It’s like school assembly without the chewing gum. Leaders often talk about change to a sea of blank faces. You have the ‘too cool for school’ body language or people simply look disengaged. Often that’s because they are.
Achieving change is hard, but neuroscience, brain science, gives you some great insights on how to make it easier.
The first insight is that logic won’t work if people are not motivated to listen to your message. So be honest with yourself and decide how to play it. Don’t just keep beating them over the head with logic.
You are better using emotion and themes around team and social connection if the motivation isn’t there. If people are also busy and they think you are not in their ‘in’ group you’ve got even bigger problems if you try logic.
This comes from the Elaboration Likelihood Model developed by leading neuroscientists Petty & Cacioppo.
Equally, if people are very motivated to listen, logic does work. It activates deeper brain processing and change is more likely to be longer lasting.
A ‘watch out’ is that change can be more temporary with the emotions and social route so consider how you are going to embed the change.
What helps? Choose a speaker who is empathic, part of their ‘in group’, has credibility and can speak with confidence and sincerity. If they speak against their own self interest all the better. Try to create good feelings and not overwhelm people with negative feelings. Repetition is key – your most important message needs to come first.
The big one is to inspire your people to believe that change is possible. This opens up the audience to receiving negative information about the status quo.
We coach leaders to be really good communicators. Our secret for success is to show you how to use techniques based on 1) the evidence of neuroscience, 2) positive psychology with 3) theatre skills. We can help you be ‘battle ready’ and take the pressure off. Contact us to find out more.