Podcast Episodes

What is behavioral economics? Why does it matter to you?

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Podcast Episodes

What is behavioral economics? Why does it matter to you?

312. The Science of Influence: Dr. Robert Cialdini Reveals the Secrets (Refreshed Episode)

The principle of unity, now featured as Robert Cialdini’s 7th Principle of Persuasion in the New and Expanded version of Influence, is important for anyone in business to understand. Fundamentally, it is about fostering a communal sentiment between the communicator and the audience, making them feel as if they are part of the same group. This unity transcends mere similarities and taps into shared identities such as nationality, family, or political affiliation. More than being an effective tool for persuasion, creating a sense of unity also helps build stronger, more meaningful connections with others.

Throughout the interview, Dr. Cialdini explains all seven principles of persuasion: reciprocity, authority, liking, consistency/commitment, social proof, scarcity, and unity. He provides thought-provoking examples and tips that anyone in business can learn from and start being more influential (and persuasive) immediately! Don’t miss this one.

In this episode:

  • Uncover the basic principles of persuasion and their impressive influence on human behavior.
  • Learn about the (now) 7 Principles of Persuasion from the godfather of influence himself.
  • Hear some questions from listeners like you, that Melina asked Dr. Cialdini!
  • Embrace ethical persuasion and the responsible handling of influence strategies.
  • Discover a little about what Bob is doing now, as Melina mentions the Cialdini Institute, a new initiative that has launched since this refreshed episode originally aired.
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00:00:00 – Introduction,
The episode introduces Dr. Robert Cialdini, a renowned persuasion scientist, and discusses his iconic book “Influence” and its new and expanded version, which includes the seventh principle of persuasion, Unity.

00:03:15 – Cialdini’s Background and Research,
Dr. Cialdini shares his background as a persuasion scientist and his early research, which involved immersive observational studies of various professions that rely on influencing others. He emphasizes the importance of studying naturally occurring environments and the common principles of persuasion he discovered.

00:06:41 – The Original Six Principles of Persuasion,
Bob presents the six original principles of persuasion: reciprocity, liking, social proof, authority, commitment and consistency, and scarcity. He explains each principle and how they influence people’s decision-making processes.

00:15:55 – The Seventh Principle: Unity,
Dr. Cialdini introduces the seventh principle of persuasion, Unity, which focuses on creating a sense of shared identity between the communicator and the audience. He explains how unity can break down barriers to influence and strengthen the impact of persuasive messages.

00:19:45 – The Cuban Missile Crisis and Reciprocity,
The conversation begins with a discussion of the Cuban Missile Crisis and how the commonly held belief that Kennedy stood firm against Khrushchev was not entirely accurate. It was actually a reciprocal exchange of concessions, with Kennedy promising to remove U.S. missiles from Turkey in exchange for Khrushchev removing missiles from Cuba.

00:23:05 – Problem-Free vs. Problem-Freed Experience,
The conversation shifts to the importance of resolving problems for customers in business. It is argued that a problem-freed experience, where a problem is resolved in favor of the customer, can lead to increased loyalty and advocacy. Customers appreciate when problems are quickly and effectively addressed.

00:29:40 – Principles of Influence in a Digital World,
The conversation explores how the principles of influence adapt to a digital world, such as social media. While the platforms may change, the principles themselves remain consistent. Social proof, in particular, has gained traction with the availability of online reviews and testimonials.

00:33:53 – The Effectiveness of Persuasion Principles,
Melina asks a question from a listener on whether or not the principles are less effective now that people are aware of them and the landscape is changing. Dr. Cialdini explains his thoughts on this question.

00:39:32 – Reader Letters and Social Proof,
The inclusion of reader letters in the book was not initially intended as a social proof strategy, but rather as a way to engage with readers. However, the readers’ reports became a popular feature, providing social proof of the principles of the book in everyday situations.

00:41:46 – Future Book Plans,
Dr. Cialdini mentions his plan to write his next book as a collection of readers’ reports, with his thoughts on each. This format has been well-received by readers and provides valuable insights into how the principles of persuasion work in various contexts, so he thinks it could make a good full book.

00:42:41 – The Power of Unity,
Dr. Cialdini shares a personal story of how the principle of Unity helped him obtain data for a grant application from a colleague who is known to be less-than-helpful. By emphasizing their shared history and belonging to the same department, he was able to persuade his colleague to provide the necessary data.

00:45:30 – Learning More from Dr. Cialdini,
To learn more from Dr. Cialdini, listeners can visit the Influence At Work website, where they can access his other books and also find information on training programs. Dr. Cialdini emphasizes the importance of ethical persuasion and offers resources to help individuals become effective and ethical persuaders.

00:45:57 – Reflecting on Influence,
Melina reflects on her conversation with Dr. Cialdini and highlights the power of reciprocity, liking, and social proof and how they can all be achieved in one act – in this case, the endorsement he provided for her second book, What Your Employees Need and Can’t Tell You. Melina also shares a bit of what Dr. Cialdini is up to now, including the newly launched Cialdini Institute (links below).

00:46:54 – Conclusion,
Melina’s top insights from the conversation. What stuck with you while listening to the episode? What are you going to try? Come share it with Melina on social media — you’ll find her as @thebrainybiz everywhere and as Melina Palmer on LinkedIn.

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