Influence, the classic book on persuasion, explains the psychology of why people say “yes”—and how to apply these understandings. Dr. Robert Cialdini is the seminal expert in the rapidly expanding field of influence and persuasion. His thirty-five years of rigorous, evidence-based research along with a three-year program of study on what moves people to change behavior has resulted in this highly acclaimed book.
You’ll learn the six universal principles, how to use them to become a skilled persuader—and how to defend yourself against them. Perfect for people in all walks of life, the principles of Influence will move you toward profound personal change and act as a driving force for your success.
This video is about Building Trust – and how building Trust will Improve Relationships and the Enhance the Quality of our Lives. After you have food and shelter, it is the quality of the relationships that really make your life. Relationships are about trust. Where there is no trust, there is no relationship.
PS As of last night… I’ve updated my channel graphical look. I’d welcome your thoughts on the new look Rhetorical Journey Channel page. If you’re not already a subscriber to the youtube channel… What are you waiting for? Seriously… people pay me good money to talk and here you get me for free and in your comfy home.
How to Improve your Sales Process (4 Personal Habits to Develop)
My best blog posts have always come from interactions with readers… comments, questions via email, twitter, facebook… I’d love your help to think about ideas for future videos. What questions do you have? What topics should I cover? What lessons should I share by video? I read all the comments 😉
Any guesses which political leader made these statements?
“he prefers simple language” Jon Favreau, Obama speechwriter
How Donald Trump Speaks
Donald Trump dominates a specific type of rhetoric. His speaking is radically different to every other political candidate in the USA.
In the graphic to the left, researchers passed the speeches of all the US political candidates through the Flesch-Kincaid readability test, an analysis that tells us what level of school you need to understand the speaker.
Bernie Sanders speaks at a high school level.
Hilary speaks at junior high level.
Donald Trump speaks at a 4th grade level. He speaks directly and simply.
What does Donald do? There are 3 key things: Simplicity, Dialogue, Repetition
His language is Simple – Short sentences. “Look at Paris”. 75% of his words are single syllable words.
He uses Dialogue – “lots of people” call me and tell me “thank you Donald, you said what needs to be said” “They say Trump has a point”
He uses Repetition – “Make America Great Again”, “Problem, problem, problem”. The power of repetition is that we start to believe something is true if we hear it repeated enough time.
Focus on The Audience
What allows him to do this is that he is always speaking about the audience’s problems. He never talks about how difficult it can be, he never goes into details about how… he brings it back time and time again to “Problems, problems, problems.”
Donald Trump follows in a long line of US Presidents that radically altered the nature of effective political communication. Abraham Lincoln made the radical communication step of using newspapers to share his message. Dwight D Eisenhower made the radical communication step of using radio to speak directly to people in their homes, in his fireside chats. JFK used television more powerfully than any other politician.
How Donald Trump Answers a Question
The Nerdwriter episode on “How Donald Trump Answers a Question” is a brilliant analysis of one specific answer that Trump gave to Jimmy Kimmel. If you are reading this via email, check out the video here: How Donald Trump Answers A Question
How Simple can we Go?
“A leaders’ job isn’t to educate the public — it’s to inspire and persuade them, That requires meeting people where they are, and speaking in words that are easily accessible to the broadest possible audience. Perhaps the most powerful, inspirational political phrase of the last decade or so involved three of the simplest words in the English language: yes we can.’’Jon Favreau, Obama’s speechwriter
“At some point enough is enough, If you continue drawing these lines, you’re going to hit comic strip levels. . . . There are real costs to oversimplification.” Elvin T. Lim, professor at Wesleyan University
In Rationalia, all decisions are taken because scientific data is collected and the evidence supports the law. If you want to change a law, you suggest an experiment. If the experiment produces evidence that the new law improves the conditions of Rationalia, then the law is passed.
In this land, reason wins.
This is not a country that we are living in now.
This post is not going to get into the pros and cons of the nation of Rationalia.
How Do Politicians try to Change our Minds?
If I listen to political debate (Trump vs Hillary, UK Labour party, Brexit referendum) I do not hear rational arguments being put forward for a range of proposed policies.
I hear arguments that go to credibility (or Ethos, for those followers of Aristotle amongst you):
“You can’t trust her”,
“She doesn’t have the energy”,
“It was just locker-room banter”,
“He says it does not represent who he is, but I think we all know that it really does represent exactly who he is”
There is nothing here about policies. There is nothing here about the danger of the other’s flawed policies. There is only raising of my trustworthiness and decreasing of the other’s trustworthiness.
Why has Reason disappeared from political debate?
I understand this shift. I see three big reasons:
People hold a wider range of beliefs
more sources and types of data and
more channels for experts to spread their views.
There has been such a broadening of accepted beliefs over the last half-century that there are few value systems that can be assumed to apply to the whole electorate. There are few symbols that represent the same value to the whole electorate. There are few bases for logical argument that starts from a widely held truth.
There is much more data, in many more forms (graphics, reports, video, analyst reports…), there are many more experts, there are many more sources for information. The experts come at us through new channels – online, cable, satellite, podcasts, blogs, facebook, twitter…
It is confusing.
What do we do when we are Confused?
In this environment we seek voices we can trust. (Check out The Trust Equation for an in-depth analysis of the 4 components of trust in relationships)
It is only a trusted voice that can open our eyes to a new perspective.
If you want to persuade someone, build a relationship. If there is no relationship, there is little chance of persuasion.
We only really change our minds when a trusted friend who knows us finally asks a question in a private conversation “Hey, why is that so important to you? What effect do you think it is having on your life? on those around you?…”
Who are your trusted friends? Who do you allow to have influence on you?
“Leadership is the art of making difficult judgments in the face of uncertainty, and it is about shaping a path for others to follow.” Prof. Julian Birkinshaw, London Business School.
Professor Birkinshaw provides 7 lessons from the political turmoil of Brexit – about how to fail, and occasionally how to succeed as a leader.
Business leadership is not quite the same as a political leadership, however the basic principles of leadership are universal. Whether you are a CEO or an aspiring middle manager, here are seven important takeaways from the Brexit…
Seven Leadership Lessons from Brexit
Emotion Beats Logic, And Hope Beats Fear
Experts Don’t Count For Much At All
Activism Is A Priceless Quality
Know The Limits Of Crowdsourcing
Leaders Reap What They Sow
Time Your Run Carefully
You Aren’t A Leader If You Don’t Have Any Followers
Rosabeth Moss Kanter is a Harvard Professor that has spent her life looking at what it takes for leaders to get things done.
6 Keys to Leading Positive Change
Show up – if you don’t show up, nothing happens. Be there. Trust that your presence matters and can make a difference.
Speak up – Use your voice. Say what needs to be said. Ask the questions that need to be asked. Shape the agenda. Re-frame issues and give new perspectives.
Look up – Have a higher vision, bring values to the team. Know what you stand for. Elevate people out of the weeds and to a bigger picture of why our work is important.
Team up – Everything goes better with partners. Don’t try to do it alone. Build a sense of partnership.
Never give up – Persist until done. Everything looks like a failure in the middle. It will take longer than you imagine, keep going anyway. Be flexible in your approach, but inflexible in your persistence.
Lift others up – Share success, share credit and give back once you have a success.
Yesterday, Boris Johnson was on a triumphal march to the leadership of the UK. Today, his career lies in ruins. What happened?
Tragedy is “a form of drama based on human suffering that invokes an accompanying catharsis or pleasure in audiences” (from wikipedia). The essence of Tragedy is that the hero’s greatest strength will end up being the source of his failure… usually just inches from victory.
Boris Johnson lived through a classic tragedy yesterday.
UK politician, Boris Johnson is often described as a buffoon, even by his admirers. His messy, bumbling, self-deprecating persona has long made him one of the best known politicians through his appearances on TV chat shows. His greatest strength: a magnetic, charismatic character that allows him to engage all sides of the political spectrum.
His downfall: he makes so many wonderful promises that there is no way he can keep them all. His own lieutenant realises that he cannot trust Boris and stabs him in the back.
The Events of the Britannic Tragedy
Is this Game of Thrones? No, it’s even more gruesome…
Just 2 weeks ago… It was all going so well for Boris.
Let’s go back 20 years and cover some history…
1999: Boris was made editor of Spectator magazine, promising Conrad Black, the owner, that he would never enter politics.
Boris enters politics.
2008: Boris was given a leadership role in the conservative party, promising he would not run for London mayor against the central party candidate Nick Boles.
He runs for London mayor.
2016: Boris takes a tactical decision to lead the Brexit campaign in the referendum, giving a plausible front face to a campaign previously made up of bigots and angry white men. He promises everything to everybody.
Michael Gove promises to support Boris Johnson’s run for leadership.
Boris promises jobs to everyone who supports him.
Michael Gove discovers that 300 people have been promised leading roles in a Boris Johnson leadership team. There are not 300 leadership roles. Gove wants some clarity on his future role in the Boris Johnson team. Boris equivocates…
The morning of Boris Johnson’s accession to the throne of conservative party leadership, Gove turns on him and says he cannot be trusted to lead.
The Danger of the Charismatic Leader
Narcissism is “the pursuit of gratification from vanity or egotistic admiration of one’s own attributes. The term originated from Greek mythology, where the young Narcissus fell in love with his own image reflected in a pool of water.” (from wikipedia)
The narcissistic leader is missing any internal compass that guides their action. They are oriented to personal power. All decisions are short term opportunistic decisions based on the net increase in power.
It is addictive to follow a narcissistic leader. They know how to make you feel great when they need you. They know the words you most want to hear. They know the promises you want them to make. They make everything seem clear and simple.
The charismatic leader does not intend to lie. In the moment that they make the promise they really mean to keep it. The problem is that they mean the promise because they see it pleases you. The moment someone else is with them, they will make a promise that pleases them. They will accumulate promise after promise, pleasing person after person… until they have made so many promises that they have to break some of them.
Be careful of people pleasers. They are better at pleasing people than at staying the course on a long and challenging voyage.
Be Careful of Simple Answers
The world is not clear and simple. The problems of the world are complex and connected. No simple solution will give us back the imagined great past that has been taken away from us. It is not the immigrants who have made anyone poorer, it is that you cannot do the same work for the same rewards forever.
We must be wary of simple answers to complex, global problems. We must be wary of charismatic personalities that are willing to say whatever is needed to be said in order to gain power.
The only proof of future performance is past performance. How has this person behaved in the past. Words are cheap. Only actions show the true colours of a person.
Be careful of words.
Look at actions.
The Future is Not So Bad for the Tories
While the future is pretty bleak for the individuals, this tragedy has brought the Tory party together.
After all of the leadership bloodletting we now have 5 candidates who espouse the same 3 priorities for the future: Brexit + Social Justice + Capitalism.
Maybe it takes an individual tragedy to bring an organisation together?
If a relationship really matters, it’s best to get face to face. 95% of corporate leaders believe getting face-to-face time is key to successful business relationships; a virtual meeting can never quite substitute meeting someone in person. Here’s an infographic that summarises the research about the impact of face to face meetings over technology-enabled first meetings.
Make a Great First Impression
Note to readers… this research was conducted by a travel agency… so there might be some bias… but still a useful reflection on what you can work on to really engage with people when you get face to face. Here’s the link to the original of the infographic at CT Business Travel’s blog.