For you, new and popular

An edit of newly added resources and those proving consistently popular among our partners' teams.
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Raul Aparici on mitigating impostor syndrome
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Kate and Catherine on pausing, for conversational space
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Kate and Catherine on intentional listening
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Kate and Catherine on questioning well
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Worksheet: Time Blocking
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Kate and Catherine on the coaching opportunity
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Matteo's coaching reflections
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Kas's reflections on listening and questioning well
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Time Blocking, and bringing some colour into your calendar
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Worksheet: Owning Feedback
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Making the case for situational flexibility as leaders
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eCourse: Difficult Conversations
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Mentors, Sponsors and Champions. With Abi Adamson
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Effective Allyship. With Abi Adamson
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What's your Privilege Pledge? With Abi Adamson
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Diversify your feed. With Abi Adamson
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Privilege reflections. With Abi Adamson
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Mindful toothbrushing. With Dr. Sam Akbar
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Anchor dropping. With Dr. Sam Akbar
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5,4,3,2,1 — a mindfulness technique. With Dr. Sam Akbar
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Urge surfing. With Dr. Sam Akbar
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Everyday mindfulness. With Dr. Sam Akbar
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Making room for emotions (and the weather). With Dr. Sam Akbar
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Letting go of emotions. With Dr. Sam Akbar
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How do you notice your thoughts? With Dr. Sam Akbar
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A coaching conversation around strengths
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eCourse: Confidence Mastery
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Daniel Goleman's Six Leadership Styles, explained by Louise Hedges
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eCourse: Mastering Delegation
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eCourse: Time Management and Prioritisation
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eCourse: Get SET with your Goals
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Perspectives on privilege, with Abi Adamson
Neurodivergent Perspectives Lexi Keegan in conversation with Dr Anne Cockayne low
Neurodivergent Perspectives. Lexi Keegan in conversation with Dr. Anne Cockayne
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Neurodiversity know-how: The Spiky Profile explained
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Neurodiversity explained, with Dr. Anne Cockayne
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Neuroinclusion at work: Thinking about adjustments
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Neurodiversity know-how. Autism with Dr. Anne Cockayne
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Neurodiversity know-how. ADHD with Dr. Anne Cockayne
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Neurodiversity know-how. Dyslexia with Dr. Anne Cockayne
Micro-learning: Setting Better Boundaries
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eCourse: Practicing a Coaching Approach
Finding fortitude, and follow on experiments
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eCourse: Conscious Inclusion
Seven things to avoid when writing at work
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Share genuinely useful feedback with the BID model
Solve problems before they happen with pre-mortems
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Five tactics for influencing those more senior
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Five powerful questions for adding impact and insight to your next interview.
Car Words
Try out the CAR technique, and upgrade your understanding when interviewing someone.
Good Qs
Smart ways to frame questions in your next mentoring session
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Try the 5 Whys to invigorate your problem solving and add depth to your decisions.
Allyship CP
Course Pack: Effective Allyship, with Abi Adamson
Course Pack: Voice Gym. Building your vocal confidence
A three minute mindset exercise, to support a coaching approach
Try this deep listening exercise for deeper connection and better conversations
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Experiment with the BRAIN model for confident decision making and problem solving
Discover the impact a five minute favour can have on your relationships, and network building
Homework for Life: A ten-second daily ritual for noticing, capturing and practicing stories
Course Pack: Storytelling
Do Story
Practical storytelling principles from Bobette Buster's book — Do: Story
Evolve your 'inner mentor' — a short reflective exercise to focus your development, and the ways you can better support others
Experiment with a Springboard Story to communicate your change idea, and take people with you towards it.
N Ngrab
Course Pack: Natural Networking
Tone Policing - What it is, why it's unhelpful and how to helpfully notice it.
Coaching Criticism
Find the Coaching in Criticism. Things to try when feedback doesn't quite land
4 Ds
The 4Ds. A practical framework for acknowledging microaggressions
Mindful breathing — the foundation of focus and flow
Channel that fly on the wall. Try some purposeful self talk to mitigate moments of doubt
Add some friction to your most common distractions
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Build belief by recognising small wins — Try a 'Done List'
Silent Meeting
Make your next meeting a Silent Meeting
Can If Go
Immediately build your confidence, with a 'Can-If' statement
To Think
Don't forget to diarise thinking time — experiment with a 'To Think' list
Smarten your approach to setbacks, by trying out a Setback Story
Get clear on control with a Clarity Clap
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Everything I Know about Life I Learned from PowerPoint — What we learned and where it led...
How to be a meaningful mentor, insights from a purposeful podcast
If Then New
Design (and share) your If > Then statements, for a purposefully prompt towards action
Practice the principles of persuasion from 'Godfather of Influence,' Robert Cialdini.
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Six steps for finding focus and flow, with Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in mind
Course Pack: Making Time
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Great questions to ask in coaching conversations, 1-1's and other curious contexts

Practice the principles of persuasion from 'Godfather of Influence,' Robert Cialdini.

In a 2021 Knowledge Project, podcast with Farnam Street’s Shane Parrish, social psychologist and master of influence Robert Cialdini talked through his principles of persuasion; sharing actionable insights into harnessing the power of influence. Here are six keys takeouts from the episode, linking into some lateral courses and resources to further your exploration.
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If anyone's earned the title ‘Godfather of Influence,’ it’s Robert Cialdini. His three years undercover at car dealerships, telemarketing firms and fundraising organisations bore two bestselling books on persuasion tactics, a seat on Obama’s reelection campaign, and a position at D.C’s National Academy of Sciences. He’s even got a social psychology award named after him.

In a recent ‘Knowledge Project,’ podcast with Farnam Street’s Shane Parrish, Cialdini talked through his principles of persuasion; sharing actionable insights into harnessing the power of influence. Here we’ve shared six key take outs from the episode to up your influence every which way, and linking in with lateral courses and resources to help broaden your perspective.

What we learned when we listened

Influence and manipulation (what's the difference?)

There is a key difference between the two. Manipulation doctors, or straight up falsifies truth, to solely benefit the person doing it. Influence doesn’t need to spin anything; it “points to truth where it naturally exists,” as Cialdini says, and often benefits everyone involved. It’s based on, and maintains, good relationships, and doesn’t leave anyone feeling tricked.

👉 If you’re interested in the practice of ethically influencing (both yourself and others), come along to our Behavioural Design Lab for a hands on exploration, and to take away tools for instant experimentation.

Making reciprocity real

Cialdini’s first principle of persuasion concerns the all too human desire to return favours and give back when given to. And there’s a couple of key cornerstones to consider.

When you give first - unprompted, and with no expectation of getting something in return - the person’s impulse to give back is twice as strong. Cialdini discusses a recent study from McDonalds, where children were given balloons on arrival. Families who were given the balloon the moment they walked in spent 25% more than families who were given one on the way out.

There’s also a time limit. A person’s need to give back peaks the moment you give something (a concession at a negotiation, a gift, a favour), and slowly peters out over time.

👉 What do you have that someone else needs? How can you influence with generosity today?

Lessons in likeability

The second principle of persuasion is likeability; we want to help the people we like. And who do we like? People like us, and people who like us.

Digging for common ground is a great way to influence with likeability. Say you were talking with your manager and they mentioned a band you like. Or maybe you’re bargaining for a new salary and discover the negotiator has just returned from a holiday in the country you were born in. Bring it up - find commonalities wherever they may be and start a dialogue.

Making a person feel liked is another great influencing tool. Joe Girard, as Cialdini points out, was a Guinness world record salesman, selling an average of six cars per day. The secret to his success? Every person who bought a car from him would receive a greetings card the next Christmas, Easter or coming holiday. All it said inside was ‘I like you - Joe Girard.’

👉 Where can you find common ground today? Who can you find it with? Who can you show appreciation and affection to, and how can you show it? If you’d like to learn more about likeability, take our ten minute Charm School eCourse.

Commitment and consistency

The basis of Cialdini’s commitment and consistency principles are simple - nobody wants to say one thing and do another. If someone verbally commits themselves to a role or an action, they’re much more likely to follow through.

Say you’re a project manager delegating work, but your team often misses deadlines or returns half-finished work. An incredibly simple fix is this - ask them, as you’re assigning work, “will you be able to complete this by the deadline?” and allow them to pause. If they say no, you know they’ll need more support. But if they say yes, you’ve just tripled the likelihood of a timely submission.

👉 How can you use the commitment and consistency principles today? What behaviour would you like to influence, and how can you get a pledge or promise to change from someone specifically?

Applying the scarcity principle

Particularly when persuading people to purchase, there’s no better principle than scarcity. It’s what makes phrases like ‘limited edition,’ or ‘just 10 tickets left,’ so tempting, and works just as well with more abstract concepts like time.

Our bias against loss, or ‘loss aversion,’ plays a big part in this. We’ll defend against losses twice as hard as we’ll fight for a gain. So when we’re faced with a loss, we act.

Cialdini discusses an advert he worked on for Bose. The first run of the ad boasted new features; better bass, top-notch treble, magnificent mids. It bombed. It wasn’t until Cialdini ran the ad with the slogan ‘Hear what you’ve been missing,” and changing the focus from a gain to a loss, that the speakers sold like hot-cakes.

👉 How can you motivate your clients, your customers, or even your team with scarcity today? Is there a decision you need someone to make, where emphasising timeliness could be the nudge they need?

Understanding Unity

Pointing to a common membership - a kind of shared tribe - is another persuasion principle. We want to help people on the same ‘team.’

Cialdini discusses a study done at a university in the states. When a young woman, collecting money for charity, asked students for donations she made ‘an average amount.’ But when she prefixed her request by saying “Hi, I’m a student here too and I’m collecting donations,” she received nearly 400% more. She’d pointed out their bond; their unity.

Likeability boosts the benefits of the unity principle, but it’s not essential. In the interview, Cialdini talks about his experience with a fellow social psychologist who, by his account, did not like him. When the professor refused to interrupt his day to send the research papers he desperately needed, Cialdini pointed to their unity: “We’ve been in the same psychology department for twelve years. I really need this.” Cialdini found the papers on his desk that afternoon.

👉 How can you use the unity principle today? What shared ‘team,’ can you point to, even across businesses or departments, to influence those around you?

More Resources