Read This Before Educating Your Business Sponsors

This article – How to debunk false beliefs without having it backfire – Vox.

The fundamental guidance here is to –

  • “Affirm that they’re not idiots… [so] that they don’t feel attacked” – I’ll add that you can never convince anyone of anything by treating them like idiots, let alone your sponsors
  • “… you can avoid [the phenomenon of people remembering only a false conclusion] if you ask people to tell us … when [they] felt really good about … whatever is important to the person in question. Then they become more receptive to a corrective message. And the reason is that it’s less threatening in that context.”
  • Or find an ally in the executive suite – “You get a liberal to talk to liberals and a conservative to talk to conservatives.”
  • “Superficially just throwing information at people probably will make them tune out”
  • “… you’ve got to get people the opportunity to deal with information in great depth. If you have a situation like a classroom where people are forced to sit down and pay attention, that’s when more information is helpful.” – This is where externally supplied consulting &/or training sponsored by execs is possibly the best way to start change in an organization
  • “… skepticism is extremely important. People who are skeptical about the motives of someone telling us something — that’s very important and fairly new…. Another thing that’s emerged more and more over time is the existence of backfire effects that if you tell people one thing, they’ll believe the opposite.”
  • Understand and embrace the fact that, “it’s very important for people to be skeptical and anticipate that people will be misleading to the public. Some of the misinformation that’s out there is not accidental.”

I would heartily recommend that you download this epub – http://www.skepticalscience.com/Debunking-Handbook-now-freely-available-download.html