The Third Law

Chapter 3 busts the myth that common sense and reason are the best methods for selling an idea. A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that good ideas will people over, but this is not always true. If you have a good, rational idea, someone else might oppose it for any number of reasons. Maybe they fear change or don’t want you to succeed. Our book describes all kinds of ways that self-interest wins over logic and what to do about it.

Let’s bust some myths associated with prioritizing rational and logical thinking!
   False: Good ideas win, regardless of bad attitudes
Certain personality types are prone to opposing rational thinking when they believe that it is not in their interests: the pessimists (“it will fail anyhow”), contrarians (“I am right, not you”), passive-aggressive (“I will pretend to agree with you, but resent it and make you pay”), and so forth. When these kinds of personalities hold enough influence they create a social climate of opposition that can sabotage good ideas and actions.
   False: The best arguments and explanations are ultimately convincing
Even if you “prove” a point or make a compelling case for something, do not expect others to necessarily agree with you. Some individuals have concealed agendas that they consider much more important that sound reasoning and logical ideas.
   False: People willingly accept hardship for the common good
What is good for all is opposed by the few. Sure, sometimes people are willing to make small sacrifices for the common good, but larger sacrifices are usually met with resistance. Do not expect them to be impressed by “big picture” goals when individual self-interests are at stake.
   False: Rational ideas speak for themselves
It is sometimes a mistake to think things like, “People will appreciate my good ideas, regardless of whether they like me.” Many people judge the message by the messenger.
   False: Good reasons carry more weight than emotions
The process of making decisions almost always involves two things: emotion and cognition. If we only appeal to one of these things we are less likely to convince others of good ideas.
   Ignoring political implications
Just because an idea is rational does not mean it is politically expedient. If you push a good idea that is politically problematic, you will be perceived as an irritant by self-interested others who will find ways to oppose your efforts and perhaps you personally.
~ Phil Eager, L.M.H.C.