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19 Ridiculously Simple Lessons in Persuasion

Lesson 5 - Commitment and Consistency

The fourth letter from the ASSCURL acronym for persuading is Commitment and Consitency.

Getting someone to make a small commitment will make it easier to get a bigger commitment from them. There was a study where people were first asked to put a small sign in their window to drive safely. Afterward, they were asked to put a big sign on their front lawn and compliance rates increased.

So try to get someone to commit to something easier.

I teach juggling and I could say to someone, "Would you like to spend the next hour trying to juggle three balls?" If I can get them to toss a ball up and down and catch it they're are more likely to stick around and learn to juggle.

Charlie Munger identified tendencies to become familiar with:
  • Tendency to avoid or resolve cognitive dissonance
  • Self-confirmation tendency of all conclusions
  • Particularly Expressed or spoken conclusions
  • Especially for conclusions that are hard won
  • Human mind like human egg, only lets first sperm in and shuts out all other
  • Happens in Physics - Max Plank - old guard didn't accept new theories
  • Brain-blocked by previous conclusions
  • Public disclosure of conclusion pounds it into your own head
  • Protesters don't convince us as much as they convince themselves
  • Don't put your brain in chains too young by what you shout out
  • Painful qualifying and initiation rituals
  • Chinese brainwashing system - make tiny little commitments, then slowly build, worked better than torture

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