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The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone's Mind

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From the author of New York Times bestsellers Contagious and Invisible Influence comes a revolutionary approach to changing anyone’s mind. Everyone has something they want to change. Marketers want to change their customers’ minds and leaders want to change organizations. Start-ups want to change industries and nonprofits want to change the world. But change is hard. Often, From the author of New York Times bestsellers Contagious and Invisible Influence comes a revolutionary approach to changing anyone’s mind. Everyone has something they want to change. Marketers want to change their customers’ minds and leaders want to change organizations. Start-ups want to change industries and nonprofits want to change the world. But change is hard. Often, we persuade and pressure and push, but nothing moves. Could there be a better way? This book takes a different approach. Successful change agents know it’s not about pushing harder, or providing more information, it’s about being a catalyst. Catalysts remove roadblocks and reduce the barriers to change. Instead of asking, “How could I change someone’s mind?” they ask a different question: “Why haven’t they changed already? What’s stopping them?” The Catalyst identifies the key barriers to change and how to mitigate them. You’ll learn how catalysts change minds in the toughest of situations: how hostage negotiators get people to come out with their hands up and how marketers get new products to catch on, how leaders transform organizational culture and how activists ignite social movements, how substance abuse counselors get addicts to realize they have a problem, and how political canvassers change deeply rooted political beliefs. This book is designed for anyone who wants to catalyze change. It provides a powerful way of thinking and a range of techniques that can lead to extraordinary results. Whether you’re trying to change one person, transform an organization, or shift the way an entire industry does business, this book will teach you how to become a catalyst.


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From the author of New York Times bestsellers Contagious and Invisible Influence comes a revolutionary approach to changing anyone’s mind. Everyone has something they want to change. Marketers want to change their customers’ minds and leaders want to change organizations. Start-ups want to change industries and nonprofits want to change the world. But change is hard. Often, From the author of New York Times bestsellers Contagious and Invisible Influence comes a revolutionary approach to changing anyone’s mind. Everyone has something they want to change. Marketers want to change their customers’ minds and leaders want to change organizations. Start-ups want to change industries and nonprofits want to change the world. But change is hard. Often, we persuade and pressure and push, but nothing moves. Could there be a better way? This book takes a different approach. Successful change agents know it’s not about pushing harder, or providing more information, it’s about being a catalyst. Catalysts remove roadblocks and reduce the barriers to change. Instead of asking, “How could I change someone’s mind?” they ask a different question: “Why haven’t they changed already? What’s stopping them?” The Catalyst identifies the key barriers to change and how to mitigate them. You’ll learn how catalysts change minds in the toughest of situations: how hostage negotiators get people to come out with their hands up and how marketers get new products to catch on, how leaders transform organizational culture and how activists ignite social movements, how substance abuse counselors get addicts to realize they have a problem, and how political canvassers change deeply rooted political beliefs. This book is designed for anyone who wants to catalyze change. It provides a powerful way of thinking and a range of techniques that can lead to extraordinary results. Whether you’re trying to change one person, transform an organization, or shift the way an entire industry does business, this book will teach you how to become a catalyst.

30 review for The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone's Mind

  1. 4 out of 5

    David Wineberg

    No one is ever satisfied with others. Everyone wants others to change. It’s the way of the world, from social programs to closed-minded managers to sales reps to elections. Everyone wants everyone else to see it their way. Jonah Berger tries to bring successful change tactics to this conundrum in The Catalyst. I’m not sure he succeeds. He needs to apply them to me, I guess. The book is a collection of tactics, assembled in anecdotes. People all over the world try new approaches to old problems, a No one is ever satisfied with others. Everyone wants others to change. It’s the way of the world, from social programs to closed-minded managers to sales reps to elections. Everyone wants everyone else to see it their way. Jonah Berger tries to bring successful change tactics to this conundrum in The Catalyst. I’m not sure he succeeds. He needs to apply them to me, I guess. The book is a collection of tactics, assembled in anecdotes. People all over the world try new approaches to old problems, and sometimes they succeed. The change agents don’t have to be academics or professionals. They just have to think outside the box. Sometimes you can move mountains that way. It starts off well, telling readers they might be asking the wrong questions. What they really should be asking is: “Why weren’t people doing this in the first place? What was stopping them?” This puts any problem in a very different light, and can lead to innovative approaches. As opposed to telling them they’re just wrong and this other way is clearly and obviously better. Could be smoking or gay rights or politics; persistent badgering does not work. My favorite example of breaking down a firm conviction comes from Thailand, where a local health initiative with essentially no money used children to ask for a light for their cigarette. Many of the smokers they approached refused and actually lectured the kids on the dangers of smoking. At which point the children handed them a small piece of paper, folded in four, which contained the contact information for the health center that wanted to help them quit. Apparently the phones lit up continuously all throughout the campaign and continued to long after. All the ads in the world couldn’t change their minds over decades, but a child pointing out their own hypocrisy did the trick. The basic problem is that people don’t like to be told what to do; they like to think it’s their own decision. So hammering them doesn’t work and often simply reinforces their stand. Finding common ground and switching the scenario to the one at hand can succeed far more effectively. Berger has a small shopping list of tactics that have worked for someone, somewhere, at some point. But not always and not everywhere. As in so many of these summary books, the author has stacked the anecdotes to make their points. Because hindsight is so keen. But you could just as easily use the same evidence to come to the opposite conclusion. For example, in the Brexit referendum, you might think that leaving would be too much of a change, taking voters out of their zone of acceptance – the range of possibilities voters might find acceptable. Or you might find the slogan “Take Back Control” was so appealing, it overcame the lies put forward on the famous red campaign bus (It claimed Britain contributed more than twice as much to Europe as it actually did). Or you might say the lies fooled voters into thinking they were making a genuine decision on their own. On the other hand, confirmation bias would have had voters thinking why they should believe any of this at all. Consider the source – Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson… And on still another hand, the force of inertia is dependable for rejection of radical change. No matter how bad things are, better the devil you know. Then, there’s reactance. Spouting all these supposed negative effects and figures would normally reinforce voters’ positions coming in, as Leave was the strange new concept after 50 years of European co-operation. And since polls showed all along that voters would choose Remain (by ever-narrowing margins, it is true), the bleatings of the Leave crowd should have just reinforced the will to Remain. So all of these (italicized) factors that Berger employs to change minds come into play in Brexit. How to evaluate their effectiveness? Berger gives the impression it was the slogan Take Back Control that changed minds most. Leave won, of course, but only a quarter of eligible voters chose Leave, as two thirds weren’t even moved enough to vote. So it hardly caused a major shift in public opinion. The point is, you can find a scenario that works and proves the method – after the fact. The book includes the heartwarming stories of a rabbi and his wife who turned a Klansman threatening their lives, by offering him help, which apparently no one had ever done before. And a Florida canvasser who turned a macho South American from voting against transgender rights by revealing herself as gay, and empathizing with the discrimination the man was going through because his wife was disabled. So it definitely has its moments. They boil down to a common basis: To truly change something, you need to understand it. The Catalyst is harmed by Berger’s longwinded setups that seem to say the reader knows nothing and everything must be spoonfed at length in the most basic terms. He makes it too easy to skip ahead. It also suffers from cutesy management speak. Rather than be straight with readers, Berger creates the totally forgettable acronym REDUCE to encompass reactance endowment distance uncertainty corroborating-evidence. Great for consultants, not so much for book buyers. It becomes yet worse when he writes cheesy things like if you’re stepping on the gas and making no forward movement, check the parking brake. So The Catalyst is a mixed bag: an eyeroller as well as an inspiration. David Wineberg

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nicole Chinnici

    Have you ever wanted to change someone’s mind? Of course you have! The premise for The Catalyst is that pressure or pushing people often doesn’t get them to do what you want. But utilizing catalysts, or change agents, can reduce barriers to help change minds in the toughest situations, and identifies those key barriers and how to mitigate them. This has an intriguing concept, clear writing, and a straightforward structure. It lays out five barriers to change, and each is the subject of its own c Have you ever wanted to change someone’s mind? Of course you have! The premise for The Catalyst is that pressure or pushing people often doesn’t get them to do what you want. But utilizing catalysts, or change agents, can reduce barriers to help change minds in the toughest situations, and identifies those key barriers and how to mitigate them. This has an intriguing concept, clear writing, and a straightforward structure. It lays out five barriers to change, and each is the subject of its own chapter where it is discussed at length, along with anecdotes and case studies. But the applicable points are scattered in a way that suggests the intended audience is entirely too broad. In fact, the introduction states that “this book is designed for anyone who wants to change minds.” Unfortunately, it is not quite long or specific enough to carry out out this intention. Instead, some tactics shown work better on an individual level while others make much more sense for business. Focusing on a particular audience would have, I believe, made this much stronger. My other issue with The Catalyst is that it draws conclusions in the anecdotes and case studies that may not be entirely true. As the saying goes, hindsight is 20/20. While his theories may be possible, in some cases it is hard to know for certain what actually changed people’s minds. That all said, I both enjoyed reading The Catalyst and learned a couple things along the way. I wouldn’t suggest reading this to learn how to persuade absolutely anyone to do anything but if the subject matter interests you, it’s worth a quick read. *Thanks to the publisher for providing an arc of this edition via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jake

    I liked the psychological tips for better communication. I didn't love the business/marketing speak, although most people who read this will dig that side, I suspect. It gave me a few things to ponder. Thanks to goodreads for the free copy.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Dora Okeyo

    Have you ever come across any content on "The Art of Persuasion?" Now, this book right here is 194 pages of intrigues and exploration of the things that bar people from changing. I love how the author explores these barriers to change while focusing on the people, so much so that it's not about the one who wants to change another, but more about getting the other to be open towards changing themselves. I love this. The author at some point shares that "People are willing to consider different per Have you ever come across any content on "The Art of Persuasion?" Now, this book right here is 194 pages of intrigues and exploration of the things that bar people from changing. I love how the author explores these barriers to change while focusing on the people, so much so that it's not about the one who wants to change another, but more about getting the other to be open towards changing themselves. I love this. The author at some point shares that "People are willing to consider different perspectives up to a certain point, but beyond that things get ignored." This little nugget of wisdom resonated with me because I work with communities in rural Kenya getting them to collaborate to identify, implement and sustain infrastructure projects and what's key in my role is persuading these communities, getting them to maintain that interest from the first time we meet to when we commission a project. So, simply put, I am inspired to apply the insights gained in reading this book to my work. Thank you Netgalley for the eARC. PS: I love the cover as well.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

    Really interested dive into what prevents people from adopting new ideas, and how to nudge them along. (Hint: it's not spewing more facts at them.) Definitely want to revisit these ideas and work on applying them in my negotiations.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Rima

    This book is well written and easy to understand. The examples provided were practical and backed by good research. There was nothing super surprising to me, pretty much human nature. Some spots were repetitive but overall enjoyed the read. I would like to thank NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Marta

    This is a quick read and provides a good overview of ways to overcome resistance, but the examples and case studies seem very oversimplified.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kathy Cowie

    to be reviewed in the March-April issue of Global Business and Organizational Excellence.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Roxanne

    The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone’s Mind by Jonah Berger was one of my pre-pandemic book grabs knowing I’d be holed up for awhile. I mean, tough to resist the temptation to become a Svengali, right? And while I don’t consider myself a mover and shaker type, Berger’s book can be applied to non-business relationships as well. Berger’s organization of chapters and methodical data driven approaches make the book palatable. Reactance deals with people’s resistance to change, endowment deals with how The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone’s Mind by Jonah Berger was one of my pre-pandemic book grabs knowing I’d be holed up for awhile. I mean, tough to resist the temptation to become a Svengali, right? And while I don’t consider myself a mover and shaker type, Berger’s book can be applied to non-business relationships as well. Berger’s organization of chapters and methodical data driven approaches make the book palatable. Reactance deals with people’s resistance to change, endowment deals with how many of us prefer mediocre and inactive rather than change’s inherent risk. Distance confirms that unless we look for a moveable middle, two opposing forces will remain thusly polar. Uncertainty helps explain to businesses how to make change easier for folks, giving them free trials and low risk mini commitments. Last Corroborating Evidence explains how interventions have success with addicts, but that sprinkling multiple suggestions to prospective customers might also lead to change. What struck me most about Catalyst was its Epilogue, where Berger highlights a Bill Clinton led 1993 Peace Accord Meeting between the Israeli and Palestinian Leaders. Clinton’s comments that day highlighted that the most important group in the audience were the teens from Seeds of Peace Camp, a Maine based summer camp which takes teens of both groups and has them work together and separately for three weeks. The bottom line is that teens got to see others of the ‘opposing’ camp as individual human beings. And as Berger ends the book, to truly change someone’s mind starts with understanding. As we all head back to work and play, there has never been a more important note for all of us to consider. We are all fallible and lovable human beings. Pretty great advice from a ‘business’ book, huh?

  10. 4 out of 5

    Thomas

    In chemistry, the purpose of a catalyst is simple: to reduce the energy needed for a reaction. In his third book, marketing consultant and professor Jonah Berger applies this concept to his world of marketing and persuasion. The titular “Catalyst” is a person who changes minds not by overloading with facts and figures, but by removing roadblocks and breaking down the barriers to change. Berger prescribes his recipe for inciting change through acronym: REDUCE—reduce Reactance, ease Endowment, shri In chemistry, the purpose of a catalyst is simple: to reduce the energy needed for a reaction. In his third book, marketing consultant and professor Jonah Berger applies this concept to his world of marketing and persuasion. The titular “Catalyst” is a person who changes minds not by overloading with facts and figures, but by removing roadblocks and breaking down the barriers to change. Berger prescribes his recipe for inciting change through acronym: REDUCE—reduce Reactance, ease Endowment, shrink Distance, alleviate Uncertainty, and find Corroborating Evidence. “The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone’s Mind” includes nothing groundbreaking, but its clear presentation and convincing evidence make it a helpful read for anyone wanting to change minds. Each chapter elaborates on a letter of the acronym and provides practical strategies to implement change. Berger explores techniques used by hostage negotiators and early e-sales pioneers like Amazon and Zappos and how people have done what truly seems impossible these days: changed political parties. He shows how catalysts help to alleviate the pains of change and make it easier for those involved to adopt a new product or way of thinking. The section on Corroborating Evidence reminded me of what we do here on Goodreads: provide reviews from multiple trustworthy sources to help us decide what books to read. “The Catalyst” is written to be accessible and applicable to a broad audience and Berger hits the mark. It is easy to extrapolate its strategies to use in your own life, or at least to better understand the ways that marketers and change-makers do what they do. As an arts marketer, it helped me to clarify my thinking about decision-making and to structure key marketing ideas in a simple way. Finally, thank you to NetGalley, Simon & Schuster, and the author for providing an advance copy in exchange for my review. Happy publication day! Overall: “The Catalyst” is a practical guide for making change, wherever you may need it. ★★★★ ½ .

  11. 5 out of 5

    Robert Sparrenberger

    I really enjoyed this one. It goes into reasons and explanations for changing a persons mind. It’s applicable at home and at work. The explanations were interesting and as I read I found myself considering the state of the world currently and how they might apply. A pop science kind of book. Worth a look.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ben Rogers

    Enjoyed this one. Not as inspiring as Jonah's other books. Still I enjoyed a bunch of it. Freemium! 3.7/5

  13. 5 out of 5

    Shannon Wise

    If you have a job where you need agreement. If you are tired of arguing with relatives over the same things. If you just want to know how to sway people without pushing. Read this book. It has completely changed the way I'm going to deal with people. Jonah Berger gives you tools to use to get people to say yes. He also explains why people tend to say no to new things. It provides solid tools and techniques to bridge gaps without making people angry. He gives you a road map to overcome even the m If you have a job where you need agreement. If you are tired of arguing with relatives over the same things. If you just want to know how to sway people without pushing. Read this book. It has completely changed the way I'm going to deal with people. Jonah Berger gives you tools to use to get people to say yes. He also explains why people tend to say no to new things. It provides solid tools and techniques to bridge gaps without making people angry. He gives you a road map to overcome even the most solid objections. Even if I never use any of the tools consciously, I now understand why people feel the way they do. That is immensely helpful, especially when I teach. This book doesn't have to be used for politics, sales, or marketing. It can be used in every day life. To get your teenager to clean his room or a toddler to eat her vegetables. I will be recommending this book to everyone. There is something useful in it for everyone. Mr. Berger's writing style is conversational and he makes the data he uses to back his points easy to understand with anecdotes about each topic. I won this book from Goodreads and received no compensation in exchange for this review. The opinions expressed herein are mine and mine alone.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Greg

    This book has a straight forward answer on how to change anyone’s mind. The concepts are really well explained and enough examples are provided to strengthen the ideas. I also like that the book is written in an easy to understand manner. It is not too informal but also not too academic. It is just right. I also appreciate that the concepts are well researched. Readers can see the citation of other materials on which this book is based. More importantly this book is timeless.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Alexandria

    Well written and easy to understand, however, the material covered is nothing groundbreaking.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Oktay Yagiz

    Kind of text-bookish though compelling in style. Expertly laid out. Rubs in through systematic repetition to how to: reduce reactance, ease endowment, shrink distance, alleviate uncertainty, and find corroborating evidence.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Deedi Brown (DeediReads)

    All my reviews live at https://deedispeaking.com/reads/. TL;DR REVIEW: The Catalyst is a helpful, well-researched book about lowering the barriers of resistance in people’s minds. There were some really good nuggets in there that I will probably use quite often. For you if: You like big idea nonfiction and work in marketing, non-profit work, politics, or another industry where you are trying to persuade. FULL REVIEW: I was drawn to The Catalyst mostly because Jonah Berger wrote it. I really liked his All my reviews live at https://deedispeaking.com/reads/. TL;DR REVIEW: The Catalyst is a helpful, well-researched book about lowering the barriers of resistance in people’s minds. There were some really good nuggets in there that I will probably use quite often. For you if: You like big idea nonfiction and work in marketing, non-profit work, politics, or another industry where you are trying to persuade. FULL REVIEW: I was drawn to The Catalyst mostly because Jonah Berger wrote it. I really liked his book Contagious: Why Things Catch On and found it useful, so I was happy to read his latest. Much like Contagious, I found this book to be helpful and useful. It’s also a quick read. The Catalyst talks about why the human brain has a tendency to dig its heels in, cling to what it already knows, and resist change. Then it breaks down five techniques to help lower those barriers to help people feel more open and comfortable with the idea of changing their minds. Berger uses engaging stories and examples and cites a ton of research to bring it all to life. Sometimes when I read big idea nonfiction, I’m not sure if the author is telling me something that I implicitly already knew, or they are just good at writing so that their conclusions feel natural and believable. I think it’s a bit of both, especially with this book. I conceptually understood a lot of his points before, I think, but he’s packaged them in a way that turns those things into tools. In my day job, I write longform marketing content for a financial services start-up, so we are always trying to change behavior (to help people live their best lives!). I have already found myself thinking about pieces of this book in my day-to-day. CONTENT WARNINGS: Within his examples — Hateful language directed at religious groups (e.g., Islamophobia, antisemitism); Transphobia and trans misogyny; Homophobia and heterosexism

  18. 4 out of 5

    Carla Bayha

    All of us know someone whose mind we want to change: the friend who believes in conspiracy theories, the customer who thinks wearing a face mask in a pandemic is a worthless gesture, the housemate who keeps everything they ever bought, because it might be useful someday, and the boss who always sides with the consultants instead of their employees. Using research drawn from psychology and behavioral economics, Berger translates principles into future actions using the easy to remember acronym RE All of us know someone whose mind we want to change: the friend who believes in conspiracy theories, the customer who thinks wearing a face mask in a pandemic is a worthless gesture, the housemate who keeps everything they ever bought, because it might be useful someday, and the boss who always sides with the consultants instead of their employees. Using research drawn from psychology and behavioral economics, Berger translates principles into future actions using the easy to remember acronym REDUCE: Reactance, Endowment, Distance, Uncertainty, and Corroborating Evidence. Not all of these roadblocks to change will have strategies that will work in all instances, although sometimes they can work in tandem. The author uses some unexpected examples: the effectiveness of the slogan "Keep America Great," for instance shows the power of the endowment principle as surely as working with a family member reluctant to upgrade their software or clean out their closet. For fans of Malcolm Gladwell, Charles Duhigg, and even Gretchen Rubin, because sometimes the person whose mind you want to change is yourself.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ann

    I may not read a lot of business books, but I do see a fair number of nonfiction book proposals, and I would hold this book up as a classic how-to in terms of structure. It seems like a smart cataloging of strategies to help begin the process to change someone's mind. It did not seem ground-breaking, but nonetheless helpful in articulating the barriers and in suggesting the steps to becoming a catalyst. I enjoyed the anecdotes and case studies, though I wasn't sure that all of them were the righ I may not read a lot of business books, but I do see a fair number of nonfiction book proposals, and I would hold this book up as a classic how-to in terms of structure. It seems like a smart cataloging of strategies to help begin the process to change someone's mind. It did not seem ground-breaking, but nonetheless helpful in articulating the barriers and in suggesting the steps to becoming a catalyst. I enjoyed the anecdotes and case studies, though I wasn't sure that all of them were the right tool for the job. If I were in sales and marketing, I would definitely give The Catalyst a skim, if not a full-fledged read. Perhaps I'll be surprised at how helpful this book's concepts are in my future. [I received a copy of this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.]

  20. 5 out of 5

    Dawn Porter

    #The Catalyst: How To Change Anyone's Mind # Jonah Berger This book has a different twist to the usual ideas of how to influence and change other peoples' or organizations' mind and behavior. It is presented in straight forward, easy to follow and helpfully laid out format that takes the reader through the five basic principles to facilitate change. Each principal is fully explained then is illustrated by a case study example. The general premise is about actively listening to determine what the #The Catalyst: How To Change Anyone's Mind # Jonah Berger This book has a different twist to the usual ideas of how to influence and change other peoples' or organizations' mind and behavior. It is presented in straight forward, easy to follow and helpfully laid out format that takes the reader through the five basic principles to facilitate change. Each principal is fully explained then is illustrated by a case study example. The general premise is about actively listening to determine what the barriers to change are and assist in removing them. The only drawback is that it's a little dry but it's still very informative and worth reading. This is a good book for anyone who wishes to be a catalyst to change on any level. 4 out of 5 stars

  21. 5 out of 5

    Christa Van

    Ha, if this were only a 5 or 6 page prescription that was guaranteed to work, we would be on our way to the biggest era of change in the history of the world. Of course it doesn't work that way. What motivates some people does not motivate them all. The psychology behind the motivations of people and resistance are fascinating. Although everything seems pretty simple in the examples, real life is messier and implementing these suggestions won't be simple. Of course it is always good to learn abo Ha, if this were only a 5 or 6 page prescription that was guaranteed to work, we would be on our way to the biggest era of change in the history of the world. Of course it doesn't work that way. What motivates some people does not motivate them all. The psychology behind the motivations of people and resistance are fascinating. Although everything seems pretty simple in the examples, real life is messier and implementing these suggestions won't be simple. Of course it is always good to learn about new possibilities and methods to improve communication and hopefully bring people along when change is necessary. I listened to part of the audio book which was fine but got bogged down in some of the details so switched to the print version.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Monte Lamb

    This book creates a model for how to try to change someone's mind on some subject. I am not giving this a higher rating because I thought the model was not so easy to implement. It could also be I didn't give the book the time needed to study it in more depth and I am willing to admit this. I am familiar with social science models for dealing with problems, making sales, and the like. This attempts to do the same thing for changing something. It is not a long read, so read it for yourselves and This book creates a model for how to try to change someone's mind on some subject. I am not giving this a higher rating because I thought the model was not so easy to implement. It could also be I didn't give the book the time needed to study it in more depth and I am willing to admit this. I am familiar with social science models for dealing with problems, making sales, and the like. This attempts to do the same thing for changing something. It is not a long read, so read it for yourselves and maybe it will be more meaningful to you. It is a difficult subject to tackle so if it helps someone, it that's a success. Maybe I am just a knucklehead.

  23. 5 out of 5

    James Hendrickson

    I really like Jonah Berger but this felt sloppy in comparison to Contagious. A lot of the ideas have been covered in other books so there wasn’t a lot that was new here. The writing was very good and the stories were compelling and interesting. I don’t know how you can write this book and assume that all of these ideas will be applied for good. These things can be used for great harm and that wasn’t covered. It felt like the author assumed that everyone reading it would have a post industrial neo I really like Jonah Berger but this felt sloppy in comparison to Contagious. A lot of the ideas have been covered in other books so there wasn’t a lot that was new here. The writing was very good and the stories were compelling and interesting. I don’t know how you can write this book and assume that all of these ideas will be applied for good. These things can be used for great harm and that wasn’t covered. It felt like the author assumed that everyone reading it would have a post industrial neo liberal world view. It felt very myopic to assume that these ideas would fuel greater food and acceptance in the world and not cause harm.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone’s Mind by Jonah Berger is a quick, interesting read on dealing with others in a way that opens up communication beyond being persuasive or forceful in the exchange. Berger is thoughtful, providing a well researched book validating his points with poignant examples and my favorite, Notes with applicable resources. The big takeaway is easing uncertainty by dealing with roadblocks. #GoodreadsGiveaway

  25. 5 out of 5

    Chris Boutté

    Jonah Berger is one of my favorite authors when it comes to analyzing human behavior, so I just had to get this book on launch day. It was fascinating, and I binged it within the first 24 hours. This book, as well as his others, aren’t just for marketing. It’s easy to see the wide application of these strategies. For me, it helped me figure out ways to help people want to improve their mental health.

  26. 4 out of 5

    James Rolle

    The Catalyst is a very compelling look at how to change peope's minds - in any contenxt or situation - by first understanding what is preventing them from change, and then using a soft approach. The book provides a roadmap for approaching a wide variety of situations where you might want or need to convince people to change, and gives specific techniques, supported by numerous examples of how these have worked in real life. The footnotes are alos extensive.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Anne Janzer

    If you've tried, without success, to cross divides of beliefs and understanding, pick up this book and become a catalyst for change. In Berger's definition, a catalyst is someone who persuades others by removing the barriers to agreement, encouraging people to persuade themselves. The book is fun to read, with a good balance of research and stories. More importantly, it reveals practices of effective communication in divided world.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Staci

    *I received this book for free through Goodreads Giveaways* The topic of this book is pretty good, the execution a bit less so. Part of the problem may be due to the nature of the topic which is that not every strategy would work for every situation and indeed may serve as a detriment in some cases but it's not made clear in the book how you would be able to tell when a strategy may be helpful and when it may be hurtful without essentially just trying and seeing.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Anna Vakhrusheva

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Very systematic and helpful book. A lot of colorful examples and comparisons. The book helps to understand how to persuade anyone: don't put pressure on a person or you get only resistance from him, try small steps, show bad features of previous beliefs. Just be a catalyst who will destroy barriers, but not push harder and harder. And be aware of the level of new belief: some of them will need less time to change, some of them - more. Anyway, be patient. New changes go slow.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Puru Gupta

    Jonah is always inspiring, as a researcher, a professor and as an author. Full of relatable stories and examples, it's extremely unlikely that you will not shift your status quo after reading this book. And like me, there are many aspects of your life that will get catalyzed by REDUCE. Worth every bit - part of my 'annual reading list'

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