I consider this to be the most important strategy book in my library. Robert Cialgini defines six ways humans influence each other. It is the best perspective I have ever read on how we influence each other’s decisions and attitudes. Just read it.

If you work with other people at all, in any capacity, it will provide tools and resources to help you. Or, if you want to understand how other people influence your own choices, it helps there too.

Here’s a link to order a copy at Amazon.

A knowledge of the six “weapons of influence” is useful not only in a proactive way, but is also helpful to improve our awareness of when the principles are influencing our own choices.

Influence discusses the six “weapons of influence” and how they impact our decision-making.

  1. Reciprocity: People tend to return a favor, thus the pervasiveness of free samples in marketing. We feel obligated to return good deeds. Examples include the influence of business lunches, small favors and how reciprocity influences negotiation.
  2. Commitment and Consistency: If people commit, orally or in writing, to an idea or goal, they are more likely to honor their commitment. Even when the original incentive or motivation is lost, people try to honor an agreement.
  3. Social Proof: People do things that they see other people are doing. For example, in one experiment, one or more confederates would look up into the sky; bystanders then look up into the sky to see what they were seeing. The experiment was so effective, it stopped traffic and had to abort…
  4. Authority: People tend to obey authority figures, even if they are asked to perform objectionable acts. Cialdini cites incidents such as the Milgram experiments in the early 1960s and the My Lai massacre.
  5. Liking: People are easily persuaded by people that they like. For example, friendship and social connections increase sales, its why network marketing works. People are more likely to buy if they like the person selling it to them.
  6. Scarcity: Perceived scarcity generates demand. For example, saying offers are available for a “limited time only” impacts a decision to purchase.

I highly recommend this book to anyone in business or who is trying to collaborate and work with clients or peers (so pretty much everyone).