Sunday, 16 October 2011

Seven Key Factors in how minds change - 1: Changing Minds

Notes from the book "Changing Minds" by Howard Gardner (2004)

What I learnt was that if we want to help someone change their mind about what constitutes good practice (and thereby figure their practice is not the best so they need to decide to adopt a better practice), then it helps if we can:

  1. Demonstrate what has to be changed in a way that someone can figure out for themselves what the reason is for them to change. Some people do this analytically and others deduce or infer from what they learn that a change is necessary. I think it's important to understand it's the adopter who needs to reason, not the person pushing the change.
  2. Research, evidence, statistical analysis etc is crucial when working with healthcare professionals for whom this is the base of their practice. The onus of evidence is on the person pushing the change.
  3. The proposed change needs to connect at the emotional and intuitive level with the potential adopter. The really good proponents of change can combine the emotive, rational and evidence content in their rhetoric.
  4. The concept of redesciption intrigued me. I can see now that the person who can describe the proposed change in many different ways, whilst remaining true to the core concepts and values, is more likely to be able to convince others to change.  Not least, being able to redescribe means you know your stuff and this enhances the credibility of the proposal.
  5. Rewards are obvious - pay someone and they are more likely to do it. But this doesn't always lead to the mind changing. The most basic reward is praise and confirmation of the new behaviour.
  6. Real World Events - means tagging your proposals to outside influences. As a friend pointed out to me recently, a great time to raise the profile of pancreatic cancer would have been in the days after Steve Jobs died. To make the most fo these (not always sad) events, is to be prepared.
  7. Resistance... it takes two to create resistance. The best way I know to deal with it is to stop pushing and to see things form the other's perspective - then, find a way to break through the debate.

No comments: