Facts are stubborn things, but our minds are even more stubborn
John Adams

David Krueger MD

Facts and logic are not powerful tools to alter opinions.  Data is not a way to change minds.  It’s not how we decide.  Our minds do not follow the facts, but follow our beliefs and our identities.  We actively search to verify our preexisting beliefs.  Think about the last time you searched for an answer to a question on Google, and were directed to a host of topics.  Did you systematically go through each component, or did you scan for what attracted your attention because it fit with your belief? 

Information can actually backfire.  We regard information as valid evidence when it reinforces our existing views.  This is how arguments can more staunchly solidify an original position.  Presenting someone with information that contradicts an existing opinion causes that person to generate new counterarguments to further strengthen their view.  This boomerang effect results in greater entrenchment in an original position, and further polarizes that position.

We then cherry pick information to fortify our beliefs, even without being consciously aware of it.  In fact, recent studies have shown that more intelligent people have greater ability to creatively rationalize and interpret information to fit their opinions.  Rather than openly examining a new position, they may use their intelligence to disprove what they already disbelieve.  Both the mind’s desire for continuity and certainty, and the brain’s error detection mechanism activated with new or unexpected information contribute to the continuity of an existing belief.

So, what does catalyze change? 

On a sheet of paper, draw a circle.  Inside that circle draw a stick figure.  This stick figure is your partner, client, or customer.  Your challenge is to get inside that circle in order to be listened to.  Outside it, you are unlikely to be heard or have an effective conversation.  To get in the circle, understand that person’s experience and challenge.  Then, from that communicated resonance, a common ground forms inside the circle.  There, the story of that person’s challenge can be co-creatively developed and moved to resolution.  This optimum story sequence of challenge, development, and resolution works for successful collaboration as well as recommendations of services and products. 

Brains synchronize when emotions become a common ground.  The fastest way to transmit something from one brain to another is emotion.  Emotion is established through the co-creation of story. 


Excerpted from NeuroMarketing: Change Your Brain to Increase Your Business by David Krueger MD, a three e-Book (flip books + audio) series just released by Van Buren Publishing    https://bit.ly/2Jr6EOf