Part 1 of 5: Reactance – The Catalyst, How To Change Anyone’s Mind

Think about how many cold DM’S you get daily. How many of those immediately add you as a friend and start selling you something? How often have you been told to cold call and reach out to people to get sales?

Does it make you open up the relationship or push back? 

Over the next five weeks, I will break down The Catalyst, How To Change Anyone’s Mind, by Jona Berger. It is arguably one of my favorite books, and when you can understand these concepts I’ll be covering, you’ll start to reduce resistance and influence change without feeling drained. 

Why Change Is Hard 

Everyone knows change is hard. That’s one of the reasons I created a customer journey and a premise behind relationships over algorithms. I realized there was a better way to overcome potential resistance from anyone I interacted with. 

By understanding persuasion, I removed roadblocks and lowered the barriers that prevented customers from taking action. 

Jonah Berger does a brilliant job of showing us the fundamental forces that encourage inertia, drawing on research and case studies to demonstrate change in the face of resistance. He explains why so many messages that attempt to persuade have no chance of working and provides strategies to make persuasion possible. 

Most notably, the acronym REDUCE. It stands for reactants, endowment, distance, uncertainty, and corroborating evidence. And today, we’re going to talk about reactants.

Reactants 

When others threaten or restrict freedom, people get upset. – Jonah Berger 

When you tell somebody that they can’t or shouldn’t do something, it interferes with their autonomy and triggers a psychological phenomenon called reactance. 

So what do they do? They push back. They get defensive. 

A simple one we can all relate to is texting and driving. It makes texting easier to do because it helps us reclaim our autonomy over our lives.  

But we also see reactants in emails, advertisements, and social media. 

So, our job as entrepreneurs is to be aware of this so we can create solutions. And I’m going to share the ones I believe are the most important with you. 

Allow For Agency 

Stop trying to persuade people and instead get people to convince themselves. 

Provide A Menu 

When you give somebody multiple options, things shift. I use this with my son Branson all of the time and inside my coaching. 

Why?

Because if you try to convince people to do something, they spend a lot of time counterarguing. But when you give people multiple options, they are the ones participating in the change and the path forward. 

Ask, Don’t Tell 

Questions encourage listeners to commit to the conclusion and to behave consistently with whatever answer they give. So rather than taking a predetermined plan and pushing it on people, catalysts do the exact opposite.

Highlight A Gap 

​​People strive for internal consistency. Highlighting a gap encourages people to see the discord and work to resolve it. The gap you highlight represents the difference between where somebody thinks they are and where they want to go.  

Rather than convince people to do something, take a different tack and highlight the gap.  

Start With Understanding 

Before people change, they have to be willing to listen. This is seasoned tactic negotiators use in their lives to persuade someone to change their mind. 

You hear me talk all the time about how relationships beat algorithms. 

For somebody to opt in, they have to feel seen, heard, and understood. 

And to implement this, you have to build relationships before transactions. 

This book will help you see why this works, and it’s the only way to do business in today’s world if you want to last. 

Weekly Challenge 

I want to challenge you to look at your business and areas of your life where you can implement these concepts to reduce and eliminate reactants. I’m excited to see what these upcoming weeks will do for your life and business.