This week we have learned from the textbook of ‘Business Communication’, Persuasion is an act or a process of influencing someone to shift, motivate or change the receiver’s opinion or point of view (McLean, S. 2010). Social psychologist Dr. Robert Cialdini suggested six powerful and effective principles of persuasion as Reciprocity, Scarcity, Authority, Commitment and consistency, Consensus and Liking. These six principles are useful contrivance in dealing with clients, coworkers, management etc. Principle #1: Reciprocation Reciprocation is also known as when a person feels indebted to another who did something for him/ her (return the favor) or given a present. In many cases, this feeling of expectation and exchange between individuals could develop into a relationship and builds trust. For example, in a small clinic and hospital med-personal works in shifts. Whenever a doctor or a nurse needs a few hours or a particular day to attend the appointment or other engagement, he/ she would ask someone in the capacity to cover their shift. Usually, that someone would expect the favor to be reciprocated another time when it would be necessary. Principle #2: Scarcity In economic understanding, scarcity relates to demands and supply of product or service. In essence, less product in the market or rarer and unique it is, more valuable it becomes; things like the latest Apple iPhone or an authentically collectible art piece. And it could relate to the time limit as well. For example, an experienced doctor, with a good reputation has been asked to take over the position as the ‘Head of Pediatric Department’. The doctor wasn’t sure he/ she is ready to take such responsibility but after hearing that it was a limited time offer, the decision was made and the doctor accepted the position. Principle #3: AuthorityEveryone respects the authority and wants to follow the lead of the real experts. Business titles, driving an expensive car and impressive high-class clothing are proven factors in lending authority to an individual. The overall appearance of authority increases the probability that people will comply with requests be their authority legitimate or not. Some of the professions that fall into the authority category would be a police officer, doctor, fireman etc. For an authority example in the workplace, it doesn’t have to be a CEO or the manager. The clerk in the office with more experience would have more authority within the office co-workers and especially for the inexperienced newcomers. When authoritative clerk offers valuable information the less experienced co-worker or a group of them is more likely to follow the suggestions.Principle #4: Commitment and Consistency No one likes to back out of deals or given word. Dr. Cialdini says the person more likely to follow through after he/ she agreed to something verbally or in writing. Everyone tries to strive for consistency in their commitments and prefer to follow their pre-existing attitudes, values, habits etc. I think that the principle of commitment and consistency is related to the principle of reciprocation. An example, when a coworker in the office requested the other to complete the particular report for Friday’s meeting. Once the word of commitment is given, the report would be completed, no matter if there is time left during the office hours or taking this work back home. People stick to the commitment because they don’t want to lose their self-image. Principle #5: Liking It is a fact, that people would say ‘yes’ to someone they know like their friends and someone they are attracted to. Effective sales reps are the individuals who are amiable, they smile, say nice things to get the deal. A physical appeal plays into this, as well. Frequently, effective sales reps are the individuals who are favored with great looks; despite everything, it has an unquestionable effect. For example, the recommendation of a friend about a particular branded item would persuade to buy a product, or support of a well-known celebrity tends to influence people to buy the goods.
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