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The Influential Trainer Part 5: The Power is in the Crowd


Cialdini found that one means we use to determine the ‘right’ way to behave is to find out what other people think is right. We assume that if a lot of people are doing the same thing, they must know something we don’t and so we follow. Think of the number of ads we see that feature testimonials from ‘real people’ about how great the product is! This is the Rule of Social Proof.


This Rule works spectacularly well in times of uncertainty, for example when we may be coaching through organisational change or cultural realignments. Getting staff on board will be easier if we highlight the numbers of others who have committed to the change already, and the positive effects of this. Even finding staff who would be willing to ‘tell their own story’ is another powerful way to persuade others to join the journey. New ideas or strategies (presented to executive teams perhaps?) will be more persuasive if we find evidence when the ideas have been implemented successfully in similar circumstances. People are influenced by the crowd.


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