The current issue of Harvard Business Review (July/August, 2013) is devoted to “Influence: How to get it, How to use it.” One of the best articles is an interview with persuasion expert, psychologist Robert Cialdini who offers six principles of persuasion (as he has in his other excellent works, Influence: Science and Practice and Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to be Persuasive, with Noah Goldstein and Steve Martin):
1. Liking. You’ll be more persuasive if people like you.
2. Reciprocity: If you help others, they will help you.
3. Social Proof: If you tell people that others are doing what you want them to do, they’ll be more apt to do it as well.
4. Commitment and consistency: If you get people to make a commitment, they will try to follow through.
5. Authority: People are persuaded by experts even though they may deny it.
6. Scarcity: People place a high value on items that are scarce.
Other useful articles emphasize the importance of communicating warmth if you want to influence others and the ways in which experts gain influence.