The game of influence that everyone can learn
Whether we like it or not, as soon as we are in contact with someone, we influence that person. Through our behavior or our speech, the other person unconsciously adapts and vice-versa. Some people do this very consciously to be considered more likable or to make a deal. Dan Norris specializes in the science of ethical influence.
His findings provide insight into how we influence each other and how we can more easily convince someone to go along with our ideas. He gives practical tools to play the game of seduction, and that influence consists basically of the following four topics:
1. Influencing by giving to whom you want something
We are more likely to accept something from people we like, but we also like to give something to people we like. It is also the case that you like to give something back from who you get something from. If the neighbors came to you on your birthday, you would be more likely to enjoy coming to their place on their birthday as well. And by doing so, you start to like each other more, which makes you more likely to accept or to influence the other.
You can also give through positive feedback. A survey showed that a particular questionnaire that people were sent by e-mail had about a 34% response. When the same mail was sent to 2 test groups, 1 test group got a personal touch. The letter contained the first name of the recipient with the question if they wanted to fill in the questionnaire because their input would be so valuable. Their expertise would contribute enormously to the research according to the letter.
It turned out that the personal letter with the compliment for their expertise led to a response that was twice as high and that the response was also returned more quickly. People love compliments and are happy to do their best for compliments.
If you ask your son or daughter to clean the kitchen, you'll undoubtedly see spots that have been skipped. If you point that out to them, you have a good chance that they will eventually clean those places. But what if you first start to tell about how that one place in the kitchen has never been so clean and that other place neither. How much will they like to see if there are other places that they can give the same shine to receive another nice compliment?
2. Influence by specific language
Language consciously and unconsciously has an enormous impact on people. Both negative and positive, depending on the terminology you use. Imagine you are doing something for someone, and they thank you, after which you respond that it was not a problem for you. What you actually say is that it is normal or next time maybe a problem.
It has an entirely different message if you would say that you are happy that the person is satisfied with it, or that the person can always ask you again because you are so glad to do something for him.
In sales, for example, it is very inconvenient to ask what someone thinks of your proposal. While when you ask what the benefits of your proposal could be for the person, you emphasize what the person benefits from it.
3. Influencing by similarities
People who have many similarities find each other rather pleasant company. Similarities create a bond, and that makes it easier to influence someone.
If you meet someone during a holiday who comes from the same village where you grew up and even lives in the same street as your grandmother, then there is immediate trust and a bond.
By asking questions during a first meeting, you can easily find the similarities between you and your conversation partner. If that is the subject of conversation, then there will automatically be a positive influence.
4. Influencing by authority
Most people look for confirmation or guidance when it comes to subjects in which they are not experts themselves. That is why we are always looking for authority around us to gather knowledge. Sometimes this authority is only obtained through the appearance of someone.
Researchers had someone dressed in jeans and a white t-shirt, cross over during a red pedestrian light without a doubt and full of confidence. Some people waited neatly, but others followed his example. When the same experiment was done by the same person, but then dressed in a tailor-made suit, it turned out that, on average, 350% more people followed his example.
But authority can also arise in other ways than through your clothes or appearance. For example, by what others say about you. If you introduce yourself to someone and tell them how fantastic you are, this will undoubtedly lead to suspicion. While when others present you as an expert in a specific field, this gives you truthfulness.
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