It’s the reason you plan to wake up early to exercise, but end up hitting snooze instead. It’s also the reason all the facts, stats and graphs in the world can make your audience change.
“Perched atop the Elephant, the Rider holds the reins and seems to be the leader. But the Rider’s control is precarious because the Rider is so small relative to the Elephant. Anytime the six-ton Elephant and the Rider disagree about which direction to go, the Rider is going to lose. He’s completely overmatched.”
– Chip Heath & Dan Heath, Switch
The Rider is a rational, logical, long-term thinker. The Elephant is emotional and driven by immediate wants and needs.
When you’ve done your research and are getting ready to share a message that demands change, you can’t rely on speaking to the Rider alone. If the Elephant isn’t on your side, the Rider will be helpless.
This is why stories, music and art are essential if you want your idea to gain traction.
You have to tickle the Elephant.