Have you taken this climate change quiz? It’s a good quiz, I think, and I definitely learned some things.
The most important parts were when I was surprised by the results. Those are powerful teaching moments when you can clearly show people the difference between their beliefs and the truth. To be able to point out, “This right here is what you think. And this, over here, is how it actually is.”
We humans love being right. And when we’re shown facts and stories without first laying out our hypotheses, we convince ourselves, “Oh yeah. I knew that. That makes sense. Duh.”
But when you ask someone to take a stand first, and then show them the truth, they’re forced to confront the reality of their unknowing. We don’t like being wrong, and that dissonance creates some powerful incentives to change.
So… how can you use that?
If you can show people there’s a bigger problem than they think, that’s powerful. (It’s urgent!)
If you can show people the obstacles they perceive are smaller than they think, that’s powerful. (It’s possible!)
If you can show people they can have more impact than they think, that’s powerful. (You can do it!)
If you can show people your work has more impact than they think, that’s powerful. (We are doing it!)
It’s a pretty simple formula: Discover peoples’ assumptions. Surprise them with the truth. Get them on board to make it right.