The Truth About Ladders

Truth about laddersI’m sure you’ve heard the superstition that it’s bad luck to walk under a ladder. Like many superstitions, it’s rooted in a real-world consequence.  The truth is, walking under ladders has nothing to do with luck - it’s just a bad idea.  It could fall, paint could splatter on you, or you could cause someone to fall off of it.  

But those points are almost worthless. You could promote the risk of walking under ladders until you are blue in the face, but no one will care.  But, add a story, a fable, some emotional connection and people often respond in a different way.  No one wants a lifetime of bad luck - that’s a curse!

Here’s the lesson... If you’re trying to change someone’s behavior, don’t be so direct about your points.  Repeating the risks of walking under ladders won’t help. Use a story that connects to some universal truth about the subject-at-hand.  Give people a way to see the high-level consequences of their behavior, good or bad, and they may identify with your words in a whole new way.