How to Convince Someone to do the Right Thing (Includes “Basic Instructions” Cartoon!)

Scott Meyer's Basic Instructions cartoon strip offers great advice via funny (and nicely-penned) cartoons. In the below recent cartoon, which Scott kindly gave me permission to reprint, he shows how to help someone overcome procrastination. Below the cartoon is my analysis and interpretation of each frame. The TOP LEFT FRAME offers an excellent illustration of the principle that our reasons for procrastinating are always valid. So, the thing to do when you're procrastinating is to skip the whole "What's wrong with me?" shame spiral, and simply ask yourself, "Why?" In the cartoon, Goatee Guy helpfully does this for Hoodie Man. Then, Goatee helpfully affirms the validity of Hoodie's concern ("a big expensive hassle"), while reminding him that procrastination isn't the best response. In the TOP RIGHT FRAME Goatee listens carefully as Hoodie explains his position. Listening is respectful, yields useful information, and also helps the other person be more accepting of your information and viewpoint. (My … [Read more...]