind introduces a revolutionary approach to change. Successful change isnt about pushing harder or exerting more energy. Its about removing barriers. Overcoming resistance by reducing friction and lowering the hurdles to action. Discover the five hidden factors that impede change, and how by mitigating them, you can change anything.

    Don’t Miss: This Is Your Mind On Plants Michael Pollan

    Make It Easier To Change

    Change behaviour by removing roadblocks and lowering the barriers to action.

    Identify whats preventing change from happening and remove that barrier. Allow change to happen with less energy, not more.

    This book is about how to overcome inertia, incite action, and change mindsnot by being more persuasive, or pushing harder, but by being a catalyst. By removing the barriers to change.

    Sometimes change doesnt require more horsepower. Sometimes we just need to unlock the

    parking brake.

    How was the Great Canyon formed?

    One might think it was a massive earthquake or some earth-shattering event. But it was nothing that sudden or momentous. It was water, slowly wearing down rock, over millions of years. A trickle that became a steady flow that eventually became the Colorado River. Talk to someone who switched political parties, and it wasnt one eureka moment when everything suddenly clarified. Those make for great movies or great fiction, but they rarely happen in real life. Instead, big changes tend to be more like the Grand Canyon: a slow and steady shift with many stages along the way.

    Catalysts enable these slow and steady shifts of behaviour over time.

    Big Ideas From Catalyst

    Catalyst by Jonah Berger helps you change anyone’s mind:

  • Change does not happen by being more persuasive or pushing harder. It happens by removing the barriers to change.

  • There are 5 barriers to change: Reactance, Endowment, Distance, Uncertainty, Lack of Evidence

  • Lasting change is a slow gradual process rather than a big bang. Like the formation of a canyon rather than a nuclear explosion.

  • Recommended Reading: Sleep Deprivation And Mental Health

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