Asymmetrical control over another person's outcomes. Asymmetrical here being, you have more control over my outcomes than I have control over your outcomes.
With great power comes great responsibility.
What Solomon Asch has found, is that when comparing lines individually, participants provided correct responses in more than 99% of the cases. But under group pressure, when you have five or six confederates speaking out before you and providing the wrong response. 76% of participants yielded to group pressure and provided the wrong response at least once.
So I think in really important decision making, if you can find someone who doesn't necessarily have the authority to make the decision, but is viewed by their peers as someone that has really good influencing skills, or just good judgement. If you can get that person on your side, it's easier for people to feel like they're following without being forced.
So the idea of authority is that we respond to mere signs and symbols of authority, not necessarily actual authority, like that white lab coat of the experimenter. There's a long and very robust line of research documenting the effect of titles. So, for example, in one of the studies, over 95% of professionally trained nurses were willing to administer an unsafe dosage of unauthorized medication. Just because the person who ordered it introduced himself as a doctor on the phone.
So next time you're thinking of presenting, and you really want people to engage with your proposal and consider it on it's merits, consider presenting early in the morning or right after food breaks
Recall availability, which is we're particularly influenced by very vivid imagery, by salient events, and more recent events. Remember also the importance of framing, where I can take the same idea and frame it as a gain, in which case, I would be influencing the audience towards my risk of behaviors. Or I can reframe it as a loss in which case, I would be influencing the group towards more risk taking behaviors. And I can open a meeting by anchoring the group. Either on high or low values, whether it's a budget estimate, a cost estimate, or an offer to the customer. Use liking as an influence tactic. Remember that we're much more likely to be influenced by people who we like. So manage your professional appearance, emphasize similarities with the person you're trying to influence. Use scarcity as another influence tool. Remember limited opportunities to pursue a particular proposal. Limited time offer, limited inventories. Use reciprocity by offering help and resources proactively.
It turns out that when you exploit a relationship, when you abuse that informal power, you get a bigger share of the pie, but the pie itself is rapidly shrinking.
If you do not advocate for yourself and do not showcase your accomplishments, skills, expertise, abilities, you are disadvantaged. You are particularly disadvantaged in those settings that entail competition, such as competition for promotions or salary decisions. But if you do advocate for yourself, others can suspect that you are not being objective and as a result, you can be perceived as arrogant and self-aggrandizing. The advice that Jeffrey Pfeffer, a scholar at Stanford give us is that get others, your boss, colleagues, your friends to tout your abilities, your competence, your expertise, your accomplishments.
Focus on maintaining energizing relationships with people. So every time you have a meeting with someone you and the other person walk out more energized, more motivated, more driven.
And I often ask the question, if you want to influence your boss' rating of you, and that rating is for the entire year, when during the year do you think you should be performing at your best? And the answer is clearly, as close as possible to that annual performance evaluation. And you can actually influence your manager or your boss' rating of you by maximizing your performance as close to that annual evaluation as possible, and so then if you're the manager, the question is, how do you protect yourself from that availability heuristic? And one answer to that is keeping that continuous record of data on your employees over the course of the entire year so you can refer back to a full year's set of information as opposed to just what was most recent.
[There are] multiple sources of power in play in any relationship. Somebody tries to use one base of power on you, you can reframe the relationship by focusing and bringing to light other bases of power. That put you in a higher power position relative to that other party or at least close the distance between that person's control over you and your dependents on them.