Gagen MacDonald has supported research commissioned by the Institute for Public Relations to investigate how PR and corporate communications executives can apply the findings of neuroscience to their work. By understanding key ideas in neuroscience, cognitive behavior and psychology, we can become better storytellers and therefore foster engagement, align culture and drive behavior change. This post is one in an occasional series exploring that research. Learn more at our upcoming Storytelling for Business Seminar with the Conference Board.Why do we resist communications aimed at changing our behaviors? Simple: because change is difficult. It yanks us out of our comfort zones and demands effort – certainly more than coasting along.Change is also scary. Even the prospect of eliminating a problem or threat doesn’t lessen the fear of what else change might bring. Behavioral economists describe this as “loss aversion”: we register the pain of losses more acutely than the pleasure of gains.We also resist communications that ask us to change because of an underlying power dynamic: nobody likes to be forced.But great storytelling is transformative. An absorbing, well-crafted story can change us imperceptibly. It loosens our grip on objections and alters our worldview in a way that feels like adventure. We actually want stories that motivate us to grow.How can corporate communications address the most commons ways people resist their messages? In this two-part blog series, we’ll share research completed by Dr. Terry Flynn for the Institute for Public Relations in behavior communications - an emerging field based in neuroscience - to help you recognize the 6 most common resistance types. We’ll also explore narrative elements psychologists have found loosen our grip on those resistances, leaving listeners more open to change.
- Tuning out.
/ Oct 27, 2015
5 Unexpected Benefits of Emotional StorytellingPrevious Post
/ Nov 10, 2015