How To Effectively Change Someone’s Mind

During our lives we encounter many situations where we feel the need to change someone’s mind about something.

When someone is resistant to changing their mind about something, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are stubborn or annoying but rather can simply mean that somewhere in their belief system there is something that is preventing them from believing you.

In order to be able to change someone’s mind about anything you need to understand how they thinks, what they believe in and how you can insert your ideas into their belief system with minimal resistance.

Changing someone’s mind, a step by step guide

Here is a step by step guide to changing someone’s mind about something:

  • Throw the bomb: Start by saying your argument directly, clearly and briefly. For example “What you did yesterday was wrong”
  • Draw a map of the defense lines: As soon as you oppose someone’s beliefs they will start to argue by giving you many reasons for their actions. At this point you must remain silent and record what they say into your mind. As with many things, LISTENING is crucial to success. I call these arguments defense lines because as soon as you penetrate them you will easily change the person’s mind.
  • Debunk their arguments one by one and in the same order: The mistake lots of people make while trying to convince others is that they focus on the main point without understanding that if they managed to get rid of many arguments the other person gave the way to convince him will be opened. Don’t try and bring the castle down all in one, chip away, soldier by soldier until you start to make a big dent.
  • New arguments might appear and that’s normal: If you successfully managed to refute all of the arguments presented they might dig deeply into and find a last one or two arguments. At this point you shouldn’t lose hope but instead know that what you are doing is working! They are running out of arguments and they are down to the strategic reserves.
  • Reply back to the final arguments: Again you should reply to his final arguments by giving valid reasons that proves them wrong
  • Repeat your beliefs and its over!!: As soon as they tell  you “I don’t know” or “I am not sure” repeat your main idea again many times and he will believe in it. For example “You know it is wrong, why did you do that?”

Things that can help you to change a person’s mind

Of course the process is not that simple and you won’t be able to convince someone that his arguments are wrong unless you sound really convincing, this won’t happen unless:

  • Be Real: Nobody is going to believe something willy-nilly. Your perspective must be grounded in reality. No matter how many times you repeat something, if it doesn’t come from a place of truth, nobody’s going to buy it.
  • Do Your Homework/Offer solid proof: Like many things, preparation is key. After all the other person needs stronger evidence than the ones he has in order to believe you
  • Back your arguments by facts: Use statistics, numbers, research findings or even quotes from authoritative figures to sound more convincing.
  • Use social proof: Let the person feel that he is odd but giving him examples of many other people who have opposite beliefs. The social proof theory states that at the time of confusion people tend to stick to what the majority is doing
  • Repetition: the more you repeat your argument the more convincing it will become. If you managed to let another friend repeat the same argument then your probability of changing the person’s mind will become much higher.

Finally changing someone’s mind is all about removing the obstacles he is holding in his belief system one by one then repeating your idea over and over.

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Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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