Articles

5 Steps To Influence Like Barack Obama

September 29, 2019


What’s up everybody? This is Charlie from
Charisma on Command and today I want to show you a video on how to be persuasive when you
need people to change, because the truth is, there are situations in our lives, like our
social lives, where you don’t have to be persuasive. If you don’t get along with someone, guess
what? You can just filter them out of your life and keep the people that are positive
that lift you up. But in certain situations, particularly the
working world, if you’re in a large organization or you just have some people beneath you,
where you’re trying to get some team to do something that you want, you are going to
have to work with people who disagree with you, and you can’t just filter them out. So
you need to know how to be persuasive against obstinacy. So this video is going to show you Barack
Obama speaking on one of the more recent shootings that happened just a few days ago at the time
of this. And he follows these steps very, very well, regardless of where your politics
fall on this issue, there is a lot to learn from this, so let’s dive in. But, as I said, just a few months ago, and
I said a few months before that, and I said each time we see one of these mass shootings,
our thoughts and prayers are not enough. So what you see right here, this is the first
step, is you need to introduce the problem that you have in your organization, wherever
you need people to change, whatever you’re doing is not working. And the first step is
going to be to show that to people and associate pain to the status quo. So just watch what
he does here. It’s not enough. It does not capture the heartache,
and grief, and anger that we should feel, and it does nothing to prevent this carnage
from being inflicted some place else in America. So there you go, there’s the problem, there’s
the current pain. He said, “This is going to happen again and it’s gonna suck, and we
should all feel terrible about it.” Now, I wanna bounce around here a little bit because
I want to show you as he continues this point right here to elicit further pain with the
status quo. Somehow this has become routine. The reporting
is routine. My response here at this podium ends up being routine. The conversation in
the aftermath of it, we’ve become numb to this. And you see the emotion that he’s eliciting
is like almost shame or embarrassment at how frequently this occurs, and he’s gonna go
running into all these negative cultural feelings that we have associated with the different
times this happened, and _ this right now. We talked about this after Columbine and Blacksburg,
after Tucson, after Newtown, after Aurora, after Charleston. It cannot be this easy for
somebody who wants to inflict harm on other people to get his or her hands on a gun. So there you go. That is step 1. This sucks,
what we are living in right now is terrible. When people don’t want to change, the first
step is not to tell them how wonderful it will be when they change or start to do anything
else. The first step is to get them moving, and to do that, you have to make them associate
the status quo, the current action or inaction that they are taking with serious pain. And
he does that very well in the opening of this speech. I am gonna bounce around and go back because
I want to make this very clear. He does sort of go back and forth between some of these
steps, but, moving now, I want to show you the second step, which is going to be handling
objections before people actually bring them up. You do not want to have to wait until
after you talk for people to say, “Well, you didn’t cover this or you didn’t cover that,”
or “How are we supposed to do this?” You need to preemptively handle any objections, and
like two-thirds or three-quarters of this speech is just him handling the objections that he
knows he’s going to get, so let’s check it out. And it’s fair to say that anybody who does
this has a sickness in their minds, regardless of what they think their motivations may be,
but we are not the only country on earth that has people with mental illnesses or want to
do harm to other people. We are the only advanced country on earth that sees these kinds of mass shootings every few months. So, boom, there’s your first objection. He
goes to like six or seven of these. I’m going to show you a couple of them as he bounces
around. What you need to know, you need to put yourself into the shoes of the people
you’re trying to convince. Why did they think it is impossible for them to change? Why did
they think it isn’t a good idea for them to change? And you need to cover that and deal
with those objections first. It shouldn’t be a dialogue where you go and
they go, “Oh, yeah, what about this?” Because, now, they are dug into their position. The
more you can preemptively address the objection, the less strong the objection becomes.
So I wanted to show you a couple more examples at the risk of being _ of this objection handling. And what’s become routine, of course, is
the response of those who oppose any kind of common sense gun legislation. Right now,
I can imagine the press releases being cranked up. We need more guns, they’ll argue; fewer
gun safety laws. The way to think about objections, oddly enough,
what it reminds me of is the movie 8 Mile, the very last scene where Eminem is rapping
against the guy. He has rapped, that is the best scene in the entire movie, is where he
says everything that could be said negatively about him before his opposition. That’s how
to think about presenting these objections. You don’t want to do it in a way where you
just say it. You need to come up with a reason why those objections are not valid, but if
you do that, you will leave the people who are naysayers, who do not want to change,
with nothing to hold on to, so it’s so important. Get in their shoes and think of the other
objections that they might come up with. There are scores of responsible gun owners
in this country. They know that’s not true. So, now, we’re moving into the third step
which is going to be consistency, right? We’ve associated the problem with pain. We dealt
with objections. Now, what we need to do is convince people that the course of action
that we want them to take is actually consistent with their current identity. You do not want
to be convincing people that they need to make massive changes, even if the changes
are really massive changes, because people naturally resist change. What they will move towards, though, is seeing
that, “Hey, maybe this thing that I didn’t realize is, like me, actually is,” right?
So that’s why he says, “responsible gun owners.” He’s not trying to tell people “give up all
your guns.” He’s saying, the responsible thing to do because you’re a responsible person,
aren’t you? Is to follow my course of action. We know because of the polling that says that
majority of Americans understand that we should changing these laws, including the majority
of responsible law-abiding gun owners. The objection to what Obama says a lot of
the times regarding guns is that if you follow the law and you’re responsible, there’s not
a problem. He has grouped those people into his side and made them consistent with his
beliefs by saying, “Look at the thing, look at the social proof. We got all these polls
that say this is what people like you want to do,” very, very powerful. And we’re gonna
continue now with more and more handling of this consistency. News organizations, because I won’t put these
facts forward, have news organizations tally up the number of Americans who’ve been killed
through terrorist attacks over the last decade and the number of Americans who’ve been killed
by gun violence. And post those side by side on your news reports. This won’t be information
coming from me. It will be coming from you. I think this is the most brilliant part of
the entire speech and it’s the part, a few days later, that he’s getting the most coverage
because the news organizations did, in fact, do what he said. This is still Step 3: Consistency.
You need to make people feel like it is part of their identity to change. And the way that
you do this is not by preaching at them, showing them stats and statistics. You give them ownership
of the argument and that’s what he’s done here. He says, “I’m not gonna put this in front
of you, you should go out, look at these numbers, do it on your own,” and guess what happens
when that occurs? The news stations, the people that are looking for these numbers, they retain
personal ownership of this fact, and it begins to move them more than if Obama stood up there
with a chart and said, “Look at this. You need to accept this.” In that case, they’d
be resisting, but because they’re going and doing it on their own, there is implicit ownership
there; so, so, so huge. We spend over a trillion dollars and pass
countless laws and devote entire agencies to preventing terrorist attacks on our soil,
and rightfully so. So what’s he doing here? He’s comparing something
that people already are supportive of and are already do, which is spending money to
prevent terrorist attacks, right? A lot of money, and he says that’s a great idea. He’s
on your side. And what he’s about to do is take that preexisting action and say why it’s
like what he wants you to do in the future. Again, if you need people to change, it is
far, far easier to convince them that the thing that you want them to do is basically
what they’ve been doing in the past with a shift. It’s not this whole new thing. They
don’t have to become a brand new type of person. They don’t have to give up their most deeply
held values and beliefs. They just need to see things in a slightly different perspective
and when they do that, what they’ll see is that this is actually the type of person they are–a
responsible gun owning, law abiding citizen is gonna be someone who is in favor of this. When Americans are killed in mine disasters,
we work to make mines safer. When Americans are killed in floods and hurricanes, we make
communities safer. Again, you can see where he’s going here,
still Step 3. He’s saying, look at all these things that we already do, how we already
handle this. This is a logical extension. Gun safety is a logical extension of the way
that we help protect people from weather and mines and all these kinds of things. The last thing that he is going to do here
is going to be to make and ask. It’s kind of a humbling ask right here, and he just
says that he needs help. I’d ask the American people to think about
how they can get our government to change these laws, and this is not something that
I can do by myself. I got to have Congress and I got to have state legislatures So right here, Obama goes through and just
lists all the people that he needs, but this is what you have to do at the end of any of
these speeches that you’re giving. If you’re trying to get people on board, you cannot
drag them. You need to say, “I need your help,” and ask at the end, because it is an ask. At the end of the day, you cannot make anyone
do anything, that is not what persuasion is. It is getting them to want to do things, to
take ownership over an idea that maybe started in your head, but that you helped cultivate
in theirs, so those are the 5 steps. Actually, there’s one that Barack Obama missed that
I like to do whenever I’m trying to persuade people, which is the fourth step, from people
that you ask is to detail, an explicit detail, what it would look like if things went well
with your new plan, so that you don’t just have people running away from a status quo
of pain, but you have them running towards something that is really exciting. So if you add those together, what you have
is, first, illustrate the problem and associate pain to it. Second, preemptively deal with
any objections that you have researched and you know that your audience has. Three, convince
them that your plan of action is actually consistent with the type of person that they
are and the type of person that they want to be. It’s a logical extension of their current
value system, not a deviation from it. And then, fourth, which is not seen here, paint
the heaven that happens if they go in the direction that you like them to. And, fifth,
end with an “ask.” You cannot force them to. You need to just ask. So, hope that has been helpful. If you like this and you want to get more
of them on YouTube, please subscribe to the channel, thumbs up it, and, of course, what
is most helpful to me is if you write a comment with a specific video of a charisma breakdown
that you’d like me to do, that helps so, so much. This is Charlie Houpert and I hope you
found this helpful.

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