Today's News / Psychology

Pumping up the power of persuasion

June 5, 2012
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+

meetingOne of the key roles of safety and health pros is to be influence-peddlers. They need to influence line employees, work teams, work cells, supervisors, plant managers, on up to chief executives.

At the Monday morning keynote address at ASSE’s annual meeting here in Denver, Dr. Robert Cialdini cited what he called six universal principles of social influence:

Reciprocation: People will be more willing to help you if you make the first move to help them. Then there is an implicit obligation for the person to return the favor.

Scarcity: People are mobilized into action, said Dr. Cialdini, by the fear of missing out on something. Instead of always telling your employees the benefits of your plan, tell them what they will lose potentially by not following the plan. “We’ll lose our safety ranking as number one in the division.” Or, “Bonuses could be dropped.”

Authority: Especially in times of uncertainty, as with the present economy, people turn to voices of authority. Credibility is the single-most important trait needed to be an authority. And your credibility hinges on 1) knowledge and 2) trustworthiness. People need to believe your motives, need to believe you are reliable and consistent. One way to doing this is to be honest and admit shortcomings in a plan or talk candidly about both pros and cons.

Consistency: People have a deep desire to be consistent in word and deed. Especially if they make a pledge or commitment in public, or put it down in writing. Try to get safety commitments made publicly, and documented in writing.

Consensus: People want to belong, they want to go with the flow, the majority view. Strive to reach consensus in your safety decision-making.

Friendship/Liking: Show genuine interest in people, be an active listener, probe with questions when talking one on one. You can influence outcomes by having the support of people who may not like you, but admire and/or respect you.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to ISHN.

Recent Articles by Dave Johnson

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

STAY CONNECTED

Facebook logo Twitter YouTubeLinkedIn

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

ASSE's Safety 2013 Review

A photo gallery from the Las Vegas Convention Center, where ASSE’s annual professional development conference was held June 24 to 27. All photos courtesy of the American Society of Safety Engineers.

THE MAGAZINE

ISHN Magazine

ishn april 2014 issue cover

2014 April

In this month's issue of ISHN, check out features about safety in the oil and gas industry.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

THE ISHN STORE

M:\General Shared\__AEC Store Katie Z\AEC Store\Images\ISHN\safetyfourth.jpg
Safety Engineering, 4th Edition

A practical, solutions-driven reference, Safety Engineering, 4th edition, has been completely revised and updated to reflect many of today’s issues in safety.

More Products

For Distributors Only - January 2014

ISHN0114_FDO_cov.jpgFor Distributors Only is ISHN's niche brand standard-sized magazine supplement aimed at an audience of 2,000 U.S. distributors that sell safety products. Circulation only goes to distributors. CHECK OUT THEJANUAYR 2014 ISSUE OF FDO HERE

ishn infographics

2012 US workplace deathsCheck out ISHN's new Infographic page! Learn more about worker safety through these interactive images. CLICK HERE to view the page.