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The Magic of Changing People’s Minds – How To Do It! (IF You Can…) with Dr. Greg Moody, Chief Master Instructor

Transcript of: The Magic of Changing People’s Minds

The Magic of Changing People’s Minds – How To Do It! (IF You Can…) with Dr. Greg Moody, Chief Master Instructor

The Magic of Changing People’s Minds – How To Do It! (IF You Can…) with Dr. Greg Moody, Chief Master Instructor – Find how (actually IF) you can change people’s minds! This isn’t a mind-control trick, this is how to be a conscientious leader and help people learn and grow by improving the way they think.

This is part of the ongoing work at KarateBuilt Martial Arts that Sr. Master Sanborn, the instructors and I are developing around everyone with challenges.

We love sharing success stories!

I invite you to watch the Podcast Series in KarateBuilt Podcasts and also here is a written portion of the transcript of this podcast below…






Ch. Master Greg Moody, Ph.D.

Watch the Podcast:


Transcript of the Podcast:

Dr. Greg Moody, Chief Master Instructor:

Hey, everybody. Welcome to our podcast today, Success Training. We’re going to be talking about changing minds. I’ve talked to a lot of people in both my work in business, with work in martial arts, and my work in my counseling practice, and they talk to me a lot about, “Hey, I really would like to change somebody’s mind. I’d really like it if my partner would just think a different way. I’d really like it if so-and-so would change their minds about something.” And let’s talk about whether you can change somebody’s mind. Let’s get to it. It’s kind of an interesting topic because I think we often think it would be better if other people would think the way we do. So let’s talk about that a little bit.

This is a little bit about me if you haven’t watched one of our podcasts before, and here’s just one thing to think about a little bit. We just published a few new books. These are some specialized Life Skill books on one of our six life skills that we work on, and the beginning of a new series called Parent Action Plan. So you guys can check that out on Amazon. They’re published live and paperback and ebook.

So let’s talk about changing people’s mind. Can you change somebody’s mind? I think there’s a couple of flaws in this idea. I’m going to get to how you can help change somebody’s mind. So I will help you with that. But there’s a flaw in this, and one of them is the false consensus effect. And I’ll write this down in bigger letters here, I think will be helpful. But the false consensus effect is the idea that everybody thinks like me or everybody should think like me or that everybody would be better off… Let’s see if we get our letters better here. There we go. And we’re going to have red.

So false consensus. False consensus of facts is the idea that, “I think that everybody thinks the way I do. So if anybody thinks differently, they must just be making a mistake. They must just not see things correctly,” instead of having the idea that people might just think differently. People might have different experiences, worldviews, different preferences. They think food tastes differently. They prefer different colors. They prefer different types of people, different types of experiences. They may just be different. So the false consensus effect is the idea that if everybody knew things correctly, they would all think like me. So that is one idea that kind of clouds this thing that people would figure out… Let’s say I figure out my spouse, she doesn’t agree or he doesn’t agree. So if I just let them see the truth, they would think the right way. That’s a flawed idea.

So this happens a lot and it happens in business. “If the customer would just see the truth, then they would pay or they would buy.” Or as a parent, “If my kid would just see what the truth is, then they would act better. They would clean up their room because they would understand that it’s a really good idea to keep their room tidy,” which they have a different preference. They would rather not spend the time keeping the room tidy. So understanding that people may be different, act different, think different is a premise that is really hard for a lot of people.

So we’re going to talk about whether you can change somebody’s mind. So first thing is I’m going to give you some good news and bad news. I’m going to start with the bad news. The bad news is no, you can’t change anybody’s mind. I’m sorry. That is one premise that if I’m going to help you work with people about changing their mind, this is going to sound counterintuitive, you have to accept that you can’t change people’s mind. Seriously, that’s not really what you think. And if you look back at your experiences, you never really talked anybody into anything. You might’ve given them information, you might’ve done some of the things I’m going to talk about in a little bit. And I think you’re going to understand that you never really changed anybody’s mind. They probably wanted their mind to change in the first place because the good news is they can change their mind.

Now, how does this happen? It happens in two ways. And if you understand these two ways, you can be much more successful in getting you results you want and hopefully helping people get results they want. So this is how you again, can get the results you want, again, get the results you want because you’d like people to think differently. But the only way you’re going to do that is making sure that they get the results they want. So how does that happen? There’s only two ways that you can help people change their mind, again, help people change their mind, help them because they can change their mind. So there’s two ways. One way is if they have a desire, so they want to change their mind, and we’re going to talk about how that desire gets identified by you or what that desire means. So that’s the direct case. The direct case: you can change people’s minds, we’re going to talk about that.

The second one is, you might guess, at the indirect case, which is they discover, the discovery case. So directly, it’s based on their desire to have their mind changed. And then the indirect case is they discover something. So we’ll talk about both of those in some detail. So first of all, what is desire? And you guys know what desire is. But what do I mean by desire and direct? The first way somebody can change their mind is if they want to have their mind changed. So for example, they would come to you because you’re an authority. So let’s say they come to an authority figure and they don’t know something. They want to know something. They want to have, let’s say, a certain type of personal growth, or they’re desperate. That’s a desire. So, “My life isn’t working out the way I want it to work out. I need something to change. Something’s broken, something’s wrong, and I believe a certain way, but things aren’t working out right.”

Then I might go to an authority. I might read a book. The authority doesn’t have to be a person. I might try to learn something. I might try to take a class. I might fix something myself. So one desire end of the spectrum is desperation. The other end is they really have a desire for growth. So the positive end would be growth. I have a desire to be, let’s say a rocket scientist or I have a desire to be an astronaut, a desire to be a policeman. I have a desire to use what kids want to do when they grow up kind of examples. I have a desire to own my own business. I have a desire to graduate college and get a 4.0, but I’m struggling with school. I might have to break my beliefs. I might have to break the ideas that I currently have. I might have to change my mind. So if I have a growth thing that I want to do or desperate, I may have to change my mind.

Now, let’s use some pretty negative examples, somebody who has an addiction. When we talk about addiction recovery, people a lot of times have to get at what they call rock bottom. They have to get to a very desperate place in their life before they’re willing to make enough of a change. And so if you can imagine that scenario where they’re so desperate that they have to then make a change in what their thought process is. “I have to modify my behavior. I have to modify when my mind is telling me I need to get the drugs or I need to do whatever my addictive behavior is. Now I’m going to do something different than what I did before. I have to change my mind. I have to change the way I think.”

So desire allows an authority then, meaning you, if you notice somebody has a desire, then it’s okay for you to communicate directly. So that’s what I mean by direct. If somebody has a desire, your kid comes to you, they want to have help, a friend comes to you, they want to have help, your partner, your spouse comes to you, they want to have help, great. You can tell them, you can give them all the help you want. You can give them advice, you can give them coaching, you can give them direction. That’s not what I hear though when somebody says, “Well, if they would just think differently, they would feel differently.” That doesn’t usually work. Usually, if somebody is telling me that what they mean is they don’t want their mind changed, they’re comfortable. They’re not in desperation or growth. They may be a little uncomfortable, but they are pretty comfortable with their beliefs.

If somebody’s comfortable with their beliefs, you’re not going to be very successful giving them advice, and you’re not going to be successful giving them advice because of something called bias. There’s a lot of different biases. Good friend of mine, Grandmaster Stephen Oliver has a big chart in his office that has maybe 300 different biases. He and I like to talk about these, and one of them you’ve probably heard about is called confirmation bias. And what that means is if you believe something, if you believe for example, in a liberal view or a conservative view, or maybe you believe that aliens are all over the planet, you’re going to come up with evidence that there’s aliens all over the planet. When there’s dark things in the sky at night or lights come in the sky at night, you’re going to start attributing that to aliens. That doesn’t mean you’re right or wrong. Personally, I don’t think that’s correct, but you’re going to attribute evidence to confirm your beliefs. That’s what confirmation bias is.

So something called bias is going to keep you stuck unless you’re in a state of desperation or growth or one of these higher level change states. That’s when you can help people. So the message here is identifying when somebody’s in a desire state so that you can be direct. If they’re in a desire state, they want to change, then they’re willing to listen to you. If they’re not, you can’t be direct. If they’re not in a desire state, you cannot be direct.

Okay, let’s talk about the second one. Trying to make this short so you can have two really specific things to do. The second one is discovery. So that’s indirect. Now, you can have some effect here too. Discovery means that they weren’t looking for change. They may have been very stuck in their ways. They may not be thinking about changing their mind. And you could be, in this case, I’m sure you’ve had experiences like this too. This would be having experiences… Now, this could be an experience at school. This could be an experience at work. This could be when you were a kid. This could be as an adult, anytime, that doesn’t confirm, that doesn’t go along with your current belief. So you’re going to change your mind because the experience you had isn’t consistent with your current belief.

So what’s an example of that? Well, an example of that might be that maybe you think that you’re a boss, that to get your way, you have to yell at everybody. You think you have to yell at everybody and that’s the best way to run a company is just be that kind of manager, getting on people, getting on people, getting on people, and you yell at everybody. And maybe the experience that you had when you were working is the boss yelled at you, or maybe your parents yelled at you, but that’s how you learned to be a manager, that people yelled at you, that was the way it worked, and you yelled at people, yelled at people, yelled at people.

But then you came to work for a different boss, and you found that this boss never yelled at anybody. They never yelled at anybody. Or you saw another boss that maybe at your level they never yelled at anybody. And that person got better results and everybody liked them, and nobody quit in their department. And in your department, you noticed that people were quitting all the time. That could be an example of an experience. You noticed, nobody told you, nobody gave you any direction, nobody told you that you were a lousy manager. Maybe you got decent results, but this guy got better results and you noticed that he or she was not yelling at people. You noticed that he or she was going and talking to them and had a different process than you did. That would be an example of an experience. You learn something from that.

So there’s learning kind of experiences. There’s other kind of experiences you have too, like experiments. You might try your way and somebody else could try their way, and you notice that their way worked better. That would be a different way of having an experience. And then it breaks the current belief that you have. So it’s changing your belief through experiences and discoveries. Those are indirect things. Now, if you’re listening to this, the topic is how do you change somebody else’s mind? Well, you can create more experiences for them. If you’re a parent and you’re working with your kids, well, what do you do? We always talk about building self-confidence by creating more experiences for your kid, and then they build more confidence because they have more experiences and more skills. So this is a great way for them to discover also the way the world works and the way the world really works. And if they have a mindset that may not be in your view, correct, and you want to help them change their mind is help them through experience rather than just tell them that they’re wrong.

So one rule that should come out of this is the more resistant somebody is, or if they don’t want their mind changed, use indirect methods. Indirect methods mean experiences and questions and learning experiments and just not telling them what to do. If somebody’s interested in having their mind changed, it’s their idea, then we can use direct methods. So that’s the very simple version of that. Now, I realize that makes it very much less than simple because there’s an infinite amount of possibilities and an infinite amount of permutations of people having a mind to change that you want to interact with that we didn’t cover specific examples today. But that general rule about if people want their mind changed, if they want to come to you, if they want some help, you can be very direct. Go ahead.

If you want to change their mind and it’s not their idea, then experiences and discovery is the best way to do it. I know that sounds very simple, but it’s a good rule to follow. And hopefully from this talk that we’ve had today, you can see some different ways that you can apply those rules. I’m available for those of you who can work with me and we can talk about the specifics in different situations when we get to have a conversation about it. Of course, people can email me and we can talk about specific situations. Maybe we can share that in different ways on Facebook or different methods.

All right, let’s wrap up here and I’ll share the screen and we’ll talk about a couple last things to wrap up. Okay, so our wrap up here is can you change somebody’s mind? No, you can’t do it. You can’t just inject the new thoughts in. You can’t stick new thoughts in their head. The good news is, they can, and they can if they want you to. You can help either by doing it directly, if they want you to help them, if they want you to, or if they’re in an environment where they can experience some discovery. That’s the message today. Hope that was helpful and you can watch our Excuses one as well. That’s the next podcast that I recommend for you. And hope that was useful for everybody today. Hope you have a nice day and I look forward to next time. and KarateBuilt Martial Arts have been selected the nation’s #1 martial arts schools for EIGHT YEARS IN A ROW!

KarateBuilt L.L.C. was founded in 1995 by Dr. Greg Moody, an 8th degree Black Belt and Chief Master Instructor, KarateBuilt Martial Arts and Karate for Kids offers lessons for pre-school children ages 3-6 and elementary age kids ages 7 and up are designed to develop the critical building blocks kids need – specialized for their age group – for school excellence and later success in life.

KarateBuilt Martial Arts Adult Karate training is a complete adult fitness and conditioning program for adults who want to lose weight, get (and stay in shape), or learn self-defense in a supportive environment.

Instructors can answer questions or be contacted 24 hours of the day, 7 days a week at 866-311-1032 for one of our nationwide locations. You can also visit our website at

About Dr. Greg Moody:  Dr. Moody is an eighth-degree black belt and chief master instructor.  He has a Ph.D. in Special Education from Arizona State University (along with a Master’s Degree in Counseling and a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering – he actually is a rocket scientist). He has been teaching martial arts for over 25 years and has owned eight martial arts schools in Arizona and California. Chief Master Moody is a motivational speaker and educator and teaches seminars in bullying, business, and martial arts training, around the world. See more at

Dr. Moody is also a licensed psychotherapist and maintains a practice at Integrated Mental Health Associates ( where he specializes in couples therapy and men’s issues.

The KarateBuilt Martial Arts Headquarters at KarateBuilt LLC is in Cave Creek, Arizona at 29850 N. Tatum Blvd., Suite 105, Cave Creek AZ 85331. You can locate the Chief Instructor, Master Laura Sanborn there directly at ‭(480) 575-8171‬. KarateBuilt Martial Arts serves Cave Creek, Carefree, Scottsdale, and Paradise Valley Arizona as well as Grand Rapids, MI.

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P.S. From a parent:

“My son Herman was shy and nervous before he started. Now he’s the best in his class!!!!” –  Rhonda Johnson