New Persuasion Research
for Smart People
Here are three fascinating pieces of persuasion research
for smart people.
Apply all three and you'll watch your wallet get bigger;
and the relationships you want - happen in the first place -
and get better in the second....
Very little matters more in getting what you want than HOW
YOU BEGIN & what happened before you arrived.
Every conversation is "a persuasive conversation."
There are no "neutral conversations."
And once you figure that out, it becomes obvious just how
important the much talked about "first impression" really is.
It's a tough concept to study, but the following study did it
The relationship between a teacher and class is important for
the learning achievement of pupils and their pleasure in learning.
Dutch researcher Tim Mainhard discovered that these
teacher-class relationships are very stable over the course of
a school year. Consequently if teachers get off to a bad start, it is
almost impossible to put things right.
During four studies in high school classes, Mainhard observed
students and asked them to complete questionnaires under different
circumstances and at different times.
were found to be pretty stable. And if they did change, then the
relationship over the course of a school year was more likely to
This is particularly the case for classes that start
the school year with a teacher who exerts little influence on what
happens in the class and whose 'proximity' in the class is relatively
low. In such cases, the quality of the relationship gradually
decreases even further.
Relationship more likely to deteriorate than improve
revealed that characteristics such as being strict or friendly were
appreciated equally by pupils who experienced the teacher for the
first time and pupils who had known the teacher longer.
This suggests that the teacher-class relationship is established
almost immediately during the initial contact. Therefore the most
important implication from this study is that it is probably very
difficult for a teacher to fundamentally change a disrupted relationship.
And that is a real cause for dismay because a disrupted relationship
does not benefit the learning outcomes of students. If the teacher has
a good relationship with the pupils, then their interest for the
subject taught is greater, and if the teacher exerts a large
influence on what happens in class, the students learn more.
Therefore trainee teachers who do not have good contact with a
class would probably be better off teaching other classes, rather
than trying to improve the relationship in a class where things are
not going well.
Bring that concept into your world. If you don't have good contact with people at work or early in a relationship, your odds might be significantly better going elsewhere.
Teaching other classes will increase the chance of trainee teachers
learning to enlarge their behavioral repertoire.
You can't go back home.
You can't make it up later.
How soon can you tell if "it" is going to work?
About 13 years ago I led one of the first, if not the first speed dating events ever done here in Minneapolis. I did a number of them before bringing the idea to Seattle. I kept score.
We had women stay seated while the men would basically play musical chairs every 5 minutes. At the end of the 5 minutes both the man and the woman would simply right "yes" or "no" as to whether or not they'd like a "real world" date with that person.
We also interviewed most of the people after the experience to see how long it took before they KNEW they wanted to see this person again and if they could see themselves in a relationship with them.
People knew almost instantly. There were no "maybe" responses by attendees. "The first minute." "Right away." "Maybe two minutes." "
There was no difference between seeing the other person as being someone they wanted to be in a relationship with vs. someone they wanted to date "again," in real life.
That's the real world.
Relationships almost never evolve from small seeds. They are either there instantly or they are not.
There are the first four minutes and then everything else is simply a way to screw up what happened at the beginning.
The goal of persuasion is to gain compliance.
Perhaps when thinking about school or geopolitical situations, a bit of "force," might just do the trick.
Teachers, employers and all kinds of other settings use coercion.
Maybe you could gain compliance in some situations through coercion? What about negative reinforcement and sticks in getting people to do stuff....?
What about coercion and using sanctions? ...
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