Influence

Do you exert influence? If yes, what is the source of your influence? Is it your title, expertise, likability? Will you like to be more influential? If you will like to take a shot at having more influence then I recommend you read “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” by Robert Cialdini.

According to Cialdini, there are six fundamental psychological principles that influence our tendency to comply with a request, that is the tendency to get people to say yes to you. The 6 fundamental principles are:

1. Reciprocity: The old give and take. People have a tendency to return favors.
2. Liking: If people like you because they think you like them or because of things you have in common, they are more likely to say yes to you.
3. Commitment & Consistency: People like to be consistent. If they make a public, voluntary commitment, they will try to keep it.
4. Social Proof: People will do things they see others doing especially people who are similar to them.
5. Authority: People defer to experts and to those in positions of authority. Titles and uniform do matter.
6. Scarcity: People place higher value on things they perceive to be scarce.

Therefore, to increase your influence you have to incorporate the above fundamental principles into how you relate to people. For example, get into the habit of helping people out and creating a sense of reciprocity.

What makes Cialdini’s book even more interesting is that it is written in an accessible style devoid of academic speak but with sufficient research data to back up the theory. In addition, real life examples from readers of previous editions were added which provided a refreshing angle. Definitely worth a read.

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