CHAPTER 8 MIND Give them a reason

‘The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.’ Plutarch


The mood is set. Your audience's hearts are thumping in heady anticipation. They're feeling a bias to yes, so why aren't we done yet?

Trying to secure buy-in on the basis of mood alone is like trying to drive with the handbrake on. We might ‘feel’ like saying yes, but our rational thinking brain is in the driver's seat and it's looking for signs that this is logically the right move to make. This is the world of Mind — the second dimension of our 3M model.

To draw on a metaphor used by Chip and Dan Heath in their wonderful book Switch: How to Change when Change Is Hard, our emotional, intuitive side is like a huge elephant, while our rational, logical side is the person riding the beast. ‘Perched atop the Elephant, the Rider holds the reins and seems to be the leader. But the Rider's control is precarious because the Rider is so small relative to the Elephant. Anytime the six-ton Elephant and the Rider disagree about which direction to go, the Rider is going to lose. He's completely overmatched.’

The Rider might be small in relation to a six-ton Elephant, but it asks the tough questions and keeps us from making poorly thought through, impulsive decisions — or at least, tries to. It's the Rider who works out how to deal with complex problems that make progress hard, the ...

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