Facts Are Not Enough - Deepstash
Facts Are Not Enough

Facts Are Not Enough

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You’re Going to Need More Than Facts

You’re Going to Need More Than Facts

Persuading others, and even ourselves is about more than just putting facts out there and letting the chips fall as they may. You simply can’t have the impact you want with facts alone.

The first thing we do when people disagree with us is attempt to educate them by giving them the facts. When this fails, when people have the same information we have and reach a different conclusion than we have, we consider them idiots.

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JOHN KENNETH GALBRAITH

Faced with a choice between changing one’s mind and proving there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy with the proof.

JOHN KENNETH GALBRAITH

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Persuading Others

Persuading Others

While you have to understand the facts and arguments, you really need to understand what’s already in their head and how those ideas got there in the first place before you can change someone’s mind.

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NEIL DEGRASSE TYSON

Persuasion isn’t always here’s the facts, you’re either an idiot or you’re not. It’s here are the facts and here is a sensitivity to your state of mind. And it’s the facts plus the sensitivity when convolved together create impact.

NEIL DEGRASSE TYSON

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Our Desire To Be Accepted

Our Desire To Be Accepted

Humans are tribal. We evolved in small groups where it was a bad idea to stand out.

When we’re faced with a choice between being correct or being accepted, more often than not we choose the latter. 

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LEO TOLSTOY

The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before him.

LEO TOLSTOY

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Psychological Safety

Psychological Safety

Changing our minds can result in a perception that we’re losing status. We need psychological safety in order to do it. We need to know that we’re not going to lose a friend. We need to know that promotions are not affected by disagreement.

One of the reasons it’s easier to argue with a spouse is because of that ring on your finger. A wedding band represents a promise to each other that you are not going anywhere (easily). Friends are another interesting example. If we are arguing with a friend, we know that we have disagreed with them before and we have not lost the friendship.

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Changing Our Minds

Changing Our Minds

When it comes to changing our minds two things that stand out are:

  • it’s best done by someone we like
  • group settings influence what we think.

We’re most likely persuaded by people we like. When’s the last time you didn’t like or respect someone and they convinced you to change your mind? It almost never happens.

People we don’t like can’t persuade us. All the logic in the world won’t change your mind if you dislike the person being logical.

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Going Through A Change Of Mine Alone Is Easier

Going Through A Change Of Mine Alone Is Easier

  • When we’re alone we don’t have to admit to others what changed our mind. In fact, we often don’t know what changed our mind. If we watch a documentary on sugar and resolve to eat less sugar we might not know which part of the argument changed our mind, we only know that we’re convinced.
  • We also know that there is a difference between changing our mind and socializing it. We don’t have to tell others we’re eating less sugar — that’s very specific. Instead, if they notice that our diet has changed we can simply tell them we’re eating healthy and avoid a possible confrontation.

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