Influence And Persuasion

From the Blog of Phyllis G. Pollack.

       Influencing and persuading people are keys to any successful negotiation and/or mediation. Each party to a dispute uses persuasion to convince the other party that her viewpoint should form the predicate for settlement.

      In this month’s edition of “One Minute Negotiation Tips” by the Los Angeles County Bar, Linda Bulmash notes that Dr. Robert Cialdini has identified six essential principles of negotiation and mediation. (Dr. Cialdini is the Regent’s Professor of Social Psychology at Arizona State University).

      By following these principles, a party has a greater probability of getting what she wants. These principles include:

        “1. Reciprocity. People feel obligated to give back to people who have given to them. This is a method for survival. The principle of reciprocity is expressed in such common sayings as “tit for tat,” the “golden rule” and  “an eye for an eye”.

         “2. Liking. People are more likely to say yes to people they like and know. People like people who are similar to them and with whom they are comfortable.

         “3. Consensus. People like to do what is comfortable. Many people make choices based on what others who are similarly situated are doing.

       “4.  Authority. People often make decisions in reliance on the opinion/guidance of those with apparent superior knowledge. Actual superior knowledge is not necessary, e.g., actors who look like doctors make commercials touting certain medications.

      “5. Consistency. Once people make a decision or invest their resources (time, money, emotions) they feel pressure to continue with that commitment. Get them to say yes about small things, and it will be easier to get them to say yes about bigger things.

       “6.  Scarcity. People value things that are less available. Willingness to buy an item increases when a time limit is set or, the supply is limited. An example of the impact of limited supply is the diamond market. People are willing to pay more for diamonds because of their perceived scarcity.” 

      Dr. Robert Cialdini, Influence: Science and Practice (4th ed. 2000). 


      So. . . the next time you want something whether in a social setting – from your friends or significant other or in a business setting – from  your colleagues, supervisors or competitors or in a litigation setting – from your adversary, think about these principles and apply them.  According to Dr. Cialdini, your success, in all probability, will surpass your expectations.

        . . . Just  something to think about. 


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