Influence Effectively


More than 60 years of research and experimentation in influence have proven that human behaviour is often highly predictable.

There are several ways to increase one’s influence quotient; I will share what science has learned about influence and how we can leverage it positively, especially in an ever-changing dynamic in our workplace, where influence is an everyday affair.

If you are a leader or manager, you cannot lead without influence, and we cannot not communicate without influence in the workplace.

In my book, “The Power Science of Influence – Proven Strategies at Work, Sales, Team”, I shared 25 scientific behavioural strategies, which I will share with you 3 of them today.



Give People Less Choice

Scientifically it has been proven that the less choice you give to a person, the more likely they are to make a sooner decision. The more choice you offer, you are directly the culprit in increasing their procrastination score.

An experiment with a fund management house that offers funds for people buying into a pension plan realizes that for every 10 different funds offered for comparison, the sign-up rate dropped by every 2 per cent.

The more choices on the plate, the more people will not make up their minds. They are directly increasing their procrastination score.

This strategy seems too simple. Not really.

We, as humans, are programmed to naturally love choices. The more, the merrier. We are constantly putting ourselves in a dilemma because, at the end of the day, we end up with more than we ask for, and when it is time to make a decision, we end up with an analysis till paralysis syndrome.

Just pause and reflect for a little while; when was the last time you were in a meeting with many ways to execute a plan, and the meeting dragged on for hours when it could be done in 30 minutes? How do we make 30 decisions in 30 minutes? That is, to give people less choice and be specific with what you want them to do.



Give People Less Reason

An experiment was done with two groups of people tasked to decide whether to buy Brand A Car.

The first group was asked: “Give me one strong reason to buy Brand A.”

Most people in the first group decided that Brand A was the best choice.

However, when the second group was asked: “Give me ten strong reasons to buy Brand A, ” the majority decided they wouldn’t buy the car.

Interestingly, with the same car, we have two different responses. The mystery lies in the provision of one strong reason versus ten. Logically, we think that by having more reasons to act, we would facilitate a greater buy-in.

The reverse is true, and this effect might potentially backfire on us.

What, then, could be the underlying psychology? People find it hard to generate ten reasons to buy and the aftermath effect. They unconsciously associate the difficulty of generating the reasons with the difficulty of deciding to buy.

Linking this to the first strategy of less choice, you should give people less choice and one strong reason to act.

Too many choices and reasons mean too much time will be spent on too much stuff. The saying goes, “major in the major thing”.

Before any meeting or conversation, you need to convince someone to say “yes”.

Go over your notes and get as specific as possible. Plan exactly what you want the person to do.

Give them less choice to choose and substantiate your preferred one with one strong reason, giving them the push to act. Influence is never an accident; it is by intention.



Have Lunch.

Yes, I am not joking! Go and have lunch with people whom you intend to influence.

Scientific evidence has proven that when we are having a great lunch, we will associate the positive feeling triggered by the food, lighting up the pleasure centre in our brain and associating the positive feeling with the message delivered over the course of the meal.

If you have ever encountered a deadlock in a meeting over a certain disagreement, intentionally call for a tea beak and adjourn the meeting to a café nearby. The only catch; start to persuade casually on the disagreement earlier, sharing your view. But only when they are eating. It does not work if they are not eating anything!

In summary, you will increase your influence and persuasion score if you can narrow down and be specific with the choice for people, giving them less choice and supporting the preferred one with a strong reason. If you have to, bring them out to lunch.

The bill is on you, of course!


This is Joseph@RISEUP Signing Off.

May You TRANSFORM, FLOURISH AND PROSPER in the brand new world!

#riseup #riseupglobal #showup #leadership #team #motivation #inspiration #motivation  #influence