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Influence by Robert Cialdini

My Rating of “Influence” by Robert Cialdini: 10 / 10

If you are looking for one book to read and re-read for the rest of your life, Influence by Robert Cialdini is it! The concepts, theories, examples and take aways are just as relevant today as they were when the book was first released. We all work or interact with people on a daily basis. Therefore reading a book like this one is critical in bringing out the best in each and every interaction you have with your fellow human being!

Influence centres on six key principles which are:

  1. Reciprocation / Reciprocity
  2. Commitment / Consistency
  3. Authority
  4. Social Validation
  5. Scarcity
  6. Liking / Friendship

The book isn’t a short one and for good reason. Each principle includes multiple stories and examples on how it can apply. My favourite is the rejection and reciprocity story during the Nixon Campaign. It is something I have told and re-told to many people. It still boggles my mind how it worked; but it did. I’m not going to recite it here as you can read it for yourself.

Enough said about this book; it is in my top five and worth every page!

Three key takeaways from the book:

  1. A well known principle of human behaviour says that when we ask someone to do us a favour we will be more successful if we provide a reason. People simply like to have reasons for what we do.
  2. Regarding the commitment / consistency principle. Signing a petition can subconsciously impact future behaviour and self image in ways you may not want. Once it has been altered all sorts of subtle advantages become available to someone who wants to exploit that new image.
  3. As technology is evolving much faster than we are, our natural capacity to process information is likely to be increasing inadequate to handle the surfeit of change, choice and challenge that is characteristic of modern life.

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