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Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade Hardcover – September 6, 2016
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"The great social psychologist Robert Cialdini has written another timeless and indispensable book about the psychology of influence. I'll be recommending it for years and years."—Amy Cuddy, Associate Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, and author of Presence
"Extends the science of persuasion in several important ways....an essential tool for anyone serious about science-based business strategies. Pre-Suasion is well worth the long wait, and is destined to be an instant classic. The book belongs on the shelf of anyone in business, from the CEO to the newest salesperson."—Forbes
"An utterly fascinating read on how the most important drivers of persuasion aren't the words we choose in the moment, but how we set the stage beforehand. Robert Cialdini is the world's foremost expert on influence, and you will never look at it the same way again."—Adam Grant, professor of Management and Psychology at the Wharton School, and author of Originals and Give and Take
"Digging down into how people make decisions at a primitive level is the specialty of author Robert Cialdini, a guru to salesmen and marketers since the publication of his 1984 book Influence. In his new book Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade, he returns with more tips about how to slither your way into people’s minds and rearrange what you find there.”—New York Post
"No psychologist’s research has been used more often or successfully than that of Robert Cialdini, who literally “wrote the book” on influence. Now, he’s done it again, showing us the power of the moment before an attempt to persuade. This is classic Cialdini—authoritative, original, and immediately practical."—Richard H. Thaler, Charles R. Walgreen Distinguished Service Professor of Behavioral Science and Economics at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, co-author of Nudge, and author of Misbehaving
"Robert Cialdini's Influence is, by a wide margin, the book that I recommend most often. Pre-Suasion may be even more shockingly insightful."—Chip Heath, Professor of Organizational Behavior at Stanford Graduate School of Business, and co-author of Switch and Made to Stick
"[Pre-Suasion] is sure to be an important contribution to the fields of social psychology and behavioral economics...detailed, readable, and fascinating, this book may cause the reader to wonder whether unbiased decisions are possible."—Publishers Weekly
“A fascinating and engaging glimpse into the world of persuasion, and it’s a lot more pervasive and evanescent than we might think.”—BizEd
"Books employing social science are very popular these days, but so are books on workplace culture. Pre-Suasion reminds us that there is a connection between the two, that using insights from behavioral science and social psychology can yield huge dividends if used accordingly and ethically."—800CEOREAD
“Exhaustively reviews the research not on how to influence others but on how to make people ready to be influenced….chapter after chapter piles on the experimental evidence from the field and the lab….Scholars, teachers and researchers will find the endnotes invaluable, because here, with his usual clarity and charm, Mr. Cialdini addresses academic concerns—such as the debate about the persistence and strength of change that can be produced in a brief lab study or field intervention—and explains many studies in detail, with more anecdotes to illustrate them….the overall message of this book is compelling.”—The Wall Street Journal
About the Author
Robert Cialdini is recognized worldwide for his inspired field research on the psychology of influence. He is a New York Times bestselling author. His books, including Influence, have sold more than three million copies in thirty-three languages. Dr. Cialdini is Regents’ Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Marketing at Arizona State University and the president and CEO of Influence at Work, an international company that provides keynotes and influence training on how to use the lessons in Dr. Cialdini’s books ethically and effectively.
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Robert Cialdini, author of Pre-Suasion – a Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade shares his insights and finding about the importance of framing the discussion before it actually begins.
“The basic idea of Pre-Suasion is that, by guiding preliminary attention strategically, it’s possible for a communicator to move recipients into agreement with a message before they experience it.” That is a very strong statement. But throughout the book, Mr. Cialdini gives example after example of how and why it works.
If you have any interest in the psychology of marketing, then the chances are extremely good that you have been exposed to his first book Influence. So you might be wondering if this is simply a rehashing of the ideas contained in Influence.
Mr. Cialdini says that in the first book, he simply articulated the tactics advanced marketers were using to sell goods and services to the public. In this book, he is introducing concepts and ideas that the most advanced marketers are not really aware of.
In one example, a company was introducing a new soft drink and had representatives stationed in a mall. Their job was to stop shoppers, explain the features of the new soft drink and attempt to gain the shoppers email address in exchange for the promise of a sample. The success rate was less than 30%. But when a Pre-Suasion question, “Are you adventurous?” was asked prior to launching into the discussion about the new soft drink, the results were astounding. First 97% of the people responded that there were in fact adventurous. Clearly that is not the case. But what was really amazing was that once people had affirmed they were adventurous, the success rate nearly tripled.
Mr. Cialdini cites many research studies that substantiate his findings. The stories and research make for extremely interesting reading. The book is a quick read. Dr. Cialdini a master teacher, weaves the ideas together to form a clear and compelling case for understanding and employing Pre-Suasion techniques in all our persuasion attempts.
Mr. Cialdini very thoughtfully raises and answers the questions of using the Pre-Suasion techniques unethically. He cites numerous cases that show the long term negative consequences of such behavior.
The book is well researched. The references and end notes are about 150 pages, so for those who wish to do additional reading/research, the sources are well documented.
If you want to up your persuasive game, this is a must read.
And if you are seeking input from others, ask for “advice”. “The novelist Saul Bellows once observed, ‘When we ask for advice, we are usually looking for an accomplice.” “Togetherness” is one of the Pre-Suasion pillars.
I was provide a review copy of this book.
When he was asked why it took him so long to write another, he replied, “I never had an idea big enough. I didn’t want to plant a set of bushes around the tree that is Influence. I wanted to plant another tree.” Indeed he has. Most of the best works of non-fiction are evidence-driven and that is certainly true of this one: 91 pages are devoted to Cialdini’s references and another 67 pages are devoted to his notes.
The comment about sharpening an axe, one with which Lincoln would have agreed, helps to explain why Cialdini wrote Pre-Suasion. Obviously, Lincoln stresses the importance of preparation as does Sun Tzu in Art of War when asserting that every battle is won or lost before it is fought. Cialdini focuses the preparation for what he characterizes as “privileged moments.” That is, “identifiable points in time when an individual is particularly receptive to a communicator’s message.”
With all due respect to mastering the skills when acting on the six principles that Cialdini discusses in Influence, it is nonetheless imperative to apply then when they will be most effective: during a “privileged moment,” when channeled attention can lead to pre-suasion. All this is thoroughly explained in Chapter 3.
These are among the dozens of passages of greatest interest and value to me, also listed to suggest the scope of Cialdini’s coverage:
o Pre-suasion (Pages 3-18)
o Privileged moments (14-15 and 19-30)
o Magnetizers (15-16 and 89-92)
o Attention (31-50)
o Causality (51-66)
o Attractions (67-81)
o Violence (70-71 and 74-75)
o Lack of closure (86-89)
o Associations (99-115)
o Geographies of influence (116-131)
o Work environments (118-119)
o Stereotypes of women (129-131)
o Correction against influence (141-145)
o Authority (152-153)
o Reciprocation (153-157)
o Liking (158-160)
o Acknowledging weaknesses (165-167 and 180-181)
o Warren Buffett (178-191)
o Holocaust (182-191)
o Strong commitments (224-227)
o Geographies and post-suasion (224-233)
In the final chapter, Cialdini suggests that — when members of an audience favor the given action or idea proposed, when they have become temporarily convinced — there’s a very important question to be confronted: “When rival communicators or even every day events divert their attention to some other concept, what can be done to prevent the favorability from evaporating?” As the Brothers Heath (Chip and Dan) would phrase it, “How to prepare and then deliver a message that will stick?”
Cialdini’s response to the question is to provide follow-up reminders or “cues.” He cites several examples of how this has been done, how commitments have been obtained, usually in the form of related behavior. Details are best revealed in the narrative, in context. However, it would not be providing a “spoiler” to say that a presentation can be temporarily persuasive — as is usually the case, for example, when presidential candidates accept their party’s nomination — but only follow-up initiatives can sustain its appeal.
In this book and in its predecessor, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Robert Cialdini thoroughly explains HOW.
Where it falls a bit short is in his ethical justification for educating on how to pre-suade. Instead of presenting an ethical argument, he presents a pragmatic one: not ethical behavior doesn't pay in the long run. It's wholly inadequate, since it doesn't give the reader as where does moral pre-suasion starts... ... Or ends! Only today you should use it for evil.
Now, to be fair, his chapter on "unethical behavior doesn't pay" is very interesting, but it's I'll designed, and could belonged in another book. It feels more like the author rationalizing his choice to tell you his (arguably dangerous) secret, rather than an ethics discussion.
Great book though: read it. It will help you protect yourself, and he more efficient. Just make sure you read and understand ethics before you use those dirty tricks!
Most recent customer reviews
I've read Caldini's other book and it was ok, (type way too small )but this one is FABULOUS.Read more
Lots of good ideas and perspective in this book. I bought the audio version which requires a lot of time to digest. Highly recommended.