Do You Know How to Bring About a Change in Others?

Do You Know How to Bring About a Change in Others?

Last update: 13 January, 2016

If you came here thinking you would learn to manipulate others, you are wrong. With this article, we hope to give you some guidelines so that, if you so choose, you can bring about a change in circumstances where not only you but also other people are involved.

I would like to start out by recommending an interesting book: How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. In these pages, you can find very good advice and techniques to bring about a change. The author wrote it in 1934; however, reading it, we can still follow his recommendations today. It is without a doubt one of the books that we must have in our library.

The techniques that you have at your disposal to motivate a change in others, according to Carnegie’s book, are:

  • Starting the conversation with honest approval and appreciation.
  • Pointing out the other person’s mistakes without doing it directly.
  • Speaking first about your own mistakes before pointing out others’.
  • Letting the other person defend themselves “from the accusations” and letting them give their side of the story.
  • Praising them each time that there is a change or an improvement.
  • Creating and promoting the other person’s good reputation, talking to third parties about their virtues.
  • Using motivation and inspiration so that they may see their faults or mistakes as easy to change.
  • Making others feel happy with the decisions that they have made and yourself as well for the results obtained.

So, is it possible to bring about a change in others? Of course it is! However, as is often the case, there are certain things that we must keep in mind. Firstly, it is not a matter of molding everyone in our lives to be our subjects who cannot think for themselves and who must always say yes to you. It is a matter of helping them or promoting a common good, never taking advantage of them.

Let’s use a simple example to help us understand. We are in a relationship and our partner is very disorganized. We also have kids at the age where they are crawling and putting everything in their mouths. In this situation, wouldn’t it be good to cause a change or help bring one about?

Some of you may say, “He was like that when you met him,” or, “If you don’t like it, you can get another man.” However, things are not so set in stone. The first measure is always starting a dialogue about change. It is necessary for the other person to accept it and to understand the positive side of it. We are going to need both their consent and their help.

Saying things like “you’re always leaving things all over the place,” “you’re a slob,” “it bothers me when you leave things any which way,” probably are not going to prove very successful. Why?

  1. Even the most disorganized person in the world cleans up sometimes, so it is not “always.”
  2. It is not a part of a person’s nature whether or not they are organized or disorganized. A person practices slovenliness, but this practice can be changed. We cannot change who we are, but we can change what we do.
  3. Your feelings of malaise are your responsibility, not your partner’s. Don’t force them on the other person or any change you do make will fail to get rid of them.

So, how to do it? Put together reasons: being more organized, the child will be in less danger, we will be able to impress people that come to visit us, you will find everything faster, our relationship will be better, etc.

After you get their agreement, it is important to establish a series of concrete measures to bring it out. This is important because by doing this, we transfer the agreement to do pending tasks into our memory, making them much easier to do. Also, with concrete tasks, the objective will be much easier to evaluate and reward.

Man Thinking

With small changes in our attitude and our words, in how we express ourselves, and the order with which we structure our message, we can help or contribute to a change. On other occasions, it will be necessary to serve as an example for the other to follow or even express your gratitude and emphasize the small progress that is being made in the direction that we had previous agreed on.

It is good to keep in mind that, in order to achieve the end that you agreed upon, it is not worth using just any strategy. With this, we are referring to those that are not very ethical, like emotional blackmail. We also cannot say things like, “If you don’t do this, it means that you don’t love me,” rejecting them. If at the bottom of your heart, you think that they are doing something because they don’t love you, what you should do is leave the relationship, but not use this as a way to manipulate them.

Finally, we offer you Dale Carnegie’s rules from his book How to Win Friends and Influence People on how to have happier relationships:

  1. Don’t complain or reject without giving an explanation.
  2. Don’t try to improve the other person. The most marvelous and transcendental changes in your life will be those that you are able to bring about in yourself.
  3. If you give criticism, do it in a constructive way. Avoid saying, “This isn’t how you do that,” and instead say, “You could do this better like this.”
  4. Be thankful, attentive, and don’t ignore the little details.

We hope that this article has been helpful to you and as always, we would love to hear your comments and suggestions!

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.