Saying is Believing When Leading Change

Monday, February 25th, 2008

Once again, Shankar Vedantam has written a fine column in The Washington Post that I believe relates to change management. He cites research that indicates when political candidates try to make an emotional connection to their audience, they change. Saying is believing.

“When a speaker is trying very hard to build a powerful emotional connection with his listeners, he is much more likely to be influenced by this effect. All people’s perceptions of reality are partially molded by their social interactions, Echterhoff said, but the effect appears to be especially strong when speaker and audience inhabit a shared reality – when they share an intense bond with each other.”

I need to think about this more, but it seems like the “saying is believing” effect could have real implications for people who are trying to influence others to accept a major change.