In July 2007, Kim Man-bok, the head of South Korea’s National Intelligence Service, flew to Afghanistan to confront a deteriorating situation. The Taliban there had taken 21 South Korean aid workers hostage, and negotiations for their release were going badly–two captives had been murdered and two more were scheduled for execution by the time Kim arrived. But, with one pre-suasive maneuver, before saying a word to the kidnappers, he changed their thinking. He replaced the head South Korean negotiator with one who spoke fluent Pashtun, winning the hostages’ swift release. Afterward, he explained what it was about his move that made it pre-suasively effective: “As soon as our counterparts saw that our negotiator was speaking their language, a strong intimacy developed with us; and so the talks then went well.”
A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade
The author of the legendary bestseller Influence, social psychologist Robert Cialdini shines a light on effective persuasion and reveals that the secret doesn’t lie in the message itself, but in the key moment before that message is delivered.