50 scientifically proven ways to persuade others

One thing that most practitioners of Knowledge Management find out very quickly is that deciding on a KM initiative is, at best, only 10% of the battle.

The other 90% is change management: assembling coalitions, getting stakeholder buy-in, and above all communication, communication and more communication.

But help is at hand! From the book Yes!, Alex Moskalyuk summarises 50 different methods of persuasion which have been scientifically proven to be effective.

Many are more marketing trickery than change management. However, the implication of some of these for KM are very interesting. For example:

  • communication
    • people respond better to personalised messages
    • messages like "we trust you to do the right thing" or "most people in your situation do X" actually work
    • never say "lots of people do X, please don't do X", since this reinforces perceptions of acceptability
  • leadership and buy-in
    • to get co-operation in a specific problem domain, ask for a small favour first. By engaging people as agents who are helping achieve a solution, they are more likely to be receptive to bigger favours in the same area later
    • admit mistakes, encourage opposing views, and have genuine debates
    • repeating back what others say improves their perception of you, since they know you have listened to them
    • always state a reason for your actions, regardless of the strength of that reason
  • individual actions
    • getting a written commitment from people improves follow-through rates
    • individually benchmarking against an average can reduce performance -- since high achievers often decrease performance more than low performers improve
Did you know...

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