How to convince someone by changing their environment

Working on laptop in forest
Pay-off: something else within your control that can help others make the right decision (like asking them to marry you?)

Investment: 2 minutes

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How to convince someone (by changing their environment)

It’s probably worth considering that decisions aren’t made in isolation of one’s environment.

You think you’re being sensible and smart when you decide to do that crazy thing you’ve been intending to do.

But you didn’t realise that because you were out running in the sunshine when you made that decision, you were pumped – drugged on endorphins, positivity and bravado.

It wasn’t you deciding! It was those natural drugs!

You would never have decided to do that crazy thing if you made the decision on a Monday morning train whilst heading into the office. No chance. And you’d simply be going down a different path in your life instead.

Logic, emotions, environments and states of mind

By now, you probably know that people buy (or make decisions) emotionally, and then justify and rationalise afterwards with logic.

Logic makes us think.

Emotion makes us act.

And your environment at any given time fully impacts your emotional state.

Environments make us think and act differently.

In fact, decisions are made not by a person, but by their state of mind when they make that decision.

That’s why, to make wiser decisions ourselves, we sleep on it.

Got a major life changing decision to make?

Make it on Monday, then again on Friday.

Make it when it’s sunny, then again when gloomy.

Make it at home at the kitchen table, then in the shower, and then make it outside when you’ve reached the top of a mountain.

Decide again. And join the dots accordingly.

Want someone to fall in love with you? Take them on a rollercoaster…

If you’re still not convinced, take a look at this.

OK, how can we use this?

If you’re trying to persuade or convince someone to act in their best interests, one of the things you’re up against is their environment (and their resulting state of mind).

You could weave that tactically into your process for helping them to make an optimal decision.

You know you get your best ideas in the shower. Maybe the person you’re helping does too? (Alright, I’m not suggesting for a second…forget it…)

But remember you can get people out of the office. You can have them think things through with you whilst walking, eating, playing golf, just stepping back.

Here are a few actionable thoughts:

  1. What state of mind would they need to be in, in order to make the RIGHT decision – all things considered? We’re looking for the highest value to them. Remember, a relaxed state of mind tends to enhance creative thinking and problem-solving. Tension sometimes equates to excitement and may create an adventurous state of mind.
  2. What circumstances and environment might contribute to that state of mind?
  3. What could you do, feasibly, within your control, that might help nudge them into that environment or those circumstances? What do they like doing, and where do they like being such that they’re in an optimal decision-making state of mind?

You could be unreasonable

You know that picking your timing is important. That’s reasonable.

But you may not have considered that you might be able to make NOW (or very soon) the time to decide, by modifying their circumstances or environment. Or by meeting them in a different environment (I luckily bumped into a prospective client in an airport lounge once and had their full relaxed attention). Figuring out how to change their environment is unreasonable, potentially within your control, smarter than just waiting for stars to align, and might just work.

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” – George Bernard Shaw

More on being unreasonable in ‘sales’ here.

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