Wednesday 11 February 2015

Winning hearts and minds


Someone mentioned 'winning hearts and minds' on Twitter which had me reflecting, yet again, on the language we use and how the solution is often contained within the metaphor we're using.

Winning or influencing someones mind is covered in most influencing theories. It's also something we're all familiar with - facts and data presented in a way our or their mind finds pleasing.

To borrow a phrase from Star Trek 'my mind to your mind' - so the key is understanding how the other person's mind works (using its operating manual if you like) and presenting the information in a way that their mind finds easier to understand. 

Most of us get 'mind to mind' right if we just spend a little time thinking about our audience and their preferences

I then wondered about winning hearts. 

The obvious response, and one I've given many times here before, is - what motivates us is our values and these come from our heart. So if you want to win someones heart then find out what their values are and use those.

I realised as I responded to the tweet there was more to this phrase. 

You see I now wonder if a heart can be won over by mind alone (because whilst someones values are driven by their heart, our assessment of them and our application of them in our communication is driven by our mind).

If a heart can only be won over by another heart then it's no use leaving our heart outside when we walk into work (along with the rest of our soft skills). We have to take it with us and allow others to see, connect and feel our heart. 

Opening our heart at work isn't something many feel comfortable doing but if you're using the phrase "winning hearts and minds" something that's needed.

When will or did you last take your heart into work and use it?

Alison Smith
Inspiring change inside and out - when what you're doing isn't working

The language we use gives so much away about how we process information, our beliefs and our values. Which means it's also a great means of solving the problems too. Other blogs written on the subject include:

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