This is one of the most interesting and powerful books that I have read; in fact its power is in its simplicity. I’d like to think it’s probably like the experience that many of you have when attending a Winning Edge programme for the first time. With some of the things you heard on the programme you may have been thinking: “I think I already knew that but I didn’t know I knew” or, “I’ve been doing that for years but I didn’t why it was so effective”.
The theme of this book is that we all are vulnerable to influence or persuasion from others but most of the time we are unaware of it. This is because, as we know from the Winning Edge programme, our lives are the result of around 95% habit, in other words, we are, for the most part, living sub-consciously and while we are in this automatic mode of thinking and behaviour we can be influenced and manipulated by others more easily.
There are Six Key Areas that Cialdini details where we can be subject to the persuasion of others and he provocatively calls them ‘The Weapons of Influence’.
These six areas are:
Reciprocation (Winning Edge’s ‘Obligation Edge’)
Commitment and Consistency
Almost certainly, as mentioned above, these concepts are probably something you experience every day without really being aware of them but it is the context in which Cialdini places these ideas that makes the book intriguing and highly valuable.
The conclusion that Cialdini reaches is that we should fight back against the negative use of strategies employed by the less ethical (by our standards, of course) but this may be difficult to do given that, as mentioned above, we lack the awareness of what is happening to us anyway. However, a greater conscious awareness of what may be used ‘against’ us may give us the ability to be less vulnerable.
As a respected and acclaimed best seller, I think you will thoroughly enjoy this book, not least because you will be able to tick off, in a justifiably superior way, those that are obvious to you, or those ploys that have worked for you over the years! One of my favourites is the simple use of the word ‘because’; you need to get the book for this gem alone.