Think of a time where you lined up a ton of facts, reason, and logic. You probably felt confident, sure the opposition would buckle under the pressure of your perfectly constructed argument. To the contrary, you found out they wanted to do everything but concede. Why, you began to wonder. Why would anyone continue arguing a position we all know is wrong? Your opposition questioned things that would not have any effect on the outcome. They built circumstantial evidence at best, and outright fabrication at worst.
In this moment, you realized the other person was not swayed by reason.
This is similar to what you feel when you watch a political debate and immediately scroll down your Facebook feed following the conclusion. To your astonishment, you have a group of friends who believe one candidate wiped the floor with their opponent. Then you have another group of friends who believe the exact opposite. You turn on the news to see if they can help you sort this mess out, and several channels have contradicting conclusions as well.
How can people watch the same event, listen to the same facts, and come to completely different conclusions? It is because decision-making is not logical, but emotional.
Neuroscientist Antonio Damasio is credited with making this groundbreaking discovery. In one study, he found people who have damage to the part of their brain where emotions are generated are unable to make decisions. They could see the logic in each point of view, explain what they should be doing, but found themselves unable to make decisions. Most decisions have pros and cons with each outcome – should I choose paper or plastic? With no rational way to choose one over the other, those without emotion were unable to come to any conclusions.
This is why story-telling is such an effective means of communication. Coming to a situation with all the logic, reason, and facts one can muster is not going to win the day. Your opposition is not going to agree with you because they are making their decision based on logic. They will agree with you because you have helped them come to the conclusion it is in their best interest to do so.
Undre Griggs | Be More