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Changing The Opinions Of Members: A Series of Smaller Steps

Richard Millington
Richard Millington

Founder of FeverBee

Can you recall radically changing your position on any topic because of a single message?

Can you recall the last time you changed your mind about anything at all?

Most of us might struggle with this. But we’ve probably changed our minds on a lot of things over the course of a decade or more. The change happens so gradually we don’t notice it.

Your political views have probably become more pragmatic since you were 18. Your opinions of the people you’re closest to have probably been flexible too. Perhaps things you never liked are now a big part of your life.

Opinions change…but they don’t change fast.

It’s really, really, hard to get people to make a big leap in their mindset in a single message. It’s not going to happen in a day or week neither.

Even when presented with the most conclusive of evidence, we rarely reverse our position in a single message. We simply ignore the source of the message in the future.

Don’t go for the perfect hit. [tweet_dis]Don’t ask people to make a massive leap from one mindset to another. Plan for a long series of messages.[/tweet_dis] Each one takes people a little further on the journey. Begin with their existing perspective and introduce a seed of instability. Gradually introduce alternative ideas. Gradually prove and support those ideas.

This applies to communication and persuasion with any group of people. Don’t go for the big, huge, change. Take a journey with a series of short trips and many stops along the way.

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