Influence: Snapshot of a Business “Classic”

InfluenceOpinions vary as to what defines a “classic” business book. My own opinion is that it offers insights and counsel that are of timeless value. To paraphrase Bernard of Chartres, a 12th century monk, their authors are the shoulders upon which each new generation of leaders stands. For example:

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

Robert B. Cialdini
HarperBusiness 1984

If you are a marketer, a manager, or a negotiator, chances are you employ Cialdini’s principles daily, even if you don’t know his name. In this seminal book Cialdini, a professor at Arizona State University, explains how to get people to do what you want: whether that’s to buy a product or obey a rule or honor a commitment. His six principles are reciprocity (people return favors); commitment and consistency (people honor their agreements); social proof (people do what other people do); authority (people do what powerful people or experts tell them to do); liking (people do things for people they like); and scarcity (people want something they believe is in short supply). Even seismic changes to marketing such as social media haven’t altered the profound psychological insights on which this book is based.

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