Harnessing theScienceof Persuasion Article Critique/Analysis I chose to critique the article “ Harnessing the Science of Persuasion” by Robert B. Cialdini. As an undergraduate I was planning on a profession in the medical field, and I enjoy exploring how the science and business worlds correlate. In this article, Cialdini describes six scientific/psychological factors that contribute to enhancing one’s ability to increase influence on others. I interpret that pure motives are the main success factor in building influence at the underlying theme of Cialdini’s principles.
I can only be as persuasive as I am sincere in my desires to know, and help others. In this paper I will overview some of the principles that Cialdini presents, and apply them to my strategy for my personal, and professional advancement. Liking/Similarity Though the conscious mind may seek diversity, there is an undeniable human behavioral trait to associate with people who are “ like me”. At first glance this principle suggests that we should stick to doing business with people who look, act, believe similarly to how we do and avoid other people because we will not be successful with them.
I feel that I have always had an ability to relate to people, whether it is in line at a Motley Crew concert, or in an executive meeting. I believethat humans are more similar than different. The skill is identifying common ground quickly in interactions, because everyone is in a hurry. I have attempted and will continue to apply this principal in my business interactions by showing a littlepersonalityin the first few seconds that I interact with my customers. The trick is to do this without being perceived as smug or an apathetic.
I can say a quick line from a song that is stuck in my head, and say “ sorry I’ll try to focus better throughout the remainder of this transaction;” or asking a detailed question about a project that the customer is working on. It is important to adjust the tone, and etiquette to the person, and situation that is presented. I have found that when the person that I joked around with comes back, they seek me out to help them more often than not. Like all of Cialdini’s principles these techniques ill only work if I am sincerely interested in the person that I’m interacting with. Humans are very skilled at detecting apathy, so if I have to fake it, it’s better to not to try. Consistency/Commitment I am a pretty witty, creative guy, as such I am fairly successful with the principle of liking/similarity as stated above. I honestly struggle with the principle of consistency. Consistency, as discussed by Cialdini, describes influencing others to firmly commit to do what you desire of them. This principle is mostly applicable in my interactions with my co-workers.
I place such a high emphasis on relationships with people that I often leave the opportunity open to be taken advantage of. I have many responsibilities that go unaccomplished if I consistently do the job of a co-worker. In today’s businessculture, hierarchal flowcharts are decreasing in authoritative efficacy, and behavior is influenced more strongly by persuasion skills. Getting people to buy in and commit to it because it is in the best interest of the customer, the company, and the person you are trying to convince is the goal of consistency. There are levels of commitment.
A person can mentally commit, verbally commit to the issuer of the request, or publicly commit in front of peers. Each increased level of commitment results in higher likelihood that the person will keep their word. The challenge in applying this principle for me is to not come across as overbearing, or not willing to lead by example. I will apply this principle by discussing with my co-workers their desires to do a good job. I will ask those whom I direct to explain their thoughts about how we should best serve our customers, and apply their suggestions as best I can to procedural changes.
I will also better describe the process from the perspective of people who work primarily inside the store, so that we can all better understand and assist each other. The success of consistency, perhaps even more so than the principle of liking, is dependent on motives. If it is perceived that you are more interested in throwing your authority around than working for the common good, resentment and non-compliance will result. I will avoid resentment by expressing sincere gratitude, and praise for a job well done.
I will also show a willingness to go outside, and help when appropriate. I have read a few articles about enhancing persuasion in business, and to be honest, most of them come across as phony ways to trick people to do what you want. Cialdini certainly has some elements of convincing people that they want to do what you desire, but he introduces the idea that these techniques only really work if you have pure motives. I really like the idea that being an effective/persuasive leader starts with being an honest/authentic person.