by Robert B. Cialdini
A LUCKY FEW HAVE IT; most of US do not. A handful
of gifted "naturals" simply know how to cap/ \ ture an audience, sway the undecided, and convert the opposition. Watching these masters of persuasion work their magic is at once impressive and frustrating. What's impressive is not just the easy way they use charisma and eloquence to convince others to do as they ask. It's also how eager those others are to do what's requested of them, as if the persuasion itself were a favor they couldn't wait to repay. The frustrating part of the experience is that these bom persuaders are often unahle to account for their remarkable skill or pass it on to others. Their way with people is an art, and artists as a rule are far hetter at doing than at explaining. Most of them can't offer much help to those of us who possess no more than the ordinary quotient of charisma and eloquence but who still have to wrestle with leadership's fundamental challenge: getting things done through others. That challenge is painfully familiar to corporate executives, who every day have to figure out how to motivate and direct a highly individualistic workforce. Playing the "Because I'm the boss" card is out. Even if it weren't demeaning and demoralizing for all concerned, it would be out of place in a world where cross-functional teams, joint ventures, and intercompany partnerships have blurred the lines of authority. In such an environment, persuasion skills exert far greater influence over others' behavior than formal power structures do.
HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW
Jo leader can succeed without mastering the art of persuasion. But there's hard science in that skill, too, and a large body 3f psychological research suggests there are six basic laws of rinning friends and influencing people.
H a r n e s s i n g t h e Science o f P e r s u a s i o n
cially compelling-similarity and praise. Similarity literally draws... [continues]
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