- The power of narrative
- Data vs Beliefs
- Best practices for engaging reluctant audiences
- Common pitfalls to be wary of
Talking to people about the ways in which we are killing off life on Earth is not easy.
Better people than I have thrown themselves at it and failed. James Hanson recently got to reflect on his 30-year attempt to use data to persuade governments and the public that climate change is real and dangerous. Looking back, Hansen now says that he regrets not being “able to make this story clear enough for the public.”
I think his shortcoming had nothing to do with making the case clearly enough, but instead was rooted in not appreciating how people don’t change their behavior based on data. We change our actions after our beliefs change.
As Mahatma Gandhi famously said:
If we want a different destiny, either individually or collectively, then we have to shift the beliefs. That’s where it all starts.
In our seminars we often call this part “How to talk to a reluctant partner” but you could just as easily swap out “partner” with colleague, friend, neighbor, or family.
The main difficulty in communicating is that many people mistakenly believe…