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Stella Collins

Stellar Labs

Chief Learning Officer

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Great programme on influencing



I was listening to a great programme last night on radio 4 about influencing including an interview with Robert Cialdini.  There are 6 days left to listen.

What do you think about being deliberately influenced by someone?  WHen does it become manipulation?  And when is it a huge relief to be influenced?  (I always want someone to influence me when I get to the supermarket and there's 10,000 brands of coffee and I just don't know which one to choose).

What's your favourite influencing strategy?

Stella Collins.

2 Responses

  1. Influence Tactics …

    Robert Cialdini has indeed done great research on the psychology of influence and his book "Influence" is a highly recommended reading. His 6 laws of influence is something we need to constantly think about every time we interact with others. What I find interesting is that some people use certain tactics all the time without knowing where they come from and why they work. They simply find these tactics through trial and error.

    One of the best influence tactics is perhaps "law of reciprocity", best described in the context of a supermarket. Have you seen occasional free stands where a supermarket staff gives you free samples of cheese, chocolate or wine. How do you feel when you eat the free sample? You probably say, "mmmm, that’s nice", respond polity to the staff (as if she is paying out of here own pocket) and feel that you need to do something in return for this act of generosity. After all, it must cost the supermarket a fortune to do this. Right?

    Well, it turns out that we are so thrilled by this act that we go on to buy either that product or other products in the supermarket (as we feel more welcome) and end up spending much more than the cost of some small pieces of cheese. Such is the power of influence….

    More content available on influence techniques in Influence Skills Training Resources.

    Ehsan Honary

  2. Gardening

    I like to use gardening as a metaphor for influencing. There are many similarities, not least of which is that it does not happen overnight.

    To create a great garden we have to start with design.

    What is the ‘context’ of the garden? The soil conditions, the weather exposure, the alignment realtive to the sun, etc? Which parts of the garden need treating in different ways?

    Then we need to plan the infrastructure.

    What are the ‘must-haves’? Where do we put the seats, the pond, the trees, etc? Can I do it myself, or do I need professional help?

    Then we plan the planting.

    What different plants do I put where? Do I plant seeds or small or large plants? What will it be like in different lights, seasons? How long can I wait for maturity guides the decision.

    Then we get on with it.

    Then we have to maintain the garden.

    Cut the grass, fertilise appropriately, water when necessary, prune to enbcourage the right sort of growth in the right direction, remove some plants that are ‘just wrong’ or move them to a better place, notice the gaps in th eplanting and fill them, put new/better plants in places…

    …and remember to enjoy the journey as well as the destination.


    Go to to see how we can help your managers become more effective at influencing. Or email at [email protected]

Author Profile Picture
Stella Collins

Chief Learning Officer

Read more from Stella Collins

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