“If you would persuade, you must appeal to interest rather than intellect.” (Benjamin Franklin)
We all like to say we make our decisions based on the facts. We carefully consider our options intellectually and choose based on objective reason. Or so we say.
The truth is, self-interest almost always plays a much bigger role in our decisions on some level or another. Even charitable acts have some level of self-interest tied to them. So why not tap into this truth when it comes to our relationships with others? I’m not talking about bribery; I’m talking about honesty.
Why should your kids do their homework? Because you told them to?
Why should your employees show up on time? Because they don’t want to disappoint you?
Why should your spouse do their share of the housework? Because they’re supposed to?
Helping people see how doing the right thing will ultimately benefit them helps them learn intrinsic motivation — which will serve them much better in the long run than demanding blind obedience.