"If you want to change behavior, any behavior, you have to change maps of cause and effect."
To alter behavior, help others answer only two questions:
1. Is it worth it? (Am I sufficiently motivated?)
2. Can I do this? (Am I able?)
Verbal persuasion can work, but to comply others must:
Trust both our knowledge and our motives...
We must be careful that it is not seen as attack, nagging manipulation, debating, or verbal trickery... most people have already heard it all on their bad habits.
Realize that people aren't about to give up what gives them pleasure or a big relief from stress. They probably won't listen, will look for every error in your logic or facts, while working up the counterarguments. It seems that they need you to be wrong in order to protect their conclusions and territory.
Personal experience is the mother of all cognitive map changers.
We have all had personal experiences that we have interpreted to mean something, often related to a supposed threat of some sort or degree, which they then use as a "personal reference" (proof) of a particular belief.
Whether they have such errononeous beliefs or not, in order to swing them toward a targeted behavior the following techniques can be used to provide "vicarious experiences". Those would include
1. Believable models in films (which you could select, but which I plan to work up a list)
2. Vivid stories (instead of an "intellectual" lecture)
Intellectual brevity seldom works, as it can be considered to be lifeless, cold, and to contain sparse abstractions.....
WHAT ARE THE VITAL FACTORS TO HAVE PEOPLE CHANGE THEIR BEHAVIOR?
I. They have to want to (and if they don't, this means that their thinking will have
to change). And they have to know that it is worth it. They have to be clear about the benefits, which is what they desire, of course. There must be sufficient clarity that they can "see" the benefits in perspective where long term benefits appear to be "big enough" to override the short term gains of doing the opposite.
a. Be clear on the end consequences.
We hold onto harmful behaviors and/or views/beliefs that are unfounded only because we haven't thoroughly examined through to the end consequences, imagined and/or actual. We rarely confront these, so we do not disconfirm our unfounded fears.
As humans we often fail to think things through. As a consequence, many thoughts are incomplete or inaccurate. That leads to dysfunctional behaviors and beliefs. We must complete the thoughts to be able to review them for veracity.
b. Construct corrected mini maps of cause and effect.
You must know that their interpretations trump actual facts, and that myths, fairy tales, silly misunderstandings and phobias tend to rule.
(It is interesting to note that pulling the props out from under one misconception may affect other beliefs that are somewhat based on that same misconception - kind of a domino effect. So, clearing up one misconception can benefit multiple benefits. For instance,curing a snake phobia can affect even public speaking and also one's general confidence...)
c. Only correct those beliefs that make a difference.
While there may be other beliefs that are incorrect, those may not matter - and therefore it is not a good use of our time to correct them just for the sake of correcting them, if it serves no other purpose.
II. They have to see that it can be done by them successfully and feel that they can exercise control over it.
Use Models, videos, vicarious experience, help people "complete" in seeing successes and failures and how the latter is handled,
It is tremendously illuminating to see other people who are demonstrating a vital behavior ... either actually "seeing" it or hearing or reading a story.
Tell Stories. Using stories can be very effective in drawing people into the situation, having them empathize with the characters, and in creating emotion, which is vital in motivating people to change. No emotion, no change (most of the time). If you want to have people change their behavior and exert influence on an ongoing basis, you should become a master storyteller, using and creating them all the time.
Don't tell the point, tell the emotion, illustrate the dilemma, so they're in it.
Tell the whole story. Create vivid images and concrete detail. Don't try to truncate it down to the essential facts, for it'll become cold, lifeless, unappealing emotionally. Provide hope by having them see how things are solved (or solvable) - and that they can do it.
You can create some vivid "stories" or illustrations by looking on youtube and/or googling on the internet.
STOP DOING WHAT DOESN'T WORK
What often doesn't work are
Lectures and coercion. You may have notice the resistance and opposition you get from using these.
We must make sure that the specifics of each behavior are detailed enough and are installed through deliberate practice. John Wooden, who as a coach broke the record book, taught his players to practice specifics over and over in a "deliberate practice".
And so it is in life!
But we don't realize the truth of that.
And part of the problem is that we do not know how to keep score. That of course means that we will often miss winning the game.
IMPLEMENT CHANGE SKILLFULLY, FOR GREATER SUCCESS!