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Influence Strategies for Software Professionals

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You’ve tried and tried to convince people of your position. You’ve laid out your logical arguments on impressive PowerPoint slides—but you are still not able to sway them. Cognitive scientists understand that the approach you are taking is rarely successful. Often you must speak to others’ subconscious motivators rather than their rational, analytic side. Linda Rising shares influence strategies that you can use to more effectively convince others to see things your way. These strategies take advantage of a number of hardwired traits: liking—we like people who are like us; reciprocity—we repay in kind; social proof—we follow the lead of others similar to us; consistency—we align ourselves with our previous commitments; authority—we defer to authority figures; and scarcity—we want more of something when there is less to be had. Join Linda to learn how to build on these traits as a way of bringing others to your side. Use this valuable toolkit in addition to the logical left-brain techniques on which we depend.

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Influence Strategies for Software Professionals

  1. 1.     TP Half‐day Tutorial  6/4/2013 1:00 PM                "Influence Strategies for Software Professionals"       Presented by: Linda Rising Independent Consultant                   Brought to you by:        340 Corporate Way, Suite 300, Orange Park, FL 32073  888‐268‐8770 ∙ 904‐278‐0524 ∙ sqeinfo@sqe.com ∙ www.sqe.com
  2. 2. Linda Rising Independent Consultant With a Ph.D. in the field of object-based design metrics, Linda Rising’s background includes university teaching and industry work in telecommunications, avionics, and strategic weapons systems. An internationally-known presenter on topics related to patterns, retrospectives, and the change process, Linda is the author of Design Patterns in Communications Software, The Pattern Almanac 2000, The Patterns Handbook, and coauthor (with Mary Lynn Manns) of Fearless Change: Patterns for Introducing New Ideas. Find more information about Linda at lindarising.org.  
  3. 3. Influence Strategies for Software Professionals Linda Rising linda@lindarising.org www.lindarising.org @RisingLinda Disclaimer: This provocative presentation is ideally the beginning of a conversation. It won't take long for me to tell you everything I know about cognitive psychology, although I have been reading in the area for several years now. I'm an amateur who has sufficient interest in weird topics and a strange way of connecting ideas that might or might not be of interest to you. Thank you for your tolerance and understanding of my meanderings and I hope you learn a little that might help you in your life. This is not an “academic” presentation, but those interested in more information are invited to ask me for references for any part of this talk and I will be happy to make them available.
  4. 4. Persuasion Psychological d P h l i l dynamics to change people i h l in ways they wouldn’t if left alone. Manipulation, brainwashing, … have a very different intent. Persuasion strategies are tools that can be used for any purpose. There are always ethical considerations. Who needs it? You’re Y ’ smart To convince others, all you have to do is lay out the facts If others are smart, they’ll figure it out! This d h d d “marketing” i well, Thi underhanded “ k ti ” is, ll underhanded, and only for people who have to sell stuff!
  5. 5. Influence doesn’t work on me! I’m smart Therefore, I’m a rational decision maker I am not swayed by hype Forewarned is Forearmed It’s important to be aware of them I’ i b f h because others will undoubtedly use them on us. Some of them are so fundamental to how humans interact, odds are we’ve used we ve them without even being aware of it. BUT, watch out for neuromarketing!
  6. 6. Research shows us as we are! Control group in all experiments Two groups reading the same paper Free cable TV Citations/recommendations This is not an academic talk. Please request references if interested. Two good “starter” recommendations
  7. 7. Influence: Science and Practice, Robert B. Cialdini Fearless Change: Patterns for Introducing New Ideas, Mary Lynn Manns and Linda Rising
  8. 8. Cialdini’s Six Strategies Liking: W like attractive people and th Liki We lik tt ti l d those who are h like us Reciprocity: We repay in kind Social proof: We follow the lead of similar or superior others Commitment/Consistency: We align with previous commitments Authority: We defer to authority or expertise Scarcity/Exclusivity: We want more when access is restricted—enhanced by exclusivity Strategies do not Work in g Isolation- use a Learning cycle Test the Waters Time for Reflection Small Successes Step by Step
  9. 9. 1-Liking: We like attractive people and those who are like us Attractive often = height, college lecturers, Ph.D. taller than grad student Judicial system A person who has done a favor for you is more likely to do another favor for you than if they had received a favor from you. Ben Franklin Effect Familiar names, easier typeface, easier to pronounce, objects that are closer, words typed with the right hand! What can you do? Look for: real commonality, areas for genuine L kf l lit f i compliments, opportunities for cooperation Negotiation deadlock reduced from 30% to 6% by exchanging personal info beforehand Do Food Say, “We’re working with you,” or “We’re just like you.” Beware of others who claim to be like you or appear to share interests.
  10. 10. Surprise is worth as much as force – Paul Graham 2-Reciprocity: We repay in kind Christmas cards to strangers LBJ & Carter Charities, supermarkets Don't put more than 3 ties in front of the customer -- H t Harvey McKay M K Hare Krishna
  11. 11. Free stuff! Consumers prefer getting something extra free C f tti thi t f to getting something cheaper (math illiterate). Amazon free shipping – except in France In one study: 40% bought a cupcake + 2 cookies for 75 cents BUT 73% bought the cupcake f 75 cents when 2 cookies were k for h ki added for “free” What can you do? Be th first t i B the fi t to give: service, information, i i f ti concession, something nice – the more unexpected the better – small, but thoughtful Just Say Thanks - the more specific the better “I’m sure you would have done the same for me.” *NOT* “It was nothing!” ” “I hi !” Say, “As we promised earlier…” or “We are giving you…” Beware of others bearing gifts
  12. 12. 3-Social proof: We follow the lead of similar or superior others Canned laughter, fancy dinner party Shills, street corner joke Towel study: (1) environment, (2) socially responsible, (3) saved money, (4) 29% (same hotel) - 41% (same room) Expedia: 11 people booked this hotel in the last 48 hours; 2 others are viewing this hotel right now The Default Rule
  13. 13. What can you do? Show Sh testimonials from many others i i l f h Let the desirable choice be the default External Validation (conference, book, article), Big Jolt (famous person) Say, “Many believe that…” or “We all S “M b li th t ” “W ll want.” Beware of looking to others for direction - especially if you are uncertain 4-Commitment/Consistency: We align with previous commitments After l i b t ft Aft placing bet, after voting, after buying ti ft b i lottery ticket, after making any kind of decision (especially public), we are more certain that it was the right thing to do Cognitive dissonance! “Even a penny would help!” – d bl d “E ld h l !” doubled contributions. Homeowners asked to sign a petition and then asked to put up a huge sign (17% -> 76%) Musical event ad never lists prices.
  14. 14. What can you do? Build B ild your case with yes’s ih ’ Ask for it in writing (stop smoking – The Easy Way) Ask “intention questions,” -- Will you <vote on Tuesday>? Be careful about agreeing to or signing anything—experiment showing signing at the top more influential than signing at the bottom 5-Authority: We defer to authority or expertise Stanley Milgram’s grisly experiments Nurse’s drug story Researchers at Northwestern University found that rhesus monkeys refused to pull a chain that delivered their food if doing so gave a shock to a companion. One monkey stopped pulling the chain for 12 days after witnessing another monkey receive a shock, starving himself to avoid shocking the other animal.
  15. 15. What can you do? Establish E t bli h your credentials: professionalism, d ti l f i li industry knowledge, admit weaknesses first Putting diplomas on the wall increased compliance for stroke rehab 33% Big Jolt (famous person) Say, “My experience is that…” or “Tests confirm that…” Beware of testimony from famous people or other “experts” 6-Scarcity/Exclusivity: We want more when access is restricted— enhanced by exclusivity cost exclusivity, 18th century French reformer, economist, and statesman Turgot Banned material Jury told to disregard information Wine and beer lovers are easily fooled Used car sales trick by college student
  16. 16. What can you do? Emphasize: E h i genuine scarcity, unique i i i features, exclusive information Reduce the time to make a decision Say, “Don’t miss out…” or “Here’s the best kept secret about ” about… Beware of pressure tactics. Give yourself space to think. Even 10 min has been shown to lead to better decisions. The real problem? Information overload! John Stuart Mill (d. 1873) the l person J h S (d h last to know everything Most information is less than 15 years old Some scientific information doubles every 3 years No one can know enough to make all decisions intelligently
  17. 17. Short cuts work! Influence strategies are short-cuts I fl i h Most of the time these are good things, that’s why we have evolved to use them. We don’t have time to deliberate every decision Don’t beat yourself up or drive yourself crazy! Just be reasonably cautious ☺! Protection suggestions Continually search for potentially C i ll hf i ll relevant or contradictory evidence Have a Champion Skeptic on the team Seek diverse outside opinions to counter overconfidence If it’s not important, buy the ice cream ☺!
  18. 18. The last word It’s I ’ to our b fi to understand and use benefit d d d these strategies to influence others and protect ourselves. Remember there is an ethical component. Experts have said that awareness is the first step toward protecting yourself, but there are no guarantees. Good luck! Thanks for your attention!

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