EVER WONDERED WHY WHEN YOU ASK SOME PEOPLE TO DO SOMETHING, ACCEPT YOUR PERSPECTIVE OR CHANGE JOURNEY, THEY STRUGGLE TO GET ON BOARD?
Context is required in changing anything; it is a massive emotional and logical diver when you lead change and transformation of any scale or kind, or merely if you are trying to help somebody understand your point of view. Sometimes we can over complicate messages too right? This simple philosophy can change compliance not only in the change you lead but also in your relationships.
As young and developing children, we had a habit of asking questions and being curious and on many occasions would have used the, “WHY?” When we sought context and reason. As youngsters, unconsciously when grown-ups responded, we would have become used to the pattern of “because”, to frame a response, here’s an example:
Youngster- please can I go and play in the park?
Parent/ carer – No!
Youngster – Why?
Parent/ carer – Because you’ll have to cross a busy road, that’s too dangerous on your own.
Youngster – Ok (Compliance supported by context.)
Using the word “because” and giving a reason results in significantly more compliance – Because is your super hero… and hearing the word “because” followed by a “reason”, your side kick, (no matter how lame the reason is), it causes us to comply more often than not.
This first presented itself in the 1970’s by the work of Ellen Langer when she wanted to get to the photocopier more readily. We repeated the experiment at queues in Starbucks.
Try pushing to the front of the queue and with no because or reason? 1 in 10 huffed and said ok.
The next 10, we gave a “because”… “I’m running late for work”, that increased to 3 out of 10.
The next 10 we also gave a “reason”, “I’m running late for work and if I get in late I may get fired”, (because and reason) it shot up to 9 out of 10.
So, the next time you are communicating a change initiative, want somebody to act or change their thinking, make sure your context has your super hero BECAUSE and their sidekick REASON and you’ll achieve your own heroic outcomes!