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The Six Ways We Influence And Get Influenced


The six ways we influence and get influenced.

Humans, like animals, respond to certain cues automatically. In his seminal book Influence- The Psychology Of Persuasion, Dr. Robert Cialdini talks about the six ways we influence and persuade others to commit to some action. He captures them in the book as the six principles of persuasion.

  1. The principle of Reciprocation– This suggests that as individuals, we feel obligated to give back to others any form of behavior they have given to us. So if someone does you a favor, you are significantly more likely to say yes when they ask you for a favor in return. Simply put, when people give you something or do something for you, you are more likely to respond in kind.
  2. Principle of scarcity- This stems from the idea that things that are rare, scarce, or diminishing in their availability are naturally more attractive. So a great way to influence is to give time deadlines or set availability limits on a product – and because of the potential scarcity, we seek the product or service and take action to have access. Everyone desires something others don’t have. 
  3. Principle of Authority- You are much more likely to follow the lead of someone who is a legitimate authority or expert on any issue. Therefore, you’re naturally more persuasive when people see you as an authority in your knowledge and credibility on any subject.
  4.  Principle of commitment- This is the idea that once you have taken a stand, a position on any issue, you are much more likely to say yes to any request that is consistent with that commitment. So, your default is to act consistently with what you have already stated or committed to.
  5. Principle of liking- People are more likely to say yes to a request from someone they know and like. So, you are more likely to do something if asked by someone you like. Conversely, if someone likes you , you should be comfortable asking for help and support.
  6. Principle of consensus- You are much more likely to say yes to a request if we have the information that many people around you are also saying yes to that request. When everyone around you is doing something, you are naturally influenced to follow suit. Social validation is a great way to influence. 

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