Convince me

Some people are convinced the first time. For others, it may take up to three times to be convinced. Not convinced? Then listen up.

I dug out the excellent work of Shelle Rose Charvet the other day as I was preparing for a client event. She talks about meta programmes. That science talk for the over-arching patterns that human beings use to respond to the world. And one of those ta-dah, is the convincer strategy. I like it when it says what it is on the tin. This is almost too simple to explain (I think I have already) but we are all different in how many times we need to hear or see or feel something in order to be convinced that it’s real – or to be sufficiently convinced that we choose to believe in it. Whatever the ‘it’ is: it may be pain; it may be being duped into doing something; it may be realising that we’ve chosen the wrong partner; it may be feedback. Ah, feedback. That’s interesting.

I’m one of those people who needs triple the amount of positive feedback – no, make that ten times the amount of positive feedback – to actually believe it. One piece of negative feedback and I’m hooked, not able to shake it out of my mind for hours and days. Or more. But positive feedback needs to be delivered to me in buckets for any of it to land. I know I’m not alone.

But it applies to many other topics too. And this includes hearing negative chatter from employees. How many leaders do you know who are able to ignore negative chatter from their people one, two or three times? These are leaders who are able to justify or explain away the negative chatter about change or morale.

Working with leaders, I think it’s helpful to point out their patterns. Those patterns may not necessarily require changing but leaders will be a whole bunch more effective if they’re aware of them. So, have a think about how many times you – and those around you – need to be convinced about something to believe it. And never assume that someone else has the same pattern as you.

Convinced? I hope so.

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