Need help now? Call 216.321.7774

What Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Russia Video Can Teach Us All About Talking to the Misinformed

Misinformation, incorrect impressions…call it whatever you want, but when someone arrives at a conclusion based on incorrect facts and then proceeds to influence others and make decisions based on those incorrect facts, your company can suffer, your stockholders and stakeholders can suffer – and your country can suffer, too.

Here’s a short Master Class from…Arnold Schwarzenegger, with a message for the people of Russia. If you won’t take the time to watch this short video, we’ll sum it up for you by simply saying it’s never about the facts. It’s always about the narrative.

From Angie Drobnic Holan, writing for Politifact/The Poynter Institute…

It’s hard for fact-checkers to admit it, but sometimes all the evidence, sources and citations in the world won’t change people’s minds. Our work is beloved by those who are truly open-minded. But to people who already have a firm set of beliefs glued in place? Not so much.

Still, we stay hopeful that misinformation can be corrected and people can move off of previously held positions when they get new information. Over the years, we’ve talked to psychologists, researchers and other experts many times about how to reach people held in misinformation’s grip.

Contrary to what you might think, it’s not about simply giving them more info. It’s about reaching them on an emotional level.

And with those lessons in mind, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s recent video to the people of Russia in the war in Ukraine was a master class in how to get people to reconsider their views. We can all learn from it.

Here’s a list of all the things Schwarzenegger, former governor of California and famous movie actor, does right in his video. These are strategies anyone can take into conversations with friends and family when the facts are up for debate.

Start in a friendly way. Schwarzenegger doesn’t address the hardest thing first. On the contrary, he begins the video by thanking “my dear Russian friends” for “sharing” their time with him. He briefly mentions Ukraine but immediately pivots to a personal story about his fondness for the Russian people and the Russian bodybuilder Yuri Petrovich Vlasov, who Schwarzenegger met as a young man backstage at a bodybuilding contest.

For the rest, click here.


Photo Credit:

Contact Us

Your name Organization name Describe your situation Your phone number Your email address
Leave this as it is