!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> Streamline Training & Documentation: Coping with Belief Bias

Friday, July 10, 2009

Coping with Belief Bias

As a follow-on to yesterday's post, and to a post from about three years ago, I'd like to mention the suggestions Mario Moussa and Richard Shell offer for handling situations in which you find yourself trying to get a fair hearing from someone who presents a strong "contrary beliefs" barrier.

In a 2007 interview published by the Conference Board, Moussa observes,
Some people are simply not persuadable because their outlook on a topic falls on an extreme end of an ideology. This is the case with things like abortion. So we suggest trying to find a different belief [perhaps deeper] or point of view around which you can come together. Never go head to head against a core belief that someone holds deeply. It's very rare for people to change such beliefs.
Moussa offers some additional "workarounds" in a 2007 presentation (pdf) he prepared for the Wharton Strategic Persuasion Workshop:
  • Persistence

  • Shift audiences

  • Fly under the radar

  • Aim to advance "one small step"
In the talk (video) Shell gave at Google in February 2008, he recommends reframing the contentious issue in a way that plays down conflict with the other person's firm core beliefs, a suggestion that corresponds to Moussa's recommendation to look for a different point of view that can serve as common ground.

A further point Shell offers is that you can sometimes actually leverage the other person's beliefs in a way that helps the person see their way clear to cooperating with you.


Labels: , ,