After failing to make a purchase at your desired price or getting a promotion that you clearly deserve, you stop for a minute and think to yourself: Only if I was a little more influential and persuasive. Well, you are in luck, because in this article I would be talking about three simple principles that would make you more influential and raise your success rate.
Naturally, some examples of implementation of those principles would follow after. In the end, I will show how to apply those principles when creating live polls. These are principles identified by Jonah Berger in his revolutionary book “Invisible Influence: The Hidden Forces that Shape Behavior”. Let’s go one by one.
First principle is called “Be a Chameleon”. Scientists have studied what make negotiators reach success even in situations that seemed lost. After studying and monitoring over hundred negotiations they noticed that people who were copying manners, language and body posture of the other party reached five times more success. So, like chameleon changes its color to match the surrounding, negotiators were momentarily copying the behavior, language, mannerisms. For example, if other person crossed their legs then they did the same, same goes for every other small detail. The beauty of this principle is that it doesn’t necessarily have to be used in negotiations only. It is applicable in almost any situation, but not in all which brings us to our next principle called “Harness the drive to be different”.
Influence is like a magnet it can attract or repulse. This principle has been established after an experiment conducted in winery. Two groups of people were approached by waitresses. In the first group waitress after describing the menu took the order in regular manner, but on the second group people rather than traditionally saying out loud their order, they marked it right on the menu, without anybody else seeing what they have ordered. After they were asked if they are satisfied with the orders that they made, majority of the first group wasn’t while the second group was.
This experiment illustrates one of our basic desires which is the drive to seem or be unique and different. That’s why the first group didn’t like their orders, because by wanting to seem different they ordered things that they might not even like. For example, when a restaurant or cafeteria becomes too popular some people start avoiding it, because the feeling of uniqueness is gone. As mentioned influence is a double edged sword, so depending on the situation and group of people you need to decide whether to imitate or differentiate in order to reach success.
Last principle is “picking a proximal pair.” This principle is a huge tool for influencing and motivating yourself and others. It is quite simple, you just need to make a comparison to other people. This principle is backed up by an experiment conducted by scientists in California. They went door to door talking to people, to the first group they presented an argument of how turning heat and A/C in the house can benefit them.
Second group was presented the problem from pure environmental point of view. Third group talked about how turning down their heat and A/C can be helpful for the community. All of the residents thanked the presenters and absolutely agreed to use less electricity. After several months when scientists came back to check, they discovered that change in electricity usage haven’t changed at all. It is as if they never even talked with those people.
However, this isn’t the end of the story, there was a fourth group of people, to whom the argument was presented just by stating that their neighbors are using less energy. The experiment showed that only the fourth group changed their electricity consumption, which itself shows how powerful public influence is. Another thing that needs mentioning about this principle is who to pick for comparison.
If you decide to motivate or influence your workers by comparing them to some company employers who are very ahead, they most likely will just give up. So, you need to pick for comparison someone or some group who is slightly ahead, but not too ahead. One thing to keep in mind is that those principles are being used repeatedly, whether we realize it or not. So now that we can identify them, they can be used in our favor as well.
Now, that we are done with three principles let’s discuss how those principles can be used when you are creating a poll. To do that let’s put polling in every single principle. First, the principle of the chameleon. While making a poll try to imitate the language and preferences of your group. Secondly, making the poll anonymous like they did in the restaurant ordering process, can be a great tool to receive the most sincere and honest answers out of the group. Thirdly, mentioning that your poll has been filled by a lot of people, would work wonders for you. Enabling the function to show the poll results after the voting can be helpful as a part of the third principle. Next time you go to Swift Polling to make a poll, just keep this principles in mind.