“the holy men sat in an atmosphere reeking of antiquity, so thick with the dust of ages that you can’t see through it -nor can they.” Gertrude Bell – 7/14/1868
We’ve all met people like this and maybe we see them in the mirror in the morning.
If humans were 100% rational with beliefs grounded in facts and logic, it would be easy to persuade others.
But we are also emotional and that’s why logic and facts are rarely effective.
Our existing beliefs can get hard coded into our brains, even when the whole world tells us that we are wrong. Psychologists call this cognitive bias.
It’s like when you buy something that you can’t afford, yet you still justify it in your mind as a good decision. It’s when the illogical becomes logical in your own mind.
When you have a client like this, it can be your worst nightmare.
So how do you address this problem?
Presenting the facts is the least likely way to do it. It a recent study it was discover that when people were presented facts and logic that went against their mindset, it had the opposite effect. These people became more set in their own way and further rejected the logic.
This study looked at lots of different ways to overcome bias and the most persuasive of all is the analogy or metaphor. It’s easier to see the truth through the lens of another story.
But it can’t be any story. The story you tell must have similar systems of relationships. The greater the number of relational matches in your analogy, the more persuasive your story can be.
Instead of collecting facts to get your point across, collect stories and analogies instead.
When have you used the power of stories to change someone’s mind?