Top Tips For Influencing

To maximise your impact in the workplace influence consider best to use the Six Laws of Influence.

The Law of Scarcity

Items are more valuable when their availability is limited. Scarcity will always set the value of any product, service or item. For example if a customer is told that an item is in short supply which will soon run out they are more likely to buy it. Time also works here where (possibly an artificial) time limit is placed on the customer’s opportunity to buy something. Similarly if something is expensive, we tend to assume that it must be of high quality because it is in demand. This also works for key members of staff who become prized assets which need to be protected from being poached by rival organisations.

The Law of Reciprocity

If you give something to people, they feel compelled to return the favour.  People feel obliged to return a favour when somebody does something for them first. There is a moral upper hand to be developed and exploited here if the favour is not returned. It is much better for them to be in your pocket and not the other way around.

In a commercial setting after a pitch for a large sale has not been successful a pitch for a smaller value is far more likely to be agreed. After someone has turned down a large request, they are very likely to agree to a smaller request.

The Law of Authority

We are more likely to comply with someone who is (or resembles) an authority.  If you look the part, talk the part and walk the part you have authority. Even if you don’t.  People perceive power in how you manage your appearance and will take all sorts of sound and not-so-sound advice/guidance/instructions/orders from those they see as having authority and power. Use this wisely!

The Law of Liking

We are more inclined to follow the lead of someone who is similar to us rather than someone who is dissimilar.  We are more likely to help people who dress like us, are the same age as us, or have similar backgrounds and interests. We even prefer people whose names are similar to ours. We also follow instructions more easily from those who we like so the more seemingly “personal” you can make your interactions and meetings the more you will be able to influence those around you.

The Law of Social Proof

We view behaviour as more likely to be correct, the more we see others performing it. We assume that if a lot of people are doing the same thing, they must know something that we don’t. Especially when we are uncertain, we are more likely to trust in the collective knowledge of the crowd. This is something experienced managers and entrepreneurs fight against in trying to develop new products and services and something for you to consider when either promoting change or supporting the status quo. Social Proof is a Law that will take some overturning. Excellent managers buy at the time when others are selling as a result of stock market panic.

The Law of Commitment and Consistency

Consistency is seen as desirable as it is associated with strength, honesty, stability and logic. Inconsistent people may be seen as two-faced, indecisive and “butterflies” never committing themselves for long enough to complete tasks. People will do more to stay consistent with their commitments and beliefs if they have already taken a small initial step.

If you can get someone to do you a small favour, they are more likely to grant you a larger favour later on. If someone does you a favour, let them know afterwards what happened as they will appreciate your feedback and may be able to help you further in future.

By using these Laws you can improve the way in which Influence those around you and better achieve your targets and goals.

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