The Power of Three

When we work with others such as employees or customers we often use a binary approach – yes or no, A or B, take it or leave it, ‘my way or the highway ‘.  I am sure you can think of many other examples. But is this the best approach to use if you want to engage and persuade other people?

Let’s look at the power of three.

The brain finds it relatively easy to grasp threes. As a child, everything you did and learned seemed to be centred around threes — A, B, C; 1, 2, 3; Three blind mice, Three musketeers, the Trinity, the Three Stooges etcetera.  So why should we give people three options instead of the binary/two-option approach?

If you give people two options the question they immediately ask themselves, even if they are not aware of doing this, is “Should I work with/buy from <Insert Your Company Name>?”  However, if give them three options you invoke a subtle but important change in their thinking to “How should I work with/buy from <Insert Your Company Name>?”  It is no longer of whether they should buy from you or not – and this does not necessarily engage their thinking or emotions; rather they are now comparing the different options to establish which one best suits their needs, this engages their thinking and feelings.  Doing this makes you and your options more interesting, more persuasive and they have influential – this helps you to differentiate yourself, and helps to improve your opportunity for success.

A further benefit is that you are more memorable.  We already shared a few examples of well known “threes” or triads.  No-one knows quite why this is, but the fact that because threes are more memorable and easier to recall they help you to influence people. When sharing information, making points, or emphasizing key facts put them in groups of three. The power of three will help you be more effective and memorable.

To view or download a PDF version of this blog  click here.

Share your thoughts and ideas here, or email me at andrew.cooke@business-gps.com.au

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Click here to find out more about Andrew Cooke and Growth & Profit Solutions.

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