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It’s A Lot Easier To Change Someone’s Behavior If You Don’t Make Them Wrong

October 29, 2013

A thought experiment:

Ask someone the following two questions:

“Would you please do this differently?”

“Would you please do this differently, because the way you’re doing it is wrong?”

Which one do you think is more likely to achieve the desired result?

You don’t need to convince someone that they’re wrong in order to change their behavior. In fact, trying to convince them that they are wrong will most likely have the opposite effect, since it will invoke their psychological defense mechanisms, thus causing them to resist whatever you are trying to do. Instead, just ask for what you want and leave the judgments out of it; you’ll have a much easier time of things this way.


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