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Grant provides a brilliant analysis. Another fascinating study was done by Frank Flynn, formerly at Columbia, now at Stanford. He examined giving behaviors at a large telecom and found that two things happened when people helped their colleagues. One, the helpers were perceived by their fellow employees to be extremely valuable.

How do you manage that discrepancy between generosity and productivity? It was the number of favors exchanged.

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He can increase the likelihood of a big ROI by characterizing his assistance as a two-way partnership. Second situation: An executive needs to convince a group that a big change in direction is necessary. What would you advise? Moving people under conditions of uncertainty is difficult—the first thing they do is freeze. Managers can take the wind in their faces and make it wind in their sails by speaking not just of what will be gained by moving but also of what will be lost or forgone if people fail to move. Instead, they look outside for sources of information that can reduce their uncertainty.

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The first thing they look to is authority: What do the experts think about this topic? It could be the person who knows the subject best. The manager needs to marshal evidence from acknowledged experts—they could be outsiders—that aligns with the rationale for the initiative. The other place people look is to peers. Instead, he or she should identify a respected member of the group who agrees with the plan and ask that person to weigh in.

Persuasion works by appealing to certain deeply rooted human responses. Experiments in social psychology by Robert Cialdini and others have identified six of those responses, which Cialdini initially described in his book Influence. People tend to return favors. People will do things they see other people doing—especially if those people seem similar to them. People want to be consistent, or at least to appear to be.

People defer to experts and to those in positions of authority and typically underestimate their tendency to do so. I was recently at a conference where a group of CEOs were asked to cooperate on a task that was important in a civic sense—important to the world—but was not necessarily something their shareholders would applaud. The organizer was deeply respected but had no formal power.

In that kind of situation, how do you get people to make commitments that last beyond the feel-good moment? Two things strike me as important. The research on this is very clear.


  1. Rogues in Hell (Heroes in Hell).
  2. Master These 3 Ways to Influence People | Center for Creative Leadership.
  3. The Nine Primary Tactics Used to Influence Others.

So the organizer needed to build that sense of shared purpose in the moment. Once people disperse, they go back to their everyday we —in this case, the companies they run. You have to ask them what they will do and, if possible, get a written response. People live up to what they write down, for some reason; it seems to make the choice more conscious.

Bit by bit, the commitment becomes more concrete. If you want to build up your informal networks, how do you go about it? We can find out a lot about people by checking their Facebook or LinkedIn pages.

Influencing Through Argument

Now you have people who are willing to be part of your network because of commonalities that were under the surface. What advice can you give people who are reluctant to negotiate for themselves and need to get better at it? The liking principle also comes into play. If you have to be a broker of information about yourself, you often appear self-aggrandizing, and it rubs people the wrong way. But if the candidate argues the very same case, it does. This is especially relevant for women. We have done research showing that women who are anything less than modest about their accomplishments are harmed interpersonally.

Men can also do themselves damage by being boastful, but we expect them to be aggressive.

Writing to persuade, argue and advise - Revision 4 - KS3 English - BBC Bitesize

It hurts them far, far less than it hurts women. Do they face difficulties when it comes to influencing those around them? Yes, because of the similarity factor we talked about earlier. Those surface characteristics—race, ethnicity, foreign-born status—become irrelevant when there are commonalities in terms of values.

It usually takes a while for those things to be recognized; you can shorten the process by speaking about values more spontaneously. Moving people under conditions of uncertainty is difficult—they freeze. Did your influencing skills fall short? FIP has invited experts in the art of debating to consider an issue at the heart of the pharmacy profession — continuing professional development — and to help congress participants understand and acquire the skills needed to debate effectively.

Speakers will introduce the concept of debate as well as giving an overview of two different CPD systems — one based on outcomes, one based on inputs. Participants will be invited to debate the merits of the two systems, along with the concept of recertification or continuing fitness to practise, a process that is set to be brought in in Ireland and which has recently been introduced in the UK. As the debates unfold, participants will learn the skills needed to tease out issues and counter opposing arguments. Participants will also act as judges in the debate, voting on how well arguments are made.

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