By Eily VanderMeer, Director of Communications
Updated July 2020
Webster’s defines a relationship as the way in which two or more people, groups, countries, etc., talk to, behave toward, and deal with each other.
In the confines of a good relationship, there is a desire to help each other and to avoid disappointment. Whether you realize it or not, we have some kind of relationship with everyone we know. Often, when we discuss relationships and how to build better ones, we first think of business relationships and communicating better with our colleagues. But imagine how your daily life would improve if you could increase the chances of getting a last minute doctor appointment for your sick child, or getting your neighbor to watch your dog while you are away, or if your barista added that extra shot of espresso for free. The advantages to having stronger relationships with everyone we interact with are endless. While some of these relationships may seem trivial compared to, say, building a strong relationship with your boss, they can have an important impact on our daily lives.
If you Google “how to build a better relationship”, multiple search results come up. It can be confusing to navigate through them to find a method that has been proven to work. Understanding how important strong relationships are, why would you waste your time with methods based on opinions, especially when there is scientific research based on measurable results? Fortunately for us, Dr. Robert Cialdini, author of the New York Times Best-Seller, INFLUENCE, and president of INFLUENCE AT WORK, has spent years teaching and conducting research at various universities on this very subject. He has found that there are six major factors, or principles, that when employed ethically, increase our ability to build and maintain stronger relationships.
The best part of these universal principles of influence is that they are scientifically based, they can be taught and learned by people in all cultures and in any situation. Persuasion and influence used to be thought of as art forms, a talent you were either born with or weren’t. Lucky for us, this is incorrect. By studying and practicing the six Principles of Persuasion, any one of us can learn to apply them towards building better relationships. Watch our animated video with over 11 million vies below for an entertaining explanation of the six principles.
Another aspect that sets Dr. Cialdini’s research apart is its focus on ethics. Applying these Principles of Persuasion ethically builds stronger, long-term relationships. With six principles to choose from, one or more should always be available, without using manipulation. Being unethical might get immediate results, but once you are found out to be dishonest, the relationship is soured. It is in your best interest to employ the principles ethically if you want the relationship to last. Watch the video below for Dr. Cialdini’s view on being ethically influenced.
Now that you are aware of the principles and the importance of their ethical application, it’s time to learn the science on a deeper level. There are a couple of ways to accomplish this. First, join over six million other people and read INFLUENCE by Dr. Robert Cialdini. The book is also available on audible or CD for those of you who prefer to listen. INFLUENCE describes in detail the six Principles of Persuasion, how to use them ethically, and how others are using them. Guy Kawasaki, author and speaker, has called INFLUENCE “the de facto standard to learn the psychology of persuasion.”
Secondly, you can follow us on our social media platforms. We post about current events as they pertain to the Principles of Persuasion. We also post updates about new research and products we are developing. This is a great way to keep up to date on all things related to ethical influence. You can find us on Twitter at @robertcialdini, on Facebook at @robert.cialdini, on LinkedIn at @robertcialdini and on YouTube at @influenceatwork.
While it is true that learning these principles have helped fortune 500 companies increase profits, they can also help the average person increase the chances of hearing YES to any request, big or small. Don’t miss out on what many people, just like you, are already using to build stronger relationships.