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The Ten Laws of Influence

Reviewing Laws


People respond best to the influence techniques they use themselves.

One of the "secrets" of power and influence is that people respond best to the influence techniques they use themselves.  They are most comfortable with the influence techniques that work with them.  They are least comfortable with the techniques that don't work with them.  So if you want to learn how to best influence someone, observe how that person tries to influence you or others.


People assume that what they find persuasive, others will also find persuasive, that what works well for them will also work for others.  People are most comfortable with values, arguments, proof, approaches, directions, and behavior they use themselves.  Their brains are wired not only to accept what’s familiar but to prefer it. 

Consider people who are very logical and rational, people who studied science, math, law, engineering, architecture, accounting, or business.  They respect logical reasoning because they place more faith in facts and proof than in intuitions and feelings.  They are familiar with statistics and visual tools like charts and graphs to prove a point.  They use logical persuading because that’s what they find most compelling. Consequently, that’s what they respond best to when others try to influence them. 

Contrast them with people who are more values and feelings based.  While they might respect logical approaches, they are more attuned to big picture values and inspiration.  They want to know what’s best for people, what's morally right rather than what’s factually correct.  They try to influence others through social and emotional approaches like appealing to values and modeling.  Consequently, that’s what they respond to best.

The lesson to be drawn from this is that you can best influence people by observing how they try to influence others—and then use those approaches with them.

  • If people logic to influence others, then use logic with them.

  • If they to bargain for cooperation, then use bargaining with them.

  • If they try to make emotional appeals, then make emotional appeals with them.

  • If they try to justify their requests by appealing to authority, then use the same technique with them.


People respond best to the influence techniques they use themselves

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