“Powerful people have confidence in what they are thinking. Whether their thoughts are positive or negative toward an idea, that position is going to be hard to change,” said Richard Petty, co-author of a new study* and professor of psychology at Ohio State University.
The best way to get leaders to consider new ideas is to put them in a situation where they don’t feel as powerful, the research suggests.
“If you temporarily make a powerful person feel less powerful, you have a better chance of getting them to pay attention,” said Pablo Briñol, lead author of the study and a social psychologist at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid in Spain. Briñol is a former postdoctoral fellow at Ohio State.
I believe, the best way to make them feel less powerful is to engage them with well thought out critique.