The HeadScratcher Post Archive
December  2011
Thinking about "Get"
       December 2011 The Headscratcher Post Headscratchers LLC    Edition 75

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Thinking about "Get"

Many of the HeadScratchers we encounter are those related to Get, i.e. to influence, motivate, persuade, cause to move, convince, change position, heed, agree, align, etc.

These come in numerous forms; How do I Motivate a group of people (or a person) to do something? How do I Influence my manager to make changes I suggest? How do I Convince department X to come to the meetings? How do I Persuade department X to communicate information in a timely manner?

We call these the "Get" HeadScratchers, and they are in the form; "How do I Get Them to do This". While the "Them" and the "This" is important, the real HeadScratcher and most important word in this statement is "Get".

Get is a very complicated process. If someone is doing something and you want to Get them to do something else, you will have to understand why they are doing that something in the first place. A person does something because they have come to the conclusion to do that thing. In order for you to "Get" them to do something else, you have to "Get" them to come to a conclusion about doing something else. So "Get" really means, change the conclusion that someone has from "this" to "that".

People come to a conclusion about something because they often have experiences they are relying on. They may also have read or been told information they are leveraging that could be correct or not, and are making assumptions about a situation that may or may not be valid.

In order to Get someone to come to a different conclusion, you have to provide information that raises doubt in the information they are using to form their conclusion while presenting information that supports a different conclusion. This is accomplished by providing additional information that invalidates their assumptions or contradicts information that they have read or been told. This weakens the strength of the information they used to come to a conclusion and as a result, they will have less confidence in it.

Simultaneously, present information to strengthen another conclusion. If I was to try to Get you to do something and you didn't particularly want to do it, how would I convince you to do it? I might show you how you might benefit from the change, perhaps give you an incentive, or point out what the consequence of not changing. You may need to understand the value, perhaps how this relates to other initiatives or events you are engaged with, and why this is necessary, not only for the business, but for you.

The Takeaway: When someone is presented with information that weakens their reasoning towards one conclusion and strengthens the reasoning towards another, they will be influenced and as a result, will change their mind and you have achieved the "Get".

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