How can we influence and persuade employees to adopt new ideas and practices? By applying the Champfrogs Checklist!
A few years ago, after our wedding, Raoul and I jumped onto the Trans‑Siberia Express from Moscow to Beijing. I’m very sure that few people can claim they spent their honeymoon sleeping in a yurt (Mongolian tent), sitting on a horse three sizes to small, waiting for the river water to evaporate from the engine of a 4WD, or squatting pants-down over a hole in the ground in the middle of the vast Mongolian steppe. (Don’t worry, I won’t visualize everything of that story.)
Some of our friends were envious. Why? Because it is different. Drinking fermented horse milk, instead of champagne, on your honeymoon is… remarkable. The experts call this the Contrast Principle, Differentiation, or being a Purple Cow (Seth Godin).
I thought we were just Out of Our Fricking Minds.
Contrast Amplifies Influence
Contrast amplifies influence, according to the researchers (To Sell Is Human, Daniel Pink). When you want to get people interested in your idea, it has to feel like something that people are already aware of, and yet something about it must be different enough to be noticed. My horse was just another horse, but with the extra feature of being able to stop it by planting my feet on the ground. Happy Melly is just another business, but it has a funny logo, cool animated videos, and a Constitution instead of a Contract. Familiar, and yet remarkable (The Impact Equation, Chris Brogan).
People take great pleasure in being confronted with something novel and intriguing (Pitch Anything, Oren Klaff). As successful creative networkers we show our fellow workers that our ideas are remarkable, but not too weird to try out. We intentionally create a sense of wonder and surprise (Contagious, Jonah Berger]. We invite curiosity, by asking ourselves:
Is our idea remarkable?
Some of our friends will be returning this week from the same Transsiberian/Mongolian trip that we made two years ago.
We influenced them.
- Also read: The 40 Best Influence & Persuasion Books
This is part 1 of a 10-part series about the Champfrogs Checklist, a simple tool for change agents to match their ideas for change with people’s intrinsic motivation and desires. The full checklist consists of Curiosity, Honor, Acceptance, Mastery, Power, Freedom, Relatedness, Order, Goal, and Status. The Champfrogs Checklist article is available for download via the Management Workout mailing list.