Started in 2008, the Robert B. Cialdini Award recognizes the author(s) of a publication that uses field methods and demonstrates relevance to outside groups. This award is designed to recognize the publication that best explicates social psychological phenomena principally through the use of field research methods and settings and that thereby demonstrates the relevance of the discipline to communities outside of academic social psychology within a given year at the SPSP Annual Convention.
Inside Influence Report
By Steve Martin, CMCT (not that Steve Martin)
What sort of business traveler are you? Are you the sort who likes to keep yourself to yourself, who welcomes the solitude that an hour or two in an aircraft offers—to catch up on paperwork, read or, just be alone with your thoughts without the interruptions that typically blight your busy day?
Or are you a more social traveler? Someone who seeks out connections with others, always alert to the possibility of meeting interesting new people. People who, if you’re lucky, might turn out to be useful business contacts in the future.
At first glance, little appears to differentiate Berkshire Hathaway annual stockholders reports from other major corporations’. (Except perhaps the results – a $1000 investment in Berkshire stock in 1965 is worth around $200,000 today).
A closer look reveals something almost hidden in plain sight in the letter to the stockholders, trading commentary, and other financial information. Even in years in which Berkshire has been more successful than imaginable, often the first few pages of Warren Buffet’s Chairman’s report will draw the shareholders’ attention to a snag, strain or shortcoming that has occurred that past year.
In a reputation-obsessed world, too often we present only positive attributes and strengths while sweeping flops and failures under the rug. Mr. Buffet, instead, draws attention to a downside early in his address. Does he have it wrong?
We want to help our followers keep their New Year's resolutions using one of the Six Principles of Persuasion.
The Principle of Commitment & Consistency states:
“Once we have made a choice or taken a stand, we will encounter personal and interpersonal pressures to behave consistently with that commitment”
Persuasion researchers have consistently demonstrated that the most successful strategies that influence the decisions and behaviors of others gain their persuasive strength by triggering one of just three simple human motivations:
1) The motivation to make effective decisions efficiently.
2) The motivation to affiliate with and gain the approval of others.
3) The motivation to see ourselves in a positive light.
In two previous INSIDE INFLUENCE REPORTS, I reviewed the first and second of these motivations and provided examples of the small changes that can activate them. In the third part of this series of articles I’ll take a closer look at the third of these motivations; the need to behave in ways that allow us to be seen in the best possible light.
In last month’s post we claimed that, despite an abundance of strategies used to influence the decisions and behaviors of others, researchers have found that the most successful strategies gain their persuasive strength by triggering one or more of three simple human motivations.
These motivations are:
- Making effective decisions efficiently
- Affiliating with and gain the approval of others
- Seeing ourselves in a positive light
For this month’s IIR let’s take a closer look at the second of these, our motivation to affiliate with, and gain the approval of others.
In the recently published book THE SMALL BIG co-authored by Robert Cialdini, Noah Goldstein and myself, we make a bold claim. Despite there being hundreds, perhaps thousands, of individual persuasion strategies used across the workplace, nearly all of the techniques that have been scientifically demonstrated to successfully change the thoughts, perceptions, and behaviors of others gain their persuasive power by leveraging just one of three simple underlying human motivations;
Despite our best intentions, many of the goals we set for ourselves go unfulfilled. To improve our career prospects, we’ll research going to night school but not make it to class. We’ll purchase a health club membership, only to find our attendance wanes after a couple of sessions. We promise to put a little extra cash aside towards that dream trip, but when the end of the week arrives, we convince ourselves we can always start next month. The relationship between intention and implementation is often a weak one. In previous INSIDE INFLUENCE REPORTS we have discussed various strategies to encourage people to follow through with their commitments. One of the more effective is to create a specific plan for where, when, and how they will go about accomplishing it. Persuasion scientists call this an implementation intention plan.
1. PreOrder The SMALL BIG here: http://www.thesmallbig.com
2. Upload a screenshot or picture of your preorder form here: http://woobox.com/8gdswj
3. You will then be entered into a random drawing where one person will win a new iPad Air!
In 1979, noted psychiatrist Dr. Alexander Schauss conducted a series of studies designed to measure the mental and physical strength of one hundred and fifty young men. Arriving at the laboratory, each man was invited into a small room where one of two cardboard signs was held up in front of them. After looking directly at the card for one minute, they were invited to take part in a series of physical strength tests. Sometimes they were asked to raise their arms directly in front of their bodies while downward pressure was applied. On other occasions, a dynamometer test was used to give a more accurate measurement. Regardless of the test employed, it quickly became apparent that the cardboard signs each man was asked to gaze at first had a remarkable influence over their subsequent physical performance. There were no words on these cardboard signs. Nor were there images on them either. They differed only in color.
One was blue, the other pink.