Mother and teenage daughter outdoor portrait

Consciously or unconsciously we all influence those around us, whether for good or bad or a lot or a little. Would you like to learn how you can use your positive influence to effect empowering change in your family, at work or in the community?
Here are a few tips from Dr Robert Cialdini, a leading expert on influence, that may help you achieve more impact in the everyday –

1. Reciprocation – Go first, give something openly & without any expectation of something in return. You will find, naturally, unexpected gifts will come your way, when you least expect it. Remember it doesn’t need to be expensive, it could be a favour, information, acknowledgment, a smile or even a pat on the back.

2. Consensus or Social Proof – When people are uncertain about a course of action, they tend to look to others around them to guide their decisions and actions. Often tending to follow leads of others similar to themselves. So finding commonality is an important quality. Surrounding yourself with great people is so important, it tends to pull us up. Make time and opportunities for empowering connections. It is so worth it. Often you find them where we least expect them. Having a range of social networks is important, such as hobby, school, work, community group, sport, volunteer, event.

3. Commitment and Consistency – Being committed and consistent goes a long way. The older we get the more we value consistency, which can also make it harder to change. We also prefer to follow pre-existing attitudes, values and actions. Getting your children or co-worker to publicly commit to something makes them more likely to follow through with an action. We do not like to back out of deals, especially after we have agreed on it verbally or in writing. Remember praise them for making good past decisions, based on the information they had at the time. Then find ways to emphasise the consistent values connecting old actions with values underlying new actions, such as freedom, family, simplicity, variety.

4. Know and Like – People prefer to say yes to those they know and like. They also tend to favour those who give them compliments, who are similar to themselves or are physically attractive. So, ideally become knowledgeable about what their challenges are and what they know and love.

5. Authority – When people are uncertain, they look outside themselves for information to guide their decisions. They tend to respect authority. So giving the appearance of authority increases the likelihood that others will join in on your requests.

6. Scarcity – Interestingly, the less there is of something, the more valuable it is and the more people want it. Team this with uniqueness and it increases the perception of scarcity. For instance, at work, if do something that is unique, you become indispensable, valuable and paid more. We also have a heightened sensitivity to possible losses rather than gains, so emphasising the potential for wasted opportunities is quite a powerful influencer.

If you are lacking influence in a particular area of your life, use this as a checklist to find out what is missing and adjust accordingly. Happy influencing!

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