How to Get People to Say “Yes” | Robert Cialdini | The Knowledge Project 122
Psychologist Robert Cialdini explores the principles of influence in this episode of The Knowledge Project.
He discusses the difference between influence and manipulation, and delves into the key principles of reciprocation, liking, social proof, authority, and scarcity.
The conversation also covers how to use these principles ethically and how to defend against them.
Authority: A Principle of Influence
People are more likely to be influenced by those they perceive as authorities.
However, it’s important to differentiate between being an authority (having expertise or knowledge) and being in authority (having power or control).
Scarcity: A Principle of Influence
Scarcity is a principle that suggests people are more likely to desire something if they believe it is in short supply.
This principle is often used in marketing to create a sense of urgency and encourage immediate action.
The Role of Reciprocal Concessions
Reciprocal concessions play a part in the principle of reciprocation.
If a large request is made and then reduced to a smaller one, people are more likely to agree to the smaller request.
This is because they feel obligated to reciprocate the concession made by the requester.
The Longevity of Reciprocation
The obligation to reciprocate can last for years if the initial favor was significant.
However, the effectiveness of the principle of reciprocation can fade over time, especially for smaller favors.
We are obligated to give back to others who have first given to us. That’s the way that the society best functions and allows people the freedom to give first with the knowledge that they’re not giving something away. – Robert Cialdini
The Power of Asking for Advice
Asking for advice rather than opinions can make people more favorable to your idea and provide more constructive input.
This is because they view themselves as partners in the initiative.
Defending Against Manipulative Reciprocation
To defend against the principle of reciprocation being used manipulatively, it’s important to reframe the gift or favor as a trick or device designed to gain compliance.
Recognize when someone uses a favor as a lever to get something much larger in return.
When you ask for an opinion, you get a critic. If instead of asking for someone’s opinion, where you want their buy-in with you on some idea or outline or blueprint you’ve got for a new initiative, if you ask for their advice on it, you get a partner. – Robert Cialdini
Similarity in Negotiations
In negotiations, sharing personal information and finding commonalities can prevent deadlocks.
The key is not the amount of information shared, but the number of commonalities found.
Defending Against Manipulative Liking
To defend against the principle of liking being used manipulatively, be aware of when someone is using compliments or similarities to gain an advantage.
Treat these as attempts to exploit rather than genuine expressions of liking.