This is a theme article about the topics of persuasion and persuasive techniques as they are taught by the renowned authors Dr. Robert Cialdini and Daniel Pink.

When discussing the science of persuasion and persuasive techniques or principles, Dr. Robert Cialdini has contributed an abundance of valuable work and research results.

What makes Cialdini’s work exceptionally useful is how his points, or shortcuts as he sometimes refers to them, can be immediately implemented and used in your own daily work and activities.

In the featuring video above, he points to six major shortcuts or secrets from the science of persuasion, which are the following:


1: Reciprocity

Reciprocity concerns the feeling of an obligation to give when you receive.

Be the first to give and be sure that what you give is personalized and unexpected.

2: Scarcity

People want more of those things they can have less of.

What will people lose if they fail to consider your proposal?

3: Authority

People follow the lead of credible knowledgeable experts.

A therapist with a diploma on the wall is more likely to get people to exercise if it is recommended.

4: Consistency

People like to be consistent with things they have previously said or done.

We see a 400 percent increase in people willing to have a sign on their lawn about safe driving if they ten days ahead have agreed to have a small sticker on their window about safe driving – showing they support the cause.

5: Liking

We like people who are similar to us, those who pay us compliments, and people who cooperate with us.

6: Consensus

People will look to the actions and behavior of others to determine their own

Science tells us that rather than relying on our own ability to persuade others, we can point to what many others are already doing – especially others similar to us.

People will look to the actions and behavior of others to determine their own

For example, if a sign in a hotel room says – 75 percent of people in this room reuse towels due to environmental benefits, we see a 26 percent increase in compliance.




Daniel Pink on Persuasion

As persuasion expert and a bestselling author on motivation, Daniel Pink declares: like it or not…we’re all in sales!

All around the clock, we are making sales pitches, says Daniel Pink. It may be to our bosses, parents, or teachers – or in the role of politicians, art directors, and so forth.


the best predictor of success is how you explain your failures to yourself

Listen to Daniel Pink’s own voice in the following video where he explains how it is possible to influence others more effectively – and how the best predictor of success is how you explain your failures to yourself.



Can I understand someone else’s point of view?


Can I remain resilient and buoyant in the face of rejection?


Can I help someone make their way through this murk of information and clarify?

Can I help someone and identify problems that they don’t realize they have?

Can I look for ways in which this other person and I have common grounds, so if we reach this common ground, we’ll both be better off?

“I really am convinced that the way to do it more effectively is to just be a little bit more human”,

Daniel Pink

How to Persuade with the Right Questions?

So how do you persuade, say… your teenage daughter to clean up her room?

While threatening her or telling her about the meaning of a clean room may work short term, there is a better way.

There is an effective technique you can use, which is based in the counseling literature and more specifically what is called motivational interviewing, says Daniel Pink. It concerns asking two irrational questions.

On a scale from one to ten – one meaning not ready at all and ten meaning very ready – how ready are you to clean your room?

She is not ready at all as the room is a mess – so she says – I’ll give you a two!

You then say, okay you are a two. Why didn’t you pick a lower number?

Now this is counter-intuitive as we parents want her to be say a nine. Even so, you ask why she didn’t pick a lower number, Pink explains.. So now your daughter has to explain, why she is not a one.

She’ll possibly say something lige – we’ll with a cleaner room I get things gathered for school a little bit faster or get to see my friends more and so forth, Pink exemplifies.

In this process, you get her to articulate her own reason for doing something, which is very different from articulating YOUR reasons for doing something – you being the parent or the like. She believes her own reasons more and adheres to the behavior more strongly, says Pink.

Okay, so what if she had said – I’m a one. That makes it a little more complicated. Here Pink advices us to pose the question: what can make you a two? She may say, well if you and mom help me for 15 minutes to get started. Or if I could be freed from setting the table and going out with the trash. Usually, says Pink, it is an environmental obstacle that makes people a one – something standing in front of them. Try to remove that obstacle to allow for becoming a two and that may cause more momentum.

We tend to think that motivation is something we do to others, says Daniel Pink. Yet, social science shows us that it is really something people do to themselves. So to motivate or persuade you need to resurface people’s own reasons for doing something.


Because it works a lot better!




More about Persuasion and Persuasive Techniques

As illustrated above, persuasion is used in all parts of life and anyone can use it to improve their daily work lives as well as private lives. It is relevant above and beyond sales and marketing although this is what it commonly refers to in business.

If you are interested in learning more about persuasion and how to influence others effectively, then you will find great value in listening to the following podcast. To save your ears, turn down the volume when listening to the intro jingle and then sit back to enjoy this 1-hour long podcast – on the sofa or maybe during your next car ride.

We hope you have enjoyed this theme article about the topic of persuasion and would love to hear any thoughts or comments you might have. We would also be delighted to hear, which takeaways from the above you find most valuable.

Further Reading about Persuasion and Persuasive Techniques:

Find more at Dr. Robert Cialdini’s own homepage: Influence at Work

You are invited to read and download a chapter in Cr. Cialdini’s recent book PRE-SUASION, at this book presentation page.

Find article conversations, podcasts, videos, and more with Daniel Pink HERE.

Learn more about Daniel Pink’s latest book: WHEN: THE SCIENTIFIC SECRETS OF PERFECT TIMING. You will also find a seven-minute podcast here explaining the importance of timing throughout life


*Please note that ManageMagazine has no economic gains by making these recommendations. We recommend these authors and books because we find that they offer enormous value.


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