We all follow like sheeps

Grandpas do not graffiti on walls in their neighbourhood. But what would it take for them to? Yes, you read right. Spoiler alert, the answer is not “this is impossible”.

One of my idol, Malcolm Gladwell, has the podcast called « revisionist history ». In one episode he talks about the threshold for someone to do something that looks “ridiculous”. Let’s go back to your grandpa. If he sees enough people doing graffiti on the walls in the neighbourhood he will go and do it. Why? This is how we are wired, and this is how we survived for so long. If cavemen/women saw one of them eat a berry and die, they would not go and eat the same type of berry. In a similar way, if your grandpa sees everyone tagging walls in the neighbourhood and nothing bad happen to them, eventually even the most rule follower grandpa is going to follow. The key for this to happen is to understand what is the threshold. The threshold is the number of people who have to do something before you do it. This is also what people call the sheep following mentality.

But how do we use it in negotiations? How do we use it to influence people? It is simple, find out how many people it would take to do something to convince the one person you want to influence to also do it. Sounds easy right? The tricky part is the how. This video is funny and very instructive.

Someone who seemed totally crazy at first then becomes normal when everybody joins in, and suddenly the ones not joining are looking odd.

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