Continued from the book, “The Catalyst”
This was not initially intended for couples, but you can see how it relates. Try the force field analysis- there is a seeming force field keeping the change from happening.
“Force field analysis” is: defining the change, identify the goal, desired state or thing you’re hoping will happen.
Then identify the driving forces that are encouraging change. Start identifying the restrainers.
What prevents change from happening?
Look to the past first- why have things not changed already?
Who is against the change?
What are the costs involved?
What are the risks involved?
What does the client seem worried about?
What concerns or motivations might keep them from supporting a new initiative?
The zone of acceptance versus the small region of rejection. If I am very strongly in favor of something and you hope to convince me of the opposite, I have a small zone of acceptance. What that means is that there is very little you can say that I will be open to hearing, if we have opposing views. If our views are different, but some overlap, start with the similarities, not the differences. There is a region of rejection when talking, and that includes the differences, not the similarities.
Find the movable middle, or the area that I am not set in stone about. I may not be open to influence. If I am open to hearing you and being influenced, that is the “movable middle.”
For example, focus on swing voters who are open to facts and arguments. (The people who were receptive to being swayed open to influence. People who have a larger zone of acceptance or who zone overlaps more with the candidate’s positions.)
Do not try to change everyone. Not everyone wants to be changed or challenged. They are not worth the effort it would take. Bad return on investment of time and energy.
This is why some politicians look for the wedge issue- where the incumbent is out of step with at least some of the constituents. Pitting people against one another has some ethical difficulties. Manipulating other people is not a good idea. We don’t use and exploit people, if we have a healthy conscience. If they already have a different view, you can point it out.
Look for Behavioral residue. Clues that indicate conflicting opinions or willingness to change. We all have mixed feelings, ambivalence about certain things. If someone has some inner conflict, part of them feels one way and another part feels differently. Their mind is not fully made up and they may waffle or vacillate. When you spot this, spend time understanding them and you can be helpful as a sounding board. They may end up on your side of an issue, as a result.
Imagine in your relationship if you decided to allow them to have their own perspective and no more trying to change them.
Imagine if you listened, just to understand and not change their mind. What would that do to the level of conversation?