The following is a guest piece by Dianna Booher.
“I’ve sold millions and millions of dollars during my 30 years at IBM, and it never occurred to me that people make their buying decisions based on emotion first, and then justified with logic,” John said to me over dinner a few weeks ago. “But you’re right. As I think back about the various client deals, I can see that. I definitely can see that.
Another case in point.
But more formal, rigorous research shows overwhelmingly that people base buying decisions on emotion, and then support them with logic. In a business setting, a logical argument is expected, of course. Just don’t count on the logical argument to win people over to your way of thinking.
In “The Heart of Change”, John Kotter and Dan Cohen discuss a study they conducted with Deloitte Consulting about the nature of change. The study involved more than 400 interviewees from 130 companies in the United States, Australia, Europe, and South Africa.
Their interpretation of the data? Even in large corporations that focus on very logical approaches to strategy, culture, and analysis of data, change happens because the leaders find a way to help people see problems or solutions in ways that influence their emotions, not just their reasoning.
In my own research for “What More Can I Say: Why Communication Fails and What to Do About It”, executives told me the same things over and over: To lead change, influence others, and gain commitment, speak to the heart.
So what does that mean exactly? Click here to continue reading »