Minority Influence Strategy

Changing People's Minds... Despite the Odds

The majority probably isn't as strong as it seems.

© iStockphoto/fotandy

"All in favor of Rick and Alison's solution, raise your hands."

"OK, accepted!"

Of course, Rick and Alison are pleased, but what really gives them satisfaction is that the other six members of the board had initially been opposed to their proposal when they first put it forward. So how did these two people turn the odds in their favor and persuade the others?

What they did was a classic example of "minority influence." This happens when a smaller group of people influences a larger group to act or think in a certain way. We often assume that the majority will have more influence than the minority, simply because of the law of numbers (there are more of them!) Yet it's undeniable that minority influence exists, and it can have far-reaching effects.

Minority Versus Majority Influence

Majority influence usually relies on compliance, conformity, and agreement. But minority influence involves another phenomenon known as...

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