Persuasion And Persuasive Techniques

by Robert Cialdini and Daniel Pink


This is a theme article about the topics of persuasion and persuasive techniques as they are taught by the renown authors Dr. Robert Cialdini and Daniel Pink. When discussing the science of persuasion and persuasive techniques or principles, Dr. Robert Cialdini has contributed an abundance of valuable work and research results. What makes Cialdini’s work exceptionally useful is how his points, or shortcuts as he sometimes refers to them, can be immediately implemented and used in your own daily work and activities. In the featuring video above, he points to six major shortcuts or secrets from the science of persuasion, which are the following:

Secrets From The Science Of Persuasion

1: Reciprocity

Reciprocity concerns the feeling of an obligation to give when you receive. Be the first to give and be sure that what you give is personalized and unexpected.

2: Scarcity

People want more of those things they can have less of. What will people lose if they fail to consider your proposal?

3: Authority

People follow the lead of credible knowledgeable experts. A therapist with a diploma on the wall is more likely to get people to exercise if it is recommended.

4: Consistency

People like to be consistent with things they have previously said or done. We see a 400 percent increase in people willing to have a sign on their lawn about safe driving if they ten days ahead have agreed to have a small sticker on their window about safe driving – showing they support the cause.

5: Liking

We like people who are similar to us, those who pay us compliments, and people who cooperate with us.

6: Consensus

People will look to the actions and behavior of others to determine their own Science tells us that rather than relying on our own ability to persuade others, we can point to what many others are already doing – especially others similar to us.

People will look to the actions and behavior of others to determine their own

For example, if a sign in a hotel room says – 75 percent of people in this room reuse towels due to environmental benefits, we see a 26 percent increases compliance.

Daniel Pink on Persuasion

As persuasion expert and a bestselling author on motivation, Daniel Pink declares: like it or not…we’re all in sales! All around the clock, we are making sales pitches, says Daniel Pink. It may be to our bosses, parents or teachers – or in the role of politicians, art directors and so forth.

The best predictor of success is how you explain your failures to yourself

Listen to Daniel Pink’s own voice in the following video where he explains how it is possible to influence others more effectively – and how the best predictor of success is how you explain your failures to yourself.



Can I understand someone else’s point of view?


Can I remain resilient and buoyant in the face of rejection?


Can I help someone make their way through this murk of information and clarify?

Can I help someone and identify problems that they don’t realize they have?

Can I look for ways in which this other person and I have common grounds, so if we reach this common ground, we’ll both be better off?

I really am convinced that the way to do it more effectively is to just be a little bit more human.

–Daniel Pink

How to Persuade with the Right Questions?

So how do you persuade, say… your teenage daughter to clean up her room? There is an effective technique you can use, which is based in the counseling literature and more specifically what is called motivational interviewing, says Daniel Pink. It concerns asking two irrational questions. Daniel Pink here tells you how it can be approached:

We tend to think that motivation is something we do to others, says Daniel Pink. Yet, it is really something people do to themselves. So to motivate or persuade you need to resurface people’s own reasons for doing something. Why? Because it works a lot better!

3 Minutes with Dr. Robert Cialdini to Recap the Six Principles of Persuasion

Our favorite principle is this: the first question you should ask when wishing to be influential, is NOT: who can help me here? No, the first question you should ask is: whom can I help here? Whose circumstances can I elevate here? Whose business outcome can I improve here? By the principle of reciprocity in which we’ve been trained since childhood, Dr. Cialdini explains, people will want to give back to help and elevate you in return. Listen to Dr. Robert Cialdini’s short presentation of the six principles of persuasion and enjoy also his excellent presentation skills throughout.

More about Persuasion and Persuasive Techniques

As illustrated above, persuasion is used in all parts of life and anyone can use it to improve their daily work lives as well as private lives. It is relevant above and beyond sales and marketing although this is what it commonly refers to in business. If you are interested in learning more about persuasion and how to influence others effectively, then you will find great value in listening to this following podcast. To save your ears, turn down the volume when listening to the intro jingle and then sit back to enjoy this 1-hour long podcast – on the sofa or maybe during your next car ride.

We hope you have enjoyed this theme article about the topic of persuasion and would love to hear any thoughts or comments you might have. We would also be delighted hearing, which takeaways from the above you find most valuable.

Further Reading about Persuasion and Persuasive Techniques:

Find more at Dr. Robert Cialdini’s own homepage: Influence at Work

You are invited to read and download a chapter in Cr. Cialdini’s recent book PRE-SUASION, at this book presentation page.

Find article conversations, podcasts, videos and more with Daniel Pink HERE.

Learn more about Daniel Pink’s latest book: WHEN: THE SCIENTIFIC SECRETS OF PERFECT TIMING. You will also find a seven-minute podcast here explaining the importance of timing throughout life.

*Please note that ManageMagazine has no economic gains by making these recommendations. We recommend these authors and books because we find that they offer enormous value.


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  1. Persuasion was defined by the great philosopher Aristotle as the art of inducing people to perform actions that they would not normally do if we did not ask them.
    Certainly it is of considerable importance in everyday life, both in the personal sphere and in the professional sphere, very often determining the success of our initiatives. Almost every day we feel the need to convince those around us to accept our point of view without hesitation or to welcome one of our requests. The experience in the business world made me realize that the ability to persuade can bring enormous benefits on the communicative level: it is a sort of magic formula that helps us to manage interpersonal relationships, positively influencing the opinions, attitudes and actions of others.
    In short, persuasive communication is the main ingredient of personal and professional success, an expressive modality that fuses together assertiveness and empathy.