In our daily lives we often need to persuade people. Maybe you need to do a presentation for a group of people or maybe you just need to convince your friend that he or she shouldn’t do something. The different scenarios where we have to influence people are limitless. A great researcher and also psychologist, Robert Cialidini, discovered 6 concepts that will help you become a master influencer yourself. These concepts are scientifically proven and used by many prominent leaders in different industries, but also by teachers, doctors etcetera.
Most people are stubborn. They tend to stick with their own beliefs and opinions. However, if you make it seem like you know what you’re talking about then people tend to at least reconsider their own attitudes. When you’re knowledgeable in a certain area, but people can’t see it or they don’t know it then their attitude won’t change. However, when you tell them ‘I’ve achieved this and done that etc…’ or you show them your credentials people will not only see you as an authority, but they also are now willing to listen to you.
The concept of liking as an influence is really simple: make people feel comfortable around you. With praise you can subtly ‘disarm’ people’s defense without them noticing. For example, when you greet someone and tell them that they’re wearing a great outfit, they’ll feel flattered and noticed. However, an important thing to remember is to keep the compliments genuine. People are not dumb and can see when you’re faking it.
People say that when you give something and you want something in return that it is not a simple act of kindness, but an act of ‘business’. Let me bust this myth right now, it’s literally in our genes to do something for someone else and then expecting something back. It’s one of the things that makes us humans. The concept of reciprocity can be explained as follows; when you praise someone or when you do someone a favor that person will feel inclined to do something in return.The execution of concept of reciprocity is at its best when the person you want to persuade doesn’t feel forced to do something in return, but feels like it’s merely the right thing to do.
4. Social proof
Humans are followers and followers need leaders. We rely heavily on the people around us for cues on how to think, act and feel. So a great way to convince people is to set the example yourself by doing what you want others to do and people will automatically follow. For example, if you want your co-workers at the workplace to throw their trash not on the floor but in the bin then you should take the lead. If they see peers changing their behavior, like you, they’ll feel more inclined to throw their trash in the bin. So if you want to change behavior, start with yourself first!
You want to commit people to something when you want to influence them. The best way to do this is to not change their attitudes or their behavior. You want to keep their attitudes and behavior in alignment with each other. So what you should do is making their commitments active, public and voluntary. The influence or commitment has to engage people to be active. If you want them to do something they’re clearly not interested in, you’ll have a hard time convincing them otherwise. By making their commitments public, for example a written goal, you can hold them accountable. So if they decide to start making excuses and quit you can show to others that they’re the types of people that not follow through with their words. Also the commitment you want people to make has to be voluntarily to keep them intrinsically motivated. People want to be consistent in their actions so if you want to persuade them try to hold them accountable for something what will make them follow through on their word.
6. Scarcity principle
Let’s create a hypothetical scenario that we can all relate to. You need to convince someone of going with you to a concert of who you find to be an amazing singer, but who your friend thinks is an ‘ok’ singer. You don’t want to go alone and you really want to take your friend with you, but your friend is kind of hesitant to it. You know that there are still a lot of tickets available, but your friend doesn’t know this. You can be honest and tell them that there are still a lot of tickets available and that your friend still has enough time to think, taking into account that you’re not 100% sure if your friend will say yes anyway. Or you can tell your friend that almost all the tickets are sold out and that the whole town is going and that there are just a few tickets left. Your friend will feel now more inclined to actually take your proposal serious reasoning that: since the concert is almost sold out means that the performer has to be good. This situation I just described is a great example of the scarcity principle. People want more of what they can have less of. So if you want to influence people, make sure that what you have to offer has to give people the feeling as if they’re getting something unique and exclusive.
In sum, these are the 6 main concepts that will help you become a better influencer and to get better results when you need to convince people of something. These concepts are totally ethical and how you use them makes them ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. So don’t feel bad when you use one of these concepts, because if you won’t do it then somebody else will!
What are your ways to persuade people? Let me know in the comment section!
Also, if you liked this article then please consider to share it on social media and/or with your friends! It would really help us out, thank you!