In Mindstuck: Mastering the Art of Changing Minds, author Michael McQueen examines how people make up their minds and advises readers on how to persuade “even the most mindstuck people.”
“[W]hat stops people from changing—even when they want to change and know they should?” It’s not stubbornness or lack of intelligence, argues Australian change management consultant, bestselling author and popular speaker McQueen. Instead, it’s an insidious kind of mental inflexibility—the titular “mindstuck”ness—that stops us from making good decisions. We live in a time of overwhelming input, including access to essentially infinite information. “Overwhelm and obstinance,” he writes, “go hand in hand.”
This is bad for marketers, leaders, and anyone who wants his/her spouse to do the dishes more often. So how can we change minds, both in the workplace and in our personal relationships? By understanding how we get ourselves so entrenched in the first place. McQueen discusses advances in behavioral economics and social psychology and urges readers to understand the inquiring (thinking) vs. instinctive (simplistic, feeling) mind. Each chapter ends with persuasion tips as takeaways.
McQueen’s writing style is efficient and lively, and his points are convincing and well thought out. The broad approach gives the book wide appeal; because it can be used in either business or personal life, there are plenty of applications.
Ultimately, however, there’s not enough new here to make the book stand out; McQueen relies on standard studies and examples to make his case; for example, the story about world-famous violinist Joshua Bell playing unnoticed in a busy D.C. Metro station. Readers of Dan Ariely or Malcolm Gladwell or similar authors will already be familiar with most of the stories and points within.
That said, those new to the most popular approaches to persuasion will find plenty of interesting and helpful information imparted in these pages.
Also available in hardcover.