Build Your Case on Common Ground – Part 3 of 3


Read Part 1 and Part 2

The preceding example of building common ground, while focusing on empathy, also helps them see the same issue from a different and more meaningful perspective, which is another of those catalysts that helps minds to change.  Perspective is a wonderful thing.  My wife and I saw Les Miserables in London a few years ago.  We bought our tickets late and consequently were in the “nosebleed” section, in cramped seats, in a packed theatre that resembled a tinderbox, and far from an exit.  I have always been drawn to this play and all its embedded values, but the conditions that evening muted my enjoyment.  A year or so later, I took my daughter to New York to see the same play.  We had comfortable aisle seats on the second row.  We could see the facial expressions of the actors, clearly hear all the lyrics, and feel the emotions of the drama.

Same play, different perspective, different emotions!  Help your people change their perspective and hopefully change their minds… a precursor to changed behavior.

Another way to “encourage” change is to alter circumstances.  As a child, I remember my parents constantly reminding me (a.k.a. harping on me) to turn off the lights when I left a room or close the door to keep the heat in the house.  My father’s perpetual statement was, “I can barely afford to heat this house; I certainly can’t afford to heat the whole neighborhood.”  I couldn’t understand his frustration at such a minor oversight.  Years later, when I was paying the electric bill, I was on my family like a rash to, you guessed it, turn off the lights and close the doors.  Circumstances simply changed!  Sounds all too familiar doesn’t it?

If one of your people has a problem receiving your instruction, change their circumstances.  Give them the responsibility of teaching part of the drill on the specific area of your instruction at the next sales meeting.  Watch ’em scramble.  They may even come to you for help.

And finally, how do illustrations and parables fit into your plan to change behavior?  The herd instinct so prevalent in investing is the principle at work here.  People will be drawn to success stories and move away from illustrations of failure.  Read periodicals and books that reinforce successful behavior, share similar experiences with your peers, and find illustrations that you can use to draw your people into change.  When something works, share it with a cohort and expect, even demand, reciprocation.

As you apply one or all of the above ideas, remember the base on which your case can best be built is common ground.  It is simple in concept and profound in its effectiveness.

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