Powers of persuasion are invaluable assets for humanitarian Geraldine Cox. She thrives on making the impossible possible, and her success is partly due to her ability to influence key decision makers. Methods of persuasion include appeals to reason such as logical argument, rhetoric, scientific method and proof. Aids to successful persuasion include body language, communication skill and sales techniques.
Researcher Robert Cialdini describes the ‘Six Weapons of Influence,’ as he calls them, in his book, Influence, Science and Practice (Allyn & Cacon, 2000):
1. RECIPROCATION - "The Old Give and Take–and Take"
We are all taught to repay others for what they do for us. Building a sense of reciprocal giving can be a useful tool of persuasion.
2. COMMITMENT AND CONSISTENCY - "Hobgoblins of the Mind"
Once people have made a choice, they put themselves under pressure to behave consistently with that commitment. Getting people to commit to an action will increase the chances of them actually doing it.
3. SOCIAL PROOF - "Truths Are Us"
We decide what is correct by noticing what other people think is correct. If you want someone to do something for you, be sure to let them see that many other people are already doing it.
4. LIKING: "The Friendly Thief"
People love to say ‘yes’ to requests from people they know and like. Most people are also phenomenal suckers for flattery, even when they know it isn’t true.
5. AUTHORITY: "Directed Deference"
Most of us are raised with a respect for authority. You can put this general principle to use by citing authoritative sources to support your ideas. Be sure others know that your education and experience supports your ideas.
6. SCARCITY: "The Rule of the Few"
Opportunities seem more valuable when they are less available. The possibility of losing something is a more powerful motivator than of gaining something.
Robert Cialdini’s ‘Six weapon’s of influence’ have certainly got me thinking. I’m going to be referring back to this post before my next pay review!
How do you get people to say ‘yes’?