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Facilitating Social Change

July 31, 2010

How to change behaviors in people that you don’t like:

1. Approach them laid back, like you don’t care. that takes their guard down.

2. make the issue about them, not you– this one is tricky, as you can’t make the issue look negative– that will bring their guard back up. To handle this, you need to make it clear that you’re looking out for their best interests.

3. When communicating the issue, express it not like there’s something wrong with them, but with what they’re doing.

4. Express the issue not as something bad that needs to stop, but as something good to replace that behavior with.

People tend to like to feel like they’re going in the right direction, and feel threatened when someone tries to change that direction, regardless of whether the change is a good thing or not.

So what you want is to send the message, “I’m not trying to change you. I’m just trying to help *you* improve upon the direction that you’re *already going*.

Remember, the focus is that that they are changing the issue, not you. You’re just helping them by showing them the answers.

Summing it all up, making someone change successfully is about power– and since they are the one changing, it will only work if they feel that they are the one in control of things.

By giving advice while giving them all the power to make the changes, and by making it clear that they’re not changing themselves– they’re only doing what they have been doing *better*, it makes them want to change.

Security and power– these are the traits that everyone has in common– if you can work them to your advantage, you can change anyone.

*note– in order to apply the above, you need to have a in-depth knowledge of the person you are trying to change– you don’t want to guess when it comes to matters involving power, since everyone is more likely to leave their guard up than let it down. Human beings are defensive motherfuckers! :p

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