Getting others’ support beyond goodwill into taking tangible actions requires your audience to be willing to act. Achieving this willingness isn’t always easy, but there are some simple techniques to consider around the exciting story you create and the risk you diminish.
Imagine this scene; you’re the parent of two teenage kids in Mexico on a day trip to the Mayan Temples. You’ve arrived after a long trip hot and bothered, and are now standing at the bottom of the Mayan temple, encouraging your kids to walk up it. They resist, so you go into ‘sell’ mode and read from the guide book, and describe the view they’ll have when they reach the top.
They begin to be curious but still aren’t enthusiastic, so you suggest a compromise; you all go half way, check out the view and at that stage, if they still don’t like it they can come back down, otherwise you’ll all continue to the top.
This scenario shows two techniques:
- Create a story. It’s likely that you as the parent have no idea what the view from the top really is like. You’ve probably heard it’s good but don’t know for sure, yet your conviction is strong enough to create an exciting story, supported by the guidebook, that others will want to be a part of
- Resistance to action can be overcome by reducing perceived risk. The risk here is merely tired legs or wasted time, but to reduce the resistance and risk, you add in small steps and checkpoints to review the story.
The technique is to create an exciting sustainability journey such that others will want to join. As an added incentive, break a long journey up into small, manageable trips which will encourage the sense that being involved will not require too much effort.