There is never a day when our life would not be easier if we honed our ability to influence others. Influence should not be confused with manipulation, which has a negative connotation in most people’s’ minds. The difference lies in the intention of the giver. Influence respects the target’s well-being and health. Manipulation is not often hindered by these concerns.
According to Influence at Work, there are 6 principles of Influence
Reciprocity, Scarcity, Authority, Consistency, Liking and Consensus
Simply put, people are obliged to give back to others the form of a behavior, gift, or service that they have received first. For example, does the giving of a mint have any influence over how much tip you’re going to leave them? Most people will say no. But that mint can make a surprising difference. In the study, giving diners a single mint at the end of their meal typically increased tips by around 3%. It increases even more if the waiter pauses, turns back and gives a 2nd mint saying something along the lines of “just because you’re special”
The key to using the Principle of Reciprocity is to be the first to give and to ensure that what you give is personalized and unexpected.
Simply put, people want more of those things they can have less of. So when it comes to effectively persuading others using the Scarcity Principle, the science is clear. It’s not enough simply to tell people about the benefits they’ll gain if they choose your products and services. You’ll also need to point out what is unique about your proposition and what they stand to lose if they fail to consider your proposal.
This is the idea that people follow the lead of credible, knowledgeable experts. State the number of years of experience has in the field. Have they been published, mention it! What the science is telling us is that it’s important to signal to others what makes you a credible, knowledgeable authority before you make your influence attempt.
People like to be consistent with the things they have previously said or done. So when seeking to influence using the consistency principle, the detective of influence looks for voluntary, active, and public commitments and ideally gets those commitments in writing.
For example, one recent study reduced missed appointments at health centers by 18% simply by asking the patients rather than the staff to write down appointment details on the future appointment card.
People prefer to say yes to those that they like. Persuasion science tells us that there are three important factors. We like people who are similar to us, we like people who pay us compliments, and we like people who cooperate with us towards mutual goals.
Especially when they are uncertain, people will look to the actions and behaviors of others to determine their own. Sharing what others have done and the results they have achieved is a powerful motivator.
Try a few of these and watch what results you are getting before adding others. Soon, you will find, that this process will become second nature!