Home/ News / Business Of Life/  Bookmark: The trick to changing minds

What do you do when you need to get people on board with a new idea? Coax, cajole, convince... and keep at it till you manage to win them over? Or, give up and go home when the objections are too many? Author Jonah Berger has another way. Identify what’s preventing change from happening, and remove the barriers. His new book, The Catalyst: How To Change Anyone’s Mind, explains that successful change agents don’t just provide an overdose of information to pressure people. Persuasion and talking to win people over can be exhausting and frustrating. Instead, real change agents are catalysts, who use less, not more, energy to enable change. Rather than pushing, catalysts remove roadblocks to change, figuring out what is stopping the person from changing their mind or adopting a new idea. Berger breaks down the ways to do this, and explains how one can become a catalyst. His approach isn’t just about changing minds; he also has pointers to use these techniques for new product adoption, changing behaviour, and shifting organization culture. Catalysts also allow people agency—they don’t tell people what to do, they guide them, and find a middle ground by understanding what the resistance is rooted in. Guided choices let people retain a sense of freedom and control while moving them towards a desired outcome. Smart bosses do this.

Write to us at businessoflife@livemint.comshalini umachandran

Shalini Umachandran
Shalini Umachandran is Editor of Mint Lounge, Mint’s award-winning magazine, and the Editor of Business of Life. Her areas of interest are culture and the arts, social justice, and more. Currently based in New Delhi, she has been a reporter, a podcaster and an editor for publications across India. She is the author of ‘You Can Make Your Dreams Work’, a book of 15 stories of people who switched careers. She is a former IWMF fellow, and a fellow of the Institute of Palliative Care India and St Christopher’s Hospice London.
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Updated: 01 Sep 2021, 10:23 AM IST
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