Six Principles of Influence


Robert Cialdini wrote about the ‘6 principals of influence’ also known as the six weapons of influence.  In today’s business environment, most leaders are seeking out the “game
changers” and the “butt kickers” that will put their companies on a more aggressive point.

What are we going to do to be different and set ourselves apart from the crowd and extend your influential reach?

Number 1: (Be genuine)

Reciprocity, which is the feeling of being obligated to return favors, performed for them. As humans, we usually aim to return favors, pay back debts, and treat others as they treat us. According to the idea of reciprocity, this can lead us to feel obliged to offer services or discounts to others if they have offered them to us.

This is because we’re uncomfortable with feeling indebted to others.We end up doing it for them, not for yourself!

Listen to what they people are saying. Be genuine!  Make sure you listen intently to what they are saying and how they are saying it (what is their tone of voice saying?)

Number 2: Commitment and Consistency!

Commitment (and Consistency): is when people want to act consistently with their values. Robert Cialdini says that we have a deep desire to be consistent. For this reason, once we’ve committed to something, we’re then more inclined to go through with it.

urlJust think about how difficult it is for you to quit something you have set your mind to. Giving up is one of the hardest thing for us to do!

Now, in order to expand our influence over others we have to act in accordance to our goals, consistently. Our consistency shows our commitment and allows people to take us seriously and be more willing to back us up when we need them!

Number 3: Social Proof          

Social Proof is when people look to what others do in order to guide their own behavior.

When people are uncertain about a course of action, they tend to look to those around them to guide their decisions and actions. They especially want to know what everyone else is doing – especially their peers.

This principle relies on people’s sense of “safety in numbers.”

For example, we’re more likely to work late if others in our team are doing the same, put a tip in a jar if it already contains money, or eat in a restaurant if it’s busy.

Another example of this is the social experiment recently done at a doctor’s office where a lobby of people would stand up at the sound of a buzzer for no reason just to see if the new people would follow suit and teach all the new patients as they entered the doctor’s office.

At first, the new patients did not stand but after a while, they were “Jones’ed” into following the crowd.


Number 4: Liking

“People prefer to say ‘yes’ to those they know and like,”

Likability comes in many forms – people might be similar or familiar to us, they might give us compliments, or we may just simply trust them.Companies that use sales agents from within the community employ this principle with huge success. People are more likely to buy from people like themselves, from friends, and from people they know and respect.

People have to like you on a very basic level for them to be positively influenced by you.

Okay so moving on to the 5th principal of influence.

Number 5: Authority 

We feel a sense of duty or obligation to people in positions of authority.


People respect authority. They want to follow the lead of real experts. Business titles, impressive clothing, and even driving an expensive, high-performing automobile are proven factors in lending credibility to any individual. Giving the appearance of authority actually increases the likelihood that others will comply with requests – even if their authority is illegitimate

With Authority comes responsibility! People tend to follow those they think they can trust because they think you know what you’re doing.

Number 6: Scarcity is when the less available the resources, the more people want it

This principle says that things are more attractive when their availability is limited, or scarcity-defwhen we stand to lose the opportunity to acquire them on favorable terms.

For instance, we might buy something immediately if we’re told that it’s the last one, or that a special offer will soon expire.


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