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The Influential Trainer Part 6 (The Final) – Less is more!


I hope you've been enjoying this series "The Influential Trainer" this will be the last post in the series...


The final tool of persuasion Cialdini explores is the concept of scarcity. The thought that we are ‘missing out’ on something spurs us to want it even more. The world of advertising and marketing know this well. The more we stop someone from having or doing something, they more they want it! And the optimum conditions for scarcity to be most powerful are when it is newly experienced – when it’s something that’s been available in the past, and suddenly is taken away.


Implications for our training? Too simple. Want to encourage as many people as possible to attend a non-compulsory but highly valuable workshop? Tell them there are limited places or limited sessions. Want to create a team of change champions? Do it ‘by invitation only’. Want to secure ongoing commitment to a professional development program? Make it openly available for a limited time, then ongoing attendance is by application only.


I have some fun with this even in my training room – competitions for the ‘most creative’, ‘best original’, ‘most authentic’, ‘funniest’,  are a regular feature. The first 5 participants to complete the exercise may get 10 min more for lunch. The use of this powerful tool is limited only by your imagination (and your sense of fun).


In conclusion, as L&D professionals at the front line of designing and delivering strategically focussed, engaging professional development we can’t underestimate our role as influencers. Knowing about, understanding and using the powerful laws of social influence just as the one’s highlighted in Cialdini’s book are essential to increasing our effectiveness even more.

Tania Tytherleigh


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