Mark Twain

"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great."

- Mark Twain

Monday, October 8, 2012

50 Ways to Change your life

50 Ways to Change your life

Ever since Charlie Munger recommended reading Influence by Robert Cialdini, I've been a huge fan. For his follow up book 50 Scientifically proven ways to be persuasive (also recommended by Munger) I was one of the first in line to purchase a copy. This book is a masterful work of social psychology.

Do you know when people are influencing you? Can you effectively influence others? Those two abilities will have an enormous impact on your life over a long period of time - few things offer the return on investment this book does.

The authors do a good job of incorporating real world examples into the book. However, with such a fascinating subject, I would have liked to see longer chapters with more examples. To fill the void, I've started looking up the footnotes and reading the original research which is proving very interesting.

Two examples of the types of concepts you can expect to find: 

  1. Did you know that companies who explain failure in their annual report using language that points to internal and controllable factors had higher stock prices one year later than those that pointed to external uncontrollable factors (pg 122)?
  2. Why the phrase "if operators are busy, please call back" is more effective at influencing people than "operators are waiting to take your call".
Reading this book helped me realize a few times that I've been 'psychologically exploited' by slick tricks in the past. I think I'm much better prepared to notice the subtle tricks others use when trying to persuade me and I suspect my ability to persuade others will also noticeably increase.

Men and Markets Observed: 50 Ways to Change your life

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