Before we jump in, quick poll for ya: which of the following statements makes you feel more excited to keep reading?
A. After reading this post, you’ll know how to genuinely inspire people and motivate them to act!
B. If you don’t read this post, you’ll never be able to inspire or motivate others.
I don’t claim to be a mind reader, but I’m going to make the bold guess that option A leaves you feeling more fired up than option B.
So what is it about option A that feels more expansive and exciting than option B? And why does option B leave you feeling deflated, or maybe even intimidated? Well, there’s some compelling science behind the kind of language that *actually* motivates people to act…
Here’s the deal: human beings are generally programmed to want to fight for something more strongly than they want to fight against something.
This is because of the framing effect, a cognitive bias explained by good ol’ psychology.
The framing effect is when people react to information based on whether it’s presented positively or negatively.
Two psychologists first studied this effect in 1981 and discovered some striking results.
Check this out: participants were told to choose which treatment they’d administer to 600 people with a deadly disease.
When treatment A was described with a positive framing, (“200 lives will be saved”), 72% of participants said they’d administer this treatment.
But when it was framed negatively (“400 people will die”), only 22% of the participants chose treatment A.
The facts were the same, the only difference was how the information was FRAMED.
And this concept doesn’t just apply to big, overwhelming problems in our society, but also the day-to-day problems you’d like to solve at work, and the solutions you’d like others to invest in.
Your mission? Give people a future worth working toward, not one to avoid.
Think about it, which column would make you feel more inspired and motivated?
How to frame your message more positively
Bust out the pen and paper, it’s time to journal! ✍
Consider the following questions and jot down your answers. They’ll help to elicit the sort of positive language that’ll have your audience, or your team, rearing to get behind you and make your goals a reality.
Consider a project you’re working on or a service you’re selling:
- What will the recipient gain from this deliverable or partnership? List all of the benefits.
- What concerns or problems are they facing, and how can you position your deliverable or partnership as a solution?
Pro tip: Of course, sometimes there’s no way around bad news. You don’t wanna be disingenuous or fake just to stay inspiring, so how can you deliver negative information while remaining motivational?
To keep your audience inspired even in the face of bad news, manage conversational expectations by telling them upfront what they can expect to hear. Then, keep the rest of your message framed positively using the prompts above.
The bottom line? It’s all about getting others to see how bright and beautiful the future could be from your idea, not how dark and dismal it’ll be without.
So next time you’re looking to inspire team members, employees, or clients to take action, keep the framing effect in mind to do it with authenticity and ease!
Are you looking to up your virtual interviewing skills before the New Year?
We’re entering the height of interviewing season, and I want to help you rock your next virtual interview! I’m planning to host a workshop jam-packed with virtual interviewing tips … but I want to make sure you’d get exactly what you need.
>>>Please take 3 minutes to fill out this quick survey and let me know if you’d a) be interested in a virtual interview skills workshop in the coming months and b) which key aspects of the virtual interview you want to be able to navigate more effectively.
Managing nerves? Setting yourself up in your space so you can convey that natural credibility and confidence? Preparing what you’ll say (the actual talking points), so you don’t draw a blank or ramble on without a throughline? Distilling your story down into a concise, compelling narrative? Connecting with the recruiter or interviewer in a genuine way?
And in the meantime, keep inspiring those around you to seek solutions and build a better, brighter future. We need your ideas, your vision, and your inspiration more than ever.
All my love,
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