The Art of Persuasion

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We have all used our abilities to persuade and influence others – those with small children will be aware of just how early these skills are developed.

That said, we all probably know someone who has honed their skill so that it is almost irresistible. These are the people that can almost magically make you drink white when you wanted red, watch Night at the Museum2 when you wanted to see Underworld Rise of the Lycans or eat Indian when you wanted Thai. What’s makes it really irritating is that you do it with a smile!

How do they manage it?!

The Psychologist Robert Cialdini has spent most of his adult life studying the art of persuasion and influence. He has successfully distilled his findings into 6 core principles:

  1. Reciprocity – we feel obligated to return favours
  2. Liking – we can’t help but say yes to people whom we like
  3. Scarcity – we place more value on things in short supply
  4. Social proof – when we are not sure what to do ourselves we look at what others are doing
  5. Authority – we listen to those we perceive as being experts or in positions of authority
  6. Commitment and consistency – we like to be true to our word and finish what we’ve started

If your weekend is not the same without a Sunday night Thai, you may need to work on your strategy…

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