Maybe you’re trying to convince:

– Your spouse | to embrace the FIRE movement.

– Your teenage kids | to invest some of their summer job money in stocks.

– Your neighbor | to sell you their house in a private, off-market deal.

– Your boss | to give you more vacation time.

– Your client | to pay you more.

Today’s episode is about how to change minds, build trust, navigate conversations, and influence and persuade others.

We chat with Michael McQueen, a social researcher, strategist, and the author of 10 books.

He’s spoken alongside Bill Gates, Apple co-founder Steve Woznick and Dr. John C. Maxwell, and was named Australia’s Keynote Speaker of the Year. His latest book, Mindstuck, focuses on how to be more persuasive.

Here are some of the ideas we cover:

Stubbornness: We tend to be stubborn because of our inherent desire to protect our existing beliefs and identities. This is partly due to the fact that the human mind has a tendency to make quick judgments and resist challenges.

Logical Fallacy: People often rely on confirmation bias and tribalism when evaluating information. We tend to favor information that aligns with our existing beliefs and groups we identify with.

Complexity over Extremes: When presented with opposing viewpoints, exposure to extreme viewpoints can – counterintuitively – make people more entrenched in their own beliefs. Introducing complexity and nuance can foster a more open-minded approach.

Here are some of his tips:

Uncover the Hidden Fear:

We often hear people resist change. But McQueen suggests a deeper truth: people fear losing something valuable. This could be certainty in their beliefs, a sense of control, or even self-worth. When someone seems stubborn, recognize it might stem from fearing a loss like this.

Address the Loss Aversion:

Instead of just highlighting the benefits of change, acknowledge potential losses people might associate with it. Can you reassure them or show how the change won’t diminish their power, security, or self-esteem?

Use “Right and Reflect” to Get People Talking:

This technique helps people reflect on their own reasons for change. Here’s how:

  • Ask about willingness to change: Use a 1-10 scale, with 10 being most willing.
  • Reflect on their answer: Listen to their response and acknowledge their hesitation (e.g., “Sounds like a 3 out of 10. What concerns you?”).

This simple approach encourages people to explain their resistance, potentially revealing underlying fears. You can then address these concerns directly and work together on solutions.

Build Rapport and Choose the Right Moment:

Trust and rapport are crucial, especially in formal work settings. When facing disagreements:

  • Acknowledge the awkwardness: Let the other person know you understand the conversation might be difficult.
  • Start with humility: Avoid being overly assertive. Show willingness to hear their perspective.
  • Choose the right moment: Not all times are created equal. Pick a time when both parties are calm and receptive.

Frame Your Message for Impact:

The way you present information can significantly influence how it’s received. Here are two effective framing tips:

  • Align with values: Use language that resonates with the other person’s values and moral foundations.
  • Focus on the positive: Highlight positive aspects of the person or situation when giving feedback.

Move Beyond Persuasion and Focus on Progress:

The ultimate goal shouldn’t be to win an argument or force someone to agree with you. It’s about creating a space for open communication and exploration.

  • Focus on progress, not victory: Changing minds is a gradual process. Celebrate small wins and focus on making sustainable progress together.
  • Be open-minded and collaborative: Be open to considering the other person’s perspective and work collaboratively to find solutions.
  • Avoid manipulation: Ensure your goal is to benefit the other person, not just yourself. True persuasion comes from a place of genuine interest in helping others grow and improve.

McQueen elaborates on these tips in today’s podcast episode. Enjoy!

listen to afford anything on itunessubscribe on android afford anything

Thanks to our sponsors!

If you’re looking for amazing talent to bolster your team, you need Indeed. Go to for a $75 job credit to upgrade your listing and start hiring today.

Diversify your business by selling physical and digital products through Shopify’s all-in-one platform. Go to for $1/month trial and get full access to Shopify’s entire suite of features.

Quince offers a range of high-quality items at prices within reach. Go to for free shipping on your order and 365-day returns.

Wayfair is the go-to destination for everything home, no matter your style or budget. Every style is welcome in the Wayborhood. Visit or get the Wayfair mobile app.