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I’m not one to like reading books, but when I knew I was going on holiday I decided to buy a book that I thought I’d not only enjoy, but also learn from. So I purchased – Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. By Robert B. Cialdini.

cialdini-influence

I have to admit the overall book was very interesting to read, but at times I did feel like I had to read it for the sake of it, not that I wanted to. I find books very hard to read as I can’t seem to connect reading for the sake of it, but often I can relate to reading books that I can pick up knowledge from.

The book has over 300 pages; however, I feel with the entire key points extracted, this could be summed down to about 50 pages. I’d still recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in learning the art of influence, because the ideas in the book are so valuable and priceless which makes you troop on to finish it.

The best part is where examples are given. The proven concepts can help produce ideas and spark an improvement in your work or projects you may be working on. In the book there are 6 key chapters that are broken down and I’m going to revise them in a short paragraph that will hopefully make you go out and purchase the book.

Reciprocation – This is an act of returning, usually when something is given, in simple terms. Within a working environment this can translate to when someone does you a favour by swapping a shift with you, you in turn carry out a request from them and they’ll be more willing to help you out. Many people understand this rule and apply it regularly (exchange theory).

Commitment & Consistency – This relates to the conscious or unconscious beliefs within our minds. If something goes against of what we believe, then we’re going to prove that we’re right. If someone states they’re good at something within the workplace, they’ll do what ever they can to uphold that commitment and be consistent with their actions.

Social Proof – This is a very self–explanatory but powerful tool that people don’t use very wisely. When people state they know a certain someone, this can be very valuable when used correctly and in combination with principles.

Liking – Creating the power of making people like you. It seems so simple, but actually isn’t. For some people it’s very easy being liked and some people it’s very hard. The key principle is relating this back to point 1 – Reciprocation. When you’re doing a favour for someone you’d go up in there estimations and this can relate to point 2 – Social Proof.  The problem with this though, which you may not even take note of is thinking ‘he’s too young to know what he’s talking about’ which could prevent you from being liked.

Authority – Who would you rather listen to? A well respected marketer such as Tony Wan, or someone who graduated last year I.E me? You’d always choose Wan even if I had a valid opinion. This is the principle of authority. He’s shown that he has the knowledge to get where he has through the test of time.

Scarcity – This is a very powerful tool for businesses if used correctly. An example of this is if you have T-shirt that can be sold on an unlimited basis, but then you have the same t-shirt that states “only 250 to be sold before taken off the market!” Which t-shirt would sell 250 the fastest do you think? This could be used in many different scenarios.

This book is definitely worth a read to pick out the key points, as this will prove valuable for yourself or your business. After about 150 pages when I found I was forced to read the book, I simply just skimmed the pages and highlighted the good stuff.

 

By Stefan Lasek

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