In almost every role and walk of life there’s a need to influence other people. influence is everywhere. But, can influence be taught? In his book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Dr. Robert Cialdini identifies six universal ways in which we can find it easier to influence others.
So what are the six universal ways to influence?
1. Reciprocity. This is based on "matching" what others have done for you. If you are invited to a party you often invite that person to your party. People who give a favor often have it returned as most people don't like to feel in debt to others, and will try to restore equilibrium.
2. Commitment (and Consistency). If you can get someone to verbally--or better yet, publicly--commit to something, they are more likely to follow through with it. For example leaving a meeting without agreeing a course of action, means it is less is likely that anything will happen. Likewise consistency is also important because people that are consistent are more trustworthy.
3. Social Proof. People often look to others for validation - consider the phrases "9 out of 10 recommend..." Advertisers use this and other ways of incorporating social proof to influence others.
4. Liking. We like people who are like ourselves - If someone likes you they’ll be more inclined to say yes.
5. Authority. In a famous experiment by Stanley Milgram we witness the lengths people will go to in order to obey authority. There are many signals used to display authority visually and in an auditory way. This is perhaps one of the most powerful ways to influence.
6. Scarcity. Think of all the adverts you’ve seen where you must "act now" or "time is running out" for a certain product. These commercials use scarcity to make people believe a product has limited supply and that they must buy right away. If you can create urgency around something people will be more likely to act upon it or buy.
To learn more about how to influence and persuade why not join our ‘Influence & Negotiation’ masterclasses or ‘Persuasive Presenting’ workshops- Click here for more information.