Robert-photo-w-icon-150-4-7-10-FINAL4-150x150Leading a business, or driving a change initiative, or proposing solutions to a customer requires that you influence others. There are 6 factors that enable you to persuade those you need to convince.

Much has been written about the art of influencing others to follow your lead. One of the best known works is called the “The Science of Persuasion” by Dr. Robert Cialdini and it describes six principles that are most productive for generating a successful collaboration.

  1. Reciprocity is about feeling compelled to return a favor. It’s easier to say yes to those you owe. Give something of value to the target of your influence attempt, ensuring that it is personalized and unexpected.
  1. Scarcity is about wanting more of those things that are rare or in short supply. It’s not enough to tell people about the benefits they gain by following your suggestion. You must describe why your proposition is unique and what they could lose if they don’t act to accept your offer.
  1. Authority is about signaling others why you are a knowledgeable, credible expert before you make your influence attempt. Referrals from others about your expertise have more credibility than you promoting yourself. An introduction of you as an expert carries significant value in helping others choose to work with you.
  1. Consistency is about people wanting to be consistent with things they have previously said or done. Consistency is activated by seeking small, voluntary, active and public commitments that can realistically be made by those you seek to influence. Securing those commitments in writing increases their effectiveness.” For example, patients who complete their own “next appointment” cards, consistently appear as scheduled.
  1. Likability is about wanting to work with people who are similar to us, pay us compliments and cooperate with us to achieve common goals. Before trying to influence someone, share personal information to identify similarities and to provide opportunities to pay compliments.
  1. Consensus is about recognizing that when people are uncertain, they will look to the actions and behaviors of others before determining their own. Pointing to what “similar” people are already doing is a productive way to influence others to choose what you are offering.

Dr. Cialdini offers examples of these principles in this video.

How often are you using these principles?

 Why is influencing others vital to your work?