3. Commitment & Consistency
#6-principles #69-ways-to-influence #commitment-and-consistency
This is by far one of the most powerful forces in our lives when it comes to making decisions. In the short term and long term too.
Throughout human history, it was always important for individuals to appear consistent in their thoughts and actions and character. People who change from moment to moment can appear ‘unreliable’ or ‘unpredictable’ which is why we all sometimes end up continuing to do something when we don’t even remember why we started doing it.
We also do not like to change course once we have begun. When we are on a course, we start to logically explain it with all sorts of clever arguments, which we then begin to believe ourselves. This cements us on that given track, and makes it hard to change course.
So our brains are hardwired to hold to commitments, and to remain consistent to our previous actions. This is many times more powerful when we have shown our actions to other people, or somehow publically committed to it. This is because it’s evolutionarily most important to use that we are seen to be consistent. And it’s almost physically painful to be seen to be inconsistent.
In action, you can influence people to act the way you want them to act by getting them to agree and say ‘yes’ and take very small actions in the direction you want them to go in. Perhaps a long time before you get to the bigger decision you are actually aiming for. In practice, you can start by simply getting a person to say ‘yes’ and agree that they have acted that way in the past.
Simply by reminding someone that they have acted a certain way in the past, will start to cement their minds onto that track of thought and action. Also, always get someone to speak out loud about their previous actions in that direction. If they at least speak it to you, and preferably many people, they are in a way cementing in their chosen course. And they will immediately begin in that direction and start justifying it to themselves.
Start small, and gradually get bigger and bigger