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Updated 29 Feb 2020

6 Principles to make you more persuasive

Want to be more persuasive in business? Expert contributor, Axel Rittershaus, takes us through a series of articles on the 6 principles of influence.

Axel Rittershaus, 30 November 2015  Share  0 comments  Print

All the answers to your unique business lifestage questions

Would you be interested to know, which book was recommended by Warren Buffet’s business partner, Charlie Munger, as one of the most important books to read? A book he gave to his children and always recommends reading when speaking to young people about success. 

Would it spark your interest, if the author of this bestselling book, translated in 26 languages, received a share of Buffet’s company, valued more than USD100,000, as a “Thank You“ gift for the insights Munger got out of his book?

Related: Going for a business gold

Would you like to know, who became the first person to run a workshop at Berkshire Hathaway’s (Warren Buffet’s and Charly Munger’s US$ 300bn+ company) annual meetings and what he was talking about? Would you like to know how people just like you consciously or unconsciously use the “six weapons of persuasion” to influence other people? 

In 1984 Robert Cialdini, a Professor of Psychology and Marketing, wrote the bestseller "Influence - The Psychology of Persuasion“, which sold more than two million times. 

The six key principles are:

  • Reciprocity: We tend to return a favour, even if we did not ask for anything in the first place.
  • Commitment and Consistency: If we commit to something and communicate our strong will to implement it, we try to stay consistent; this is even stronger when it comes to believes and values we have and stand for.
  • Social Proof: People often do things, because they see other people doing it - like crossing a robot even if it’s red or entering a restaurant which is busy, even if we have a recommendation for another place which is quiet.
  • Authority: We rather believe in someone’s opinion if he is declared an expert or authority in his field - without questioning the expertise.
  • Liking: We easily follow people which are either like us or are people we simply like - which often comes at the same time.
  • Scarcity: The less available something is, the more we like to have it - especially if we see it getting less in front of our eyes.

In the opening of this article I used the principles Authority (referring to the bestselling book of an expert in this field), Social Proof (a book recommended by one of the best investors in the world), Liking (people like you are using these principles) and Scarcity (the first and therefore very scarce workshop at the annual meeting) to get you hooked in this topic.

Related: 3 Reasons why passion might be more important than a business background

Did it work so far? Well if it does, stay tuned since there will be six further articles coming, each focusing on one of the principles. 

“There isn’t any arena of society in which persuasion can’t be a key to success“, says Cialdini.

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About the author

Axel Rittershaus

Axel Rittershaus is an internationally renowned C-Level / Executive Coach & Author ( who started as an entrepreneur in the IT industry in 1993. He knows that success is the result of hard work and determination even more than innate talent. A master of maintaining focus and follow-through, Axel is dedicated and passionate to see clients succeed beyond their expectations. His C-level and top executive clients are located in South Africa, Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, Romania, Brasil, Hong Kong, China, India and many other countries. Axel is a multiple Two Oceans and Comrades finisher.

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