|Diag 1. Wall model|
The problem with this model is that it doesn’t acknowledge that people are spread across a whole spectrum of opinions on any issue. Too often, though, I find that those supporting a particular cause at a stall in a shopping mall make the assumption that everyone they approach knows nothing about the issue and needs to be converted. If they cannot be converted then they are to be argued with or ignored.
Another model tries to map the full spectrum of opinion that people may have on any issue. The model (diagram 2) shows a range of opinion from those “completely supportive” of our cause through those who are undecided or uninterested to those who are “completely opposed”. In between there are various shades of opinion: partial supporters, partial opponents, fairly supportive, fairly opposed etc.
|Diag 2. Opinion Spectrum|
|Diag 3. Opinion shifting|
Yes, its that simple. But, its not so simple is it? What it means for those of us wanting to shift opinion a bit further towards the supportive end is that we must give up our predetermined position and listen to what others are saying. We need to then be able to acknowledge them and their opinions and then be able to find a means by which we can allow them to make a shift of their own accord. Perhaps too, if we truly listen, we may find that something in what is being said makes us shift our opinion also. That's not easy. It means giving up something more than just our opinion. It means giving up our sense of self, independent from all others. But that's for another biog.