Jedi Mind Tricks: Persuade with the Right Questions

We tend to think of persuasion or motivation as something that one person does to another. What social sciences tell us very clearly is that it is something people do for themselves.

Dan Pink expands on this concept of no limit for better in Drive.

When people have their own reasons for doing something, not yours, they believe those reasons more deeply and adhere to their behaviors more strongly.

If you find that people rate themselves lower on the accomplishment scale (as in getting things done), you may find that there is an environmental obstacle that is preventing them from moving forward. Asking them to self assess, then offering help in getting past the obstacle is a way to build momentum toward your (how shared) goal.

So your job as motivator and persuader is to reset the context and surface people's own reasons for doing something.


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Valeria is an experienced listener. She designs service and product experiences to help businesses rediscover the value of promises and its effect on relationships and culture. She is also frequent speaker at conferences and companies on a variety of topics. Book her to speak here.