How Can Marketers Leverage The Psychology of Reframing an Argument?
We have all been there before – a discussion gets heated, you have a point you’d like to make, and your conversation partner appears to be unable to understand your perspective. What to do? As powerful as the art of persuasion may be, the odds are against you when things take a turn toward the argumentative. It takes time and a particular attitude for people to shift their beliefs authentically. Some exciting research indicates that reframing your point and positing a flip of perspective can increase your likelihood of convincing someone you’re right.
First things first – there is no way to reframe a perspective until you situate the existing “frames” used to structure a conversation. Psychologists talk about frames as a way we filter information or categorize meaning. I’ve written in the past about the importance psychological attunement plays in marketing – this is especially true when you are working to be persuasive or convincing to someone who is not inclined to believe you in the first place. If you treat a frame of reference as a way of seeing and evaluating a point of view, it becomes possible to reframe it. Frames come with value judgments, assignments of “good” or “bad,” and gut-reactions to quality. To ease someone from their frame to yours – and to take you seriously – you must first reframe your own position.
That is to say – instead of challenging others’ beliefs, instead find a way to connect your perspective to their ideas, show that you empathize, and then tease out the nuance of your argument. Change the stakes from “you win” vs. “I win” to expand your case and increase your validity. Share your concerns openly and offer a clear alternative that shows you’ve considered multiple solutions. Psychological research on reframing indicates that the key to winning an argument is first to show that you understand where your opponent is coming from – and then link the underlying feelings and beliefs that sustain their case to your argument.
If you’re looking for ways to bring persuasive tactics to life and tap into marketing that works with a sophisticated understanding of your target audience, ASTRALCOM wants to help you.