Can we use Influence Tactics and not feel bad about it?

Can we use persuasive tactics and still be authentic?

That is a question I’ve been asked repeatedly when talking about networking.

The truth is that some of the tactics that we use when we are networking may seem a bit fake, especially when it is not a natural behavior for you. Us introverts found ourselves in this situation often.

There are several great sources that can help us better understand the power that perception and persuasion have over human beings.

Source #1: Recently TED Radio Hour released a podcast episode called Brand Over Brain. They cite many examples and studies of how we are tricked by brands depending on the way questions are framed and the way we perceive them. It is clear that value is influenced a lot by perception, so it is key that we train our brain to be mindful when deciding the value of things.

Even the best marketers and persuasion masters admit that they often fall for influence “tricks". In fact, many use these tools on purpose to “trick” themselves to build desired behaviors.

Source #2: Robert B. Cialdini has a great book called Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, where he explains the available Weapons of Influence and how they work.

In one particular chapter, he shares the results of a study done in Texas. The study consisted of a man illegally crossing a road, and counting the people that followed him. They tested two scenarios:

a)      The man dressed in a nice business suit

b)     The man dressed in a work shirt and trousers

After several tests, they concluded that 3.5 times the number of people followed the man when he was dressed in business suit vs. when the man was dressed in a work shirt and trousers. Now you see why it is important to dress according to your professional goals.

Source 3#: Your body language shapes who you are, this is Amy Cuddy’s TED Talk, which is one of the most popular with 36 million views. She shares results from different studies. One, in particular, shows how you can increase testosterone production just by standing in a posture of confidence.

Do yourself a favor and watch this TED talk. If you have already watched it then watch it again, I’m sure you will learn something new. Because you are now a different person than the last time you saw it.

Summary

As you can see persuasive tools exist, people will use them, and they can have great power whether you like it or not. Some people will use if for their own benefit, and others will use them to create value and help other people as much as they help themselves.

My goal is to help you find the best persuasive tools, understand how they work, and empower you to use them to achieve your goals. I will leave you to decide what will be the goal of using these tools. Hopefully, it is to create value for you and others.

If you want to learn and practice to become better at using influence and persuasion as tools, please send an email to consulting.club@bmbas.org

That way you will receive information and be able to participate in the Networking Boot Camp that the Bauer MBA Consulting Cub is conducting throughout the Fall semester.

Learning and sharing knowledge are my passions, let’s connect if those are yours too.

Alejandro I. Sanoja