We experience Cialdini’s rules of influence relentlessly. His insights into how people are persuaded has shaped sales, marketing and politics. But how do you influence your closest colleagues effectively, collaboratively and in line with your values? The rules of influence – scarcity, social proof and so on – still apply. But here are some ways to adapt them.
1 Read your colleagues wisely.
Everyone is persuaded differently. Empathise with what they need and what they fear. This will give you a repertoire of influencing skills rather than repeated frustration. Frustration is often a sign that you are trying to persuade others only in the way you yourself are persuaded.
Which facts carry most weight with others?
What do they prioritise?
- Authority from position
4 Time; how does it play out in your team?
- Fast tempo or slow?
- Long horizon or short?
- Deadlines or phases?
5 Motivation; what can you see your colleagues prefer?
- Personal goals
- Organisational goals
6 Which of these attitudes is most valued in the room?
- Winning – 100% or 80%
New issues reveal hidden dynamics even in close teams. The Influencing dynamic changes depending on the team’s overall rules of engagement, the level of crisis and how well the leader has generated team cohesion.
Influence is an asset, a key part of your reputation and essential for impact across your career.
It’s worth investing in and refining as you go.