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Get Your “Behavioral Grooves” on with this Podcast Interview

I was recently a guest on the Behavioral Grooves podcast when behavioral economists Kurt Nelson, PhD and Tim Houlihaninterviewed me about the principles of persuasion and pre-suasion. What a couple of fun guys! It was so enjoyable to speak with them that I decided to share their show notes in this week’s blog post. In addition to reading the post I hope you’ll take time to actually listen because it was an informative, fun conversation. If you want to listen right now click here.

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Brian Ahearn is the Chief Influence Officer at Influence People, LLC, and one of only 20 Cialdini Method Certified Trainers in the world. Brian’s experience with Robert Cialdini’s methods places him among the most experienced practitioners alive. It was a pleasure to speak with Brian and to gain some insight on applying the methods of ethical influence that Cialdini pioneered in his book, Influence with clients in the real world.

We hosted Brian in the Behavioral Grooves studio for our wide-ranging and in-depth conversation. It was a treat because we typically have our discussions via the web on Zoom or SquadCast, but Brian was able to meet us at the dining room table and it was terrific. As a result of being in the same room and sitting around the same table, our discussion on priming, influence and ethics was particularly personal and dynamic.

Brian began our conversation by outlining the six principles of influence: liking, reciprocity, authority, social proof or consensus, consistency, and scarcity, all of which were identified by Robert Cialdini in his first book.  We wandered into a great story about Cialdini’s very humble personality, that Brian conveyed by way of a dinner meeting with the professor. (Note: Kurt and Tim experienced Cialdini’s humility directly when we met up with the good professor in New York City, recently. Bob, as he urged us to call him, was as curious as a college freshman and solicited our thoughts on every topic we spoke about. Truly an inspiring and amazing guy.)

Brian shared his thoughts about Tom Hopkins work on “How to Master the Art of Selling” and the impact that the spoken word has on our beliefs. The ‘what I say becomes what I believe’ was an important reminder that words matter. And in Brian’s case, words are just about everything when it comes to the world of ethical influence. This became clear when he spoke about how he trains insurance salespeople to use primes with their customers when pitching technology. The technology actually helps keep the drivers safer and provides more reliable data to the insurance agencies. Brian trains the agents to say, “…this technology works really well for good drivers like you.” We’re all for being safer on the road.

Of course, we spent a fair amount of our conversation on the subtlety and power of primes. Fortunately, Brian took our musical bait and spoke to how he uses musical playlists to create and deliver his own personal primes. We were happy to hear that he’s created playlists that focus on titles or themes with the words ‘moment’ or ‘time’ in them. And it’s evidence that he takes his own medicine when it comes to the advice he shares with his clients. He’s using music to prime himself and others before meetings! We are always impressed with people, like many of our other guests, who apply these principles to their own lives.

The priming discussion included a great story about how he used reciprocity to engage his daughter in doing some extra chores around the house. Rather than making his request quid pro quo, Brian decided to preempt the request with a raise to her allowance. After the new, upgraded allowance was in place, Brian’s request was met with immediate support. Kurt and Tim have recollections of childhood chores compressed with bad feelings – and they linger long into adulthood. As children, we never experienced enthusiasm over chores or things we were asked to do, in part because of the ways those requests were made.

Brian concluded our conversation with three tips about the most impactful tools from the principles of persuasion. They are:

  1. Liking. The focus with liking needs to be on ME figuring out how to like YOU, not the other way around. The search for commonalities and the need to deliver compliments are on ME, not you.
  2. Authority. While authority has many meanings, a core part of this principle is in being an authority on what you do. Be willing to share advice. Be a giver. Be an authority, don’t just walk through your job with your eyes half closed.
  3. Consistency. The biggest part of consistency is, of course, being consistent in your words and deeds. However, beneath the headline is the very powerful subtext of asking, not telling. Be strategic. Be inquisitive. And live up to the words you speak.

Our discussion with Brian gave us the opportunity to talk about both Coldplay and Frank Sinatra. With a playlist that wildly varied from a guy from Ohio, what is there not to like? And since Brian is from Ohio, the home of the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame, we decided to do a little grooving on it. So, Kurt and Tim discussed Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame inductees and who, in our humble opinion, deserves to be nominated. Todd Rundgren was discussed as one of our nominees we’d like to see in the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame in 2019. (We also discussed Queen, but Queen was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2001, ten years after Freddie Mercury died.) The impact that music has on our lives is nearly immeasurable and we’re grateful to have the opportunity to listen to it, enjoy it, and chat about it.

Tee up a lively tune before you listen to this episode! We hope you enjoy our conversation with Brian Ahearn.

Subscribe at www.behavioralgrooves.com or learn more about Behavioral Grooves podcast and meetup.

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Brian Ahearn, CMCT®, is the Chief Influence Officer at Influence PEOPLE, LLC. His Lynda.com/LinkedIn Learning course, Persuasive Selling, has been viewed 150,000 times! The course will teach you how to ethically engage the psychology of persuasion throughout the sales process. Not watched it yet? Click here to see what you’ve been missing.

Missed Learning Opportunities

Last week I had the privilege of attending the 2018 Learning Conference put on by Elliott Masie in Orlando, Florida. It was actually my third time attending and second as a breakout session presenter. If you’re in the learning field I encourage you to attend! The conference typically hosts 1700-1800 people from around the world, offers hundreds of breakout sessions and features keynote presenters like John Lithgow, Leslie Odom, Jr., Dan Pink, Anderson Cooper, Laura Bush and Michell Obama.

The lens I view much of life through is the psychology of persuasion – how can we ethically move people to action. I view learning through that same lens because learning is about more than sharing information. Learning is about getting people to take in new information then act on it.

This is where persuasion comes in. The conference presenters were bright people who’ve done well in their careers and work for reputable companies. Unfortunately, many missed opportunities to use persuasion and pre-suasion to make for better learning experiences. I’ll share a few examples.

Pre-suasion Engages Audiences

In a storytelling session the presenter asked for a volunteer to share with the larger group. There were no takers so she asked, “Don’t we have any brave souls?” Eventually a hand went up. If she had understood a little about pre-suasion, how to arrange for an audience to be receptive to a message before delivering it, she would have approached the situation differently.

A better approach would have been to ask if there were any brave or adventurous people in the audience. That non-threatening question undoubtedly would have seen many hands go high into the air. Then it would have been easy to get a volunteer simply by asking, “Would one of you brave or adventurous souls be willing to share…” Once people had self-identified as brave or adventurous it would have been easy to tap into the principle of persuasion known as consistency to get volunteers.

It’s Common Sense

After one session on behavioral economics someone seated at a table with me and a handful of others remarked, “This is really just common sense.” I’ve heard that too many times to let it go so I chimed in that while it may appear to be common sense most people fail to use that common sense.

The example I shared with the small group was how people instinctively know more people will take action to avoid a loss versus gaining something. Despite that understanding people still go back to what they’ve always done – point out all the positives when trying to get someone to buy their product or service – rather than highlighting what someone may lose by not acting.

Application, Application, Application

In real estate there’s a saying that selling a property is all about location, location, location. In learning we could say it’s all about application, application, application. You cannot assume your learners will make the connection about what’s being taught and how it applies to them or their business.

Having taught influence for more than a decade the #1 piece of feedback I get is to give more examples. Learners never seem to get enough. Help them connect the dots and they’re far more likely to put into practice what they’ve just learned.

Your Next Learning Event

As you plan your next learning event give thought to these three things:

  1. What you will ask people to do? Once you know this ask yourself what frame of mind you want people in. Then do whatever is necessary to put as many people in that frame of mind as possible. This may be through written text, questions, visuals or some other method.
  2. To help avoid, “I already know this” or “This is just common sense,” address it up front with a good example or two. This might be what’s needed to change people’s thinking and have them focused on your message.
  3. Finally, for every major point you share give clear, concise application. Whatever you share might be interesting but the rubber meets the road when people understand how to use it in ways that will help them professionally and/or personally.

Do these three things and your audience will be in the right frame of mind to learn and take that learning home with them in ways that will make a difference.

Brian Ahearn, CMCT®, is the Chief Influence Officer at Influence PEOPLE, LLC. His Lynda.com/LinkedIn Learning course, Persuasive Selling, has been viewed nearly 150,000 times! The course teaches you how to ethically engage the psychology of persuasion throughout the sales process. Not watched it yet? Click here to see what you’ve been missing.

Build Your Persuasive Skill

To excel at anything in life you need skill but that’s not enough. You need to work on whatever skill is most important for your potential success. A golfer works on his or her swing, putting, chipping and a host of other things. Athletes work on speed, agility and flexibility to name a few. Businesspeople work on skills such as listening, writing, and public speaking. Did you know persuasion is a skill? That’s right, persuasion is something you can learn, work on, improve upon and build. Persuasion is a multiplier because if you don’t know how to ethically and effectively persuade then skills like writing and speaking will never be as effective as they could be.

What does it take to work on your persuasive skills? There are six essentials: learn, practice, stretch, observe, communicate and feedback. Let’s look at how you can use each to improve.

Learn

Most people think they know what persuasion is but in my experience, they don’t. When I ask audiences what it means to persuade the definition I hear most often is, “to change someone’s thinking.” That may be a start but it’s usually not enough. Typically, when we try to persuade someone it’s to get them to do something.

I think Aristotle has the best definition of persuasion I’ve come across. He said it was the art of getting someone to do something they wouldn’t ordinarily do if you didn’t ask. Ultimately persuasion is about changing behavior. And here’s the good news – there’s more information available for you to learn from than you can imagine. That’s because there’s more than seven decades of research from behavioral economists and social psychologist into this area of study.

You’re reading this blog so that’s a start but I would encourage you to go further. Pick up Robert Cialdini’s book Influence Science and Practice. Pre-suasion, his latest work, is another excellent book.

Practice

Perfect practice makes perfect. Just like an athlete, you cannot expect to get better without reps. Once you’ve learned something you need to put it into practice repeatedly. If you don’t then you’re like someone who attends a seminar on healthy living but never uses what they learn to live a healthier lifestyle.

Practice is important because it’s not likely you’ll try something new when there’s a lot on the line because you won’t have confidence. People who just play golf, no matter how often, only get marginally better without practice. However, those who practice and play are the ones who see their handicap steadily go down.

Stretch

This is a subset of practice but deserves mentioning by itself because of its importance. Go beyond what you know you can do. Again, that’s how athletes grow. If you don’t stretch yourself you’ll be limited to what you currently know and can currently do.

Stretching has an element of risk and reward. When you stretch yourself you do so in order to get better results. Having said that, until you perfect a skill you might fail from time to time and that’s okay. It’s all part of learning and growing.

Observe

In order to excel at persuasion, you need to hone your observation skills. This means you have to be excellent at listening and watching. What you learn with your eyes and ears opens opportunities for you to be a more effective influencer. For example, let’s say someone mentions they went to the same college that you attended, or you see a diploma on the wall. What would you do? Hopefully, you’d mention you want to the same school to engage the principle of liking. This is important because you know that principle alerts you to the fact that people say yes more often to those they know and like.

Communicate

It’s not enough to know the six principles of persuasion or to glean information through your observation skills if you cannot use that information to communicate. This is where verbal and written skills can me magnified.

For example, if your product costs less than a similar product you could lure prospective customers by mentioning how much they might save. That works but the skilled persuader knows there’s a better way. The skilled persuader knows people are more motivated by what they might lose so he or she will talk about how much a prospective customer is currently overpaying.

Feedback

The final consideration for building your persuasive muscle is feedback. From time to time you need to get feedback from respected sources. Getting third party advice on what you’re doing well and what you could be doing better can be massively helpful. Sometimes that feedback is from an individual but sometimes the feedback can be metrics.  Simple A-B testing can do the trick by comparing the traditional way of doing things to a potential new way.

Nothing worth anything in life comes easy, especially success. If it was easy everyone would be successful but everyone isn’t. Take time to build your persuasive muscle and you’ll have a much better chance of achieving professional success and personal happiness. The research guarantees it.

Brian Ahearn, CMCT®, is the Chief Influence Officer at InfluencePEOPLE. His Lynda.com course, Persuasive Selling, will teach you how to ethically engage the psychology of persuasion throughout the sales process.

Pre-suasion: Unity Means Together is Better

A couple of weeks ago I introduced you to Robert Cialdini’s 7th principle of influence, unity. When I introduced unity, I said it goes beyond liking because it taps into a shared identity with another person. Unity goes deeper than simply having something in common with someone. In his latest book, Pre-suasion, Cialdini writes, “The relationships that lead people to favor another most effectively are not those that allow them to say, ‘Oh, that person is like us.’ They are ones that allow people to say, ‘Oh, that person is of us.’”

Simply put; me and you aren’t as strong as us. How do we obtain or build a shared identity so we can tap into unity? Acting together and being together are two ways to accomplish this.

When we do things with each other – act together – those shared experiences help make us who are we are. In turn we share that identity with others who’ve been shaped in a similar way. Here are some examples:

Marines go through the crucible of training together. Those who see actual combat experience something very few people can relate to. Those experiences make the men and women who serve unique in many ways and it forms a deep bond.

Sports teams practice and play together. When I played football in high school we had “two-a-day” practices in the hot August sun. Something else we did was play under the lights on Friday nights. Both experiences forged deep bonds among the players. I’ve been out of school for 35 years and still have regular contact with the guys who were captains with me on our senior year. There is an “us” mentality with that group which includes our head coach.

“Hell week” for fraternities and sororities are difficult and not everyone makes it through. Failure to make it through means you don’t get it in the frat or sorority you pledged. But when you do get through hell week you can look at your brother or sister and know they understand you in a deeper way because of the experience.

Being together could entail something like vacationing together, meeting someone at a resort, attending a sporting event or some other event. For example, if you were one of the 400,000 who attended Woodstock in August, 1969, you’ll have a shared identity with anyone you meet who was also there.

Quite often businesses will arrange trips for top performers or give tickets to sporting events. The hope is that being together, especially if something amazing happens, will imprint memories that will tap into unity.

Here’s a personal example. Last year I was at the Ohio State – Tulsa football game when a huge storm rolled in. As it began to pour, and halftime approached, people quickly left the stadium for shelter. Because we were already soaked to the bone Jane and I along with our friend Dan stayed to watch the final plays of the half. It looked like it was going to be uneventful until an Ohio State player intercepted a pass and returned it for a touchdown in the pouring rain. We were going nuts and I turned to Dan and said, “We’ll never forget this moment!” as we gave each other high fives and hugged.

For you to effectively utilize the principle unity in your persuasion attempts focus on two things:

  1. Creating opportunities to do or experience things together, and
  2. Do some research on the person you’ll attempt to persuade because you might discover something that alerts you to a shared identity.

Remember, unity is about togetherness – not you and me – us.

Pre-suasion: Unity is about We and Me

My father is a Marine. He served from 1962-1967, having done a couple of tours in Vietnam. You might be thinking, “No, he was a Marine,” but you’d be wrong. If you’ve ever met anyone who served in that branch they always say, “I am,” not, “I was,” because they’re Marines for life.

Something I’ve always noticed about my father is this; when he meets another Marine, particularly one who has seen combat, you’d think he was closer to them than me, his own flesh and blood. My father wrote about his Marine experience and opened with this:

“Once while with friends, I was asked the most significant thing I had ever done in my life. My answer was quick and to the point, ‘Being a Marine and leading men in combat!’ My wife Jo, whom I dearly love, looked sad. I then said, ‘Marrying you was the second best.’”

His experience is a perfect example of Robert Cialdini’s seventh principle of influence – unity. Unity, a recent addition to Cialdini’s long-standing six principles of influence, goes well beyond the principle of liking.

Liking tells us it’s easier for us to say yes to people we know and like. One way to engage liking is by referring to what you have in common with another person. Commonalities could include having the same hobbies, growing up in the same town, attending the same college, or cheering for the same sports team to name just a few.

Unity goes beyond liking because it taps into having a shared identity with another person, which is much deeper than simply having something in common. Cialdini puts it this way, “The relationships that lead people to favor another most effectively are not those that allow them to say, ‘Oh, that person is like us.’ They are ones that allow people to say, ‘Oh, that person is of us.’”

I would imagine people who attended the same college and played the same sport, even if they played at different times, feel a very strong sense of unity too. For example, in Columbus, Ohio, there’s nothing bigger than Ohio State football. If someone played ball for the Buckeyes they’re part of a lifelong brotherhood. I’m sure former players at Notre Dame, USC, Alabama and other programs feel the same way.

Other examples might include:

  • Being part of a fraternity or sorority.
  • Connecting with distant relatives.
  • Growing up in the same neighborhood.
  • Winning the same award (Grammy, Oscar, Nobel Prize).

In a sense, each of these makes you part of a certain club or class that sets you apart. When you engage another person on the level of unity it’s as if you’ve connected on liking but on steroids. It’s much more powerful because, as Cialdini writes, “We is the shared me.”

Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a jock, Marine, frat boy or award winning actor/actress to connect on unity. In Pre-suasion Cialdini sites some activities that can lead to a sense of unity and that’s what we will explore next week.

Use Post-suasion to Set Up Future Influence

I recently watched an interview with Robert Cialdini on his newest book Pre-suasion. If you’ve not picked up a copy I highly encourage you to do so. Not only will you learn how to set the stage (pre-suade) to make persuasion easier, you’ll learn about a 7th principle of influence he calls unity.

As I watched the interview I recalled something from chapter 14 in Pre-suasion – the concept of post-suasion. Not only are people unaware of how to pre-suade, they’re also unaware of post-suasion. What do I mean by that? It’s about doing things after the fact that will set the stage for potential future interactions.

One example of post-suasion would be how you respond to, “Thank you.” For more on that take a look at my post How to Respond to Thanks.

Another post-suasion approach has to do with networking and making connections. Let me share a story to help you see what I mean.

I recently attended Elliot Maise’s Learning 2016 conference in Orlando, Fla. It was an outstanding event where I met lots of people in the learning and development field from around the world.

With each event I attended I made it a point to reach out to presenters and people I sat near and interacted with. I made sure I gave them a business card and mentioned what I do.

What stood out was how few people either sent a follow-up email or reached out to connect on LinkedIn. Unfortunately this form of post-suasion is overlooked far too often. I’ve seen it with young and old, male and female, successful and unsuccessful. I would say the vast majority of the people I meet are very smart and career-oriented but for some reason this extra step eludes most of them.

So why do people overlook it? I think a big reason is because they don’t understand the power of networking. Let me be very clear about networking – I’m not talking about connecting and immediately after that trying to sell your services or set up a meeting to sell your services. People are turned off by that approach and I will usually break the LinkedIn connection right away if that happens.

Networking is about mutually learning from and helping each other. I connected with people during and after the learning conference because I’d like to learn from them, I think I can teach them some things and you never know how we might benefit each other down the line.

When I post-suade I make sure I send a personal message, not standard, “I’d like to connect with you on LinkedIn.” When I personalize my invite, I drop in one sentence about how I enjoyed talking with them, meeting them or attending their presentation. Another sentence is a little more personal, like wishing them good luck with an initiative they may have mentioned. My last sentence talks about staying in touch with them via LinkedIn and encouraging them to contact me if they think I can help them in any way.

When someone accepts my connection request I put a note on their LinkedIn profile to remind me when I met them, where I met them and a brief comment about our interaction. Then I respond with another brief, personalized message thanking them for accepting the connection. Touch points like what I’ve described are the social part of social media. When I do these things I feel much more at ease sending messages in the future.

Something else I do is regularly reach out to people I’ve interacted with in the past. For example, in September 2015, I was in Toronto to host the Principles of Persuasion Workshop for Sun Life Financial. I sent a personal note to each attendee in September 2016 to see how they were doing and to remind them I’m always available to help.

You never know where people will be in two, five or ten years. If you want them to think of you then take the bull by the horns and be the one to stay in touch. Earlier this year I wrote a post titled A Networking Story which detailed a chain of connections that led to friendship and ultimately business. I encourage you to read that post to get better a picture of how I view networking.

Let me end with this encouragement – when you meet interesting people don’t just exchange business cards. Think about post-suasion and take a more effective step by connecting on LinkedIn. It’s your opportunity to learn more about them, for them to learn more about you and to easily stay in touch.

WIIFM – Is It Always The Motivation?

Salespeople like to say everyone’s favorite radio station is WIIFM. In case you don’t know it, WIIFM is an acronym that stands for “What’s In It For Me?” The assumption salespeople make, and most other people for that matter, is humans are always motivated to act in their best self-interest. State Auto’s former Chief Sales Officer Clyde Fitch put it this way, “Self-interest isn’t the only horse in the race but it’s usually the one to bet on.”

In the absence of certain factors people do act in their best self-interest quite often. But the smart persuader knows there are many decades of research from social psychologists and behavioral economists that refute this claim.

This was brought to the forefront of my mind as I reread Robert Cialdini’s new book Pre-suasion. He highlighted a study conducted by Adam Grant and David Hoffman. These two looked at the hand washing behavior of doctors. If anyone knows the importance of hand washing to prevent the spread of germs it would be doctors. Despite their knowledge, doctors wash their hands about half as often as they should. That’s not good for doctors or patients!

In an effort to see if they could motivate more hand washing to prevent the spread of germs and disease Grant and Hoffman tried two different approaches. One appealed to WIIFM and another appealed to why most people chose to become doctors – to help patients.

In the WIIFM scenario doctors saw signs that read, “Hand hygiene protects you from catching diseases.” In the patient focus appeal the sign said, “Hand hygiene protects patients from catching diseases.” So the difference was a single word – “you” vs. “patients.”

The WIIFM approach caused no change in hand washing behavior but the patient focused approach cause a 45% increase in hand washing!

What does this mean for you? It’s easy to default to WIFFM and that leads to typical ways to motivate – salary increases, bonuses, rewards, etc. Make no mistake, those traditional approaches do change people’s behavior but sometimes there are better, less costly ways to motivate a behavior change. Taking time to know why people do what they do then tapping into that can be far more effective.

Most people don’t become doctors to make lots of money or for fame. Those are nice by-products but not the motivation. Usually people get into healthcare because of a personal experience that leads them to want to help others.

Teachers certainly don’t get into that profession for the money. A love of learning and desire to help kids are big reasons people become teachers. Coaches usually choose that profession because of a love of sports and the impact a coach had on them. They want to pass along the love and impact people the way they were impacted.

When you discover someone’s why and craft your persuasive appeal around it you’re tapping into a powerful principle of influence – consistency. When your persuasive appeal reminds them of their why it’s much easier for them to say yes to you.

My encouragement for you this week is to pay attention to those you interact with, see if you can discover their why then make sure your attempt at persuasion incorporates that knowledge. Do so and you’ll be far more successful when it comes to hearing yes.

If You Were My Son

Have you read Robert Cialdini’s new book Pre-suasion? If not, make sure you get your copy today because in addition to learning how to set the stage for persuasion, a strategy he refers to as “pre-suasion,” you’ll learn about a new 7th principle of influence.

That’s right, a new principle is introduced in Pre-suasion. For more than 30 years, since publishing Influence Science and Practice, Dr. Cialdini has referred to six universal principles of influence. In Pre-suasion he tells readers there’s a seventh principle that was hiding underneath the surface all along. He introduces readers to the principle of Unity, otherwise known as “we.”

The principle of togetherness highlights the reality that we are most likely to help those with whom we share some kind of bond. It’s not necessary for liking to be activated although the principle of liking may facilitate togetherness.

Consider for a moment your family. You might have family members you don’t particularly enjoy but you’re more inclined to come to their assistance over a stranger or perhaps a close friend for no other reason than the bond of family.

Another example comes from the few, the proud – the Marines. Marines don’t just go through training; they go through the crucible. It’s said that Marines forge a bond amongst themselves like no other branch of service. I see this firsthand every time my father, a Marine who served in Vietnam, meets another Marine. If that other Marine happens to have seen combat I’d swear my dad was closer to him than his own flesh and blood.

So what can you do if you don’t have the bond that comes through family, team sports or the military? Sometimes you can create a sense of togetherness by the words you use, which leads me to a story.

Many years ago there was a position I aspired to at work that had just been filled by someone else. Because of my interest I was asked to mentor with the person who had the job I wanted someday.

I’ll never forget our first mentoring session. He walked into my office, sat down, looked me in the eye and said, “If you were my son I’d say stay as far away from (name withheld) as you can. Do you understand me?” A little shocked I replied, “I don’t think you can be any more clear than that.” He reiterated, “Stay away from (name withheld) because for some reason (name withheld) doesn’t like you and I don’t want to see you get hurt.”

Wow! Do you see what he did? He was much older than me and he treated me like family as he gave me the same advice he would have shared with his son. His approach was much more powerful than leaning on the fact that we were coworkers or just sharing advice without prefacing it at all. After all, a parent would never knowingly steer his or her child in the wrong direction. He created a “pre-suasive” moment based on the principle of togetherness and that was all he needed to do. I stopped pursuing the position and focused on other priorities.

How can you tap into this “new” principle to become a more effective persuader? If you truly would give the same advice to someone that you’d give to your spouse or children, then let the other person know that. Family is the tightest unit of togetherness there is because you share the same genes.

I’ve also seen a powerful response when you label someone as a friend. You might know you’re friends with coworkers but when you tap into that saying, “Thank you, friend” or “Thank you, my friend,” it changes things. I remember the first time someone responded in an email, “Thank you, friend,” because it really caught my attention. I knew in that moment everything changed in a very positive way.

Remember, together is better! Don’t simply look to connect on the principle of liking, seek to go deeper and tap into the sense of togetherness you may have with the person you’re trying to persuade. Doing so will make you more persuasive and deepen your relationship.