Influence & Yes! by Robert Cialdini

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Influence or be influenced

Double book review today!

Both of these books will change your life!  These two books should be taught in all schools across the world.  Why?  Because they teach the basics of human interaction.

Influencing people is something we do all day everyday.  You may disagree with the premise of the book and frown about wanting to learn more about influencing others but, know this – if you are not aware of how to influence others, then it is likely that you are the one being influenced.

These books are not “woo-woo” or esoteric in nature.  They are both grounded in science and reference an immensely huge number of studies throughout.

How easily we are influenced is quite startling and will make you reflect on your own life a whole lot.  One of the funniest things I read in the book was that people tend to live in cities or choose careers which sound similar to their own names!  For example dentists are 82% more likely to be named Dennis than you’d expect if name similarity had absolutely no effect on career choice.  Imagine my shock when I realised that I lived in Leeds (England) and my friends all call me by the nickname Keeb!

 

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Yes! is the sequel to Influence and has some amazing insights

So, you’re probably thinking how you can use these techniques to your own ends.  Well, as it turns out there are six concrete laws to influence.

  1. Reciprocity – Ever wonder why that salesman gave you a cup of tea/coffee before starting negotiations?  It’s because they know that once you give someone something, they feel it is incumbent on them to repay the favour.
  2. Authority – When you visit your doctor and they have their degrees and certifications hanging on the wall, you are much more likely to believe what they are saying.  In fact there was a study which showed that medication compliance increased greatly when doctors displayed their diplomas in their offices for patients to see, than when they did not!
  3. Commitment – Imagine if a friend bumps into you one day and asks you if you support cancer research.  You are likely to say yes, unless you’re a douche bag.  Say that the friend then bumps into you a week down the line.  “Hey, I thought you’d be interested.  I’m running a marathon for cancer research.  I remember you were interested in this.  Would you like to sponsor me?”.  You are much much more likely to say yes and give a larger amount of money than if you did not make your initial commitment.
  4. Scarcity – If you are the only guy at the part, the girls are much more likely to find you attractive and want to get to know you than if you were one of a hundred dudes there.
  5. Liking – The more we like people, the more we want to say yes to them!
  6. Social Proof – If everyone at work has an iPhone, you want one.  If someone recommends your services then you are more likely to get more business.  If friends at a party sing you praises, then the people you don’t know at the party will want to get to meet you.

Of course you can use all of this information for your own needs, but using these techniques unethically will backfire in the long run.  If you come from a place of authenticity and use these techniques to enrich your relationships then knowing these rules can be incredibly powerful!

Buy these books to get a much deeper understanding – I’ve only just scratched the surface here.

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