Rinaldo Fowler

The Catalyst - by Jonah Berger

The Catalyst - by Jonah Berger

ISBN: 1982108606
Date read: 2020-11-29
Recommended for: People who want to change minds.
(See my list of books, for more.)

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Let people persuade themselves. Remove barriers to change instead of creating more force.

my notes

He comes out just because someone asks.

Allowing change to happen with less energy, not more.

Remember the person, not just the outcome.
Why haven't they changed already?

When pushed, people push back.
Encourage people to persuade themselves.
When the idea is theirs, they'll value it more.

Show the cost of hesitation. This cost is often invisible, make it concrete.
Is it painful enough to act? Not yet?
Burn the ships.

Zone of acceptance. Is the information I want to share within their zone?

Make thing easier to try.

Tom Sawyer Rule - if you tell someone not to do something, they want to do it more.
People like to have the ability to choose. They will react to any perceived loss. This is one explanation for the Tom Sawyer rule, it gives them a sense of control.

Persuasion puts your listener on high alert. They'll question content and source, seeking to refute claims and raise objections.
Focus on facts, not interpretations, let your listener decide.

Find the middle path: avoid directives, don't disengage, guide them. Allow for agency.
Ask questions, avoid statements.
Give 2 or 3 options. Let them choose.

If they were starting from stratch today, would they continue with the current direction?
Show the dissonance between inertial projects and current values. Put their brains to work on a resolution.

Who's it for?

Novelty is overrated. Show how the change is similar to the past.

Data isn't enough to change opinion.

A moderate appeal moves more than a zealous one.

Find the issue that people care about that isn't being addressed by the group in power.

The movable middle. Those who are more likely to shift their view because their zone of acceptance is closer.

Solve a problem for a real group that feels the pain, rather than convincing everyone that they have that problem.

Use small, related asks to grow their zone of acceptance.
Big changes have many little steps.

Show how their existing behavior aligns with your changes.

Listen. W.A.I.T. Why Am I Talking?

Find a parallel story from your own life. A time when you felt similarly.

In the domain of losses, people are actually risk seeking. Rather than lose a small amount of money for sure, they'd rather gamble and take a chance on losing a larger amount of money to also have the chance of not losing anything at all.

It's not clear whether the lottery ticket will net a $50 gift card or a $100 gift card, but worst case it's a $50 one.
In fact, while they were willing to pay around $26 for the $50 gift card and $45 for the $100 gift card, they were willing to pay only $16 for the lottery ticket. Almost 50 percent less than even its worst possible outcome.
Uncertainty is even worse than certain negative outcomes. Knowing you'll be late to a meeting certinaly feels bad, but wondering whether you'll make it on time usually feels worse. Getting fired isn't fun, but wondering if you're about to be fired is worse still.

A free shipping offer that saves $5.99 is more appealing than a $10 discount.
Because the real barrier isn't money; it's uncertainty.

Do non-traditional methods work because of the groundwork laid during traditional methods? Or can they can used first?

But regardless of what they tried, Phil wouldn't stop using. He still thought he was in control.

What does that recommendation mean. Does it say something about the thing being recommended, or does it just say something about the recommender themselves?

Given the choice between you and me, I'll trust me.
Listening as reflection of self.

If one person says you have a tail, you laugh and think they're crazy. But if three people say it, you turn around to look.

Examplars can be people like you, or people you aspire to be like.

Two friends trying to convince you.
If those friends kew each other and were part of the same social group, or if they didn't know each other and were completely independent?
Similarity matters for changing minds, but it turns out diversity is also important.

Does this recommendation add additional information to my decision?

Seat them between an existing client in the same industry and another one who's in a different industry but of similar size. Encourage them to talk to one existing client with similar technical needs and another based in the same region.

Concentrate the change. Multiple sources. All at once.
Is this why books are effective?

But beyond how many invitations people received, when they received those invitations also mattered. The closer the different invitations were in time, the bigger their collective impact.

Trying to change the boss's mind? After stopping by her office, catalysts encourage colleagues to make a similar suggestion right away. Concentration increases impact.

Before Seeds of Peace, most campers had no positive relationships with the other side.