How to Get People to Change their Mind

Manav Makhija Manav Makhija
Feb 19, 2021 7 min read
How to Get People to Change their Mind

We all have something that we want to change. It might be that you want to change your boss’s attitude towards you at your workplace or you might want to win the heart of your clients. Maybe you want to change your child’s behavior towards you or you want to change your parent’s mindset. But what is pertinent is that change is not flexible.

While we try to change the mind of people we often do not choose the right approach. We tend to push our thoughts and opinions on others. We try to overwhelm others with the answers that we think are right and hence this approach becomes ineffective. While pushing opinions won’t work, there are other ways to change someone’s views. Here in this article, you will find tips to get people to change their minds.

Give People Choice
Make it their Idea
Don’t Argue
Be Humble
Let them Pitch their Idea
Fill in the Gap they Created
Use Social Pressure
Ask them What it would take to Believe you
Give them the right Feedback

Give People Choice

Give People Choice
Give People Choice

People never want to be in someone else’s control. If you want to change their mind or thought you need to give them the control of making a choice among the two or more possible options. All you need to do is give them a choice, a chance to select from the available options. Leaders never like the words mandatory or compulsory as people never want to feel obligated to do something. When you give them a choice and all the options work in your favor, you can easily persuade them to change their mind.

Make it their Idea

In a healthy discussion, there is always a common ground, a point where both or all the parties agree upon. All you need to do is to find that common ground, take that idea and move to the place where you wish to go. For example, you might say that “from your idea, A to B think about C and D as well, what you suggest?” Give them the credit of thinking about B, C, and D as well. All you are doing in this way is that you are convincing the opponent that the answer or the solution you want is their idea. This is one of the most effective persuasive tactics.



Don’t Argue

Arguments are unnecessary
Arguments are unnecessary

There might be arguments which do not have an end or a concrete solution and you are strongly advised to stay away from such debates because you cannot change people’s mind this way. While in an argument, even if you are technically and logically correct, even if you have evidence to prove your point, the other person's ego and emotions will start dominating him/her and they will be completely blind your logic and rationale, thus, resulting in the rigidness of opinion.

Be Humble

Humble people always rule. Whenever you would tell people that they were wrong and you were right, they will create a bigger wall of ego around them and this crossfire will always increase. One of the best ways to deal with people and change their minds is to act humble. While a discussion might be going on, you might enter the discussion saying “hey, I might be wrong but…’ and there you drop the guard of the opponent whom you want to persuade. The statement ‘I might be wrong’ can influence a lot of people as it is far more open to admitting being wrong.


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Let them Pitch their Idea

Everyone gets to pitch an Idea
Everyone gets to pitch an Idea

To make any conversation meaningful and logical, you should hear the other person out and listen to what they have with them. Let us stop for a second and look at the flip side of the conversation, the perspective of the person whose mind we are trying to change. If you want to change the other person's thoughts and influence him, it is important that you listen to him otherwise he might be waving his hands around their head and ignoring what you’re trying to say and will walk off the conversation. So before you indulge the other person into your logical responses, understand their emotional state, hear them out, and then convince them to change their opinion wisely.

Fill in the Gap they Created

If you really want to change someone’s behavior one of the brilliant ways to do so is to figure out the gap between their actions and their attitude towards what they are doing. It is psychologically proven that one should never point out the mistakes of others or what they are doing wrong, instead find out the gap that they have created and fill it with your thoughts or corrective actions.


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Use Social Pressure

Social Pressure
Social Pressure

There might be times when you feel that people are too stubborn to change. Their attitude and mentality are so rigid that none of your techniques would work out to change their minds. At such times one of the promising ways to mend their opinion is to put social pressure on them. Tell the opponent that this is a general norm or this is what the majority of people think and do, point out the norm, and compel them to change their mind by putting such social pressure.

Ask them What it would take to Believe you

This is one of the final or closure tricks when all your efforts go in vain or there is no other option left to change someone’s mind. Ask them this question – ‘What would it take for you to change your mind or perspective?’ Negotiate with them and ask them what it would take them to believe you. Even then if the person is not ready to give you a justification, it is then when you will realize that you are fighting for a lost cause and there is no point in arguing any further.


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Give them the right Feedback

When you are on the verge of ending the conversation with someone, let them know your opinion in the most humble and polite way. At the same time also ensure that you give honest and right feedback in a very constructive way to the opponent. You can do this by using the CRC (Commendation - Recommendation – Commendation) method of giving feedback. Tell them where they were good and where they can improve. Maybe with the help of your just feedback, the opponent realizes your facts and changes his/her mind.


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Conclusion

These small steps can be taken to change people's mind over time. But remember, forcing your opinion on someone is not appreciated by anyone. You can however talk to people respectfully and convince them to see your side of the argument. We hope this article helps you in solving any minor miscommunications you have in your professional or personal life. Stay calm and hydrated!

Frequently Asked Questions - FAQs

How do you convince a stubborn person to change their mind?

This is a tricky thing to do. All you can do is calmly explain your side of the argument and give them a list of the pros and cons of the situation and hope they change their mind. If their ego does not get in the way, then they will see the benefits of changing their mind eventually.

Can we change someone's mind?

Absolutely! If the new idea is beneficial to them then they are bound to change their mind eventually. It might take a whole for people with big egos though!

How do you talk to someone who won't listen?

You don't. You let them talk and you listen. After they are done just point out the flaws in their way of thinking and give them alternatives that solve it. After they've gotten everything off their chest, they'll be much more willing to listen.

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