Harnessing the Science of Persuasion

As hiring managers and business leaders, it is your responsibility to maintain a positive relationship with your employees. In order to motivate and direct employees, persuasion skills are necessary, as they exert a great influence over others. It may seem impossible to learn charisma, but persuasion is governed by basic principles that can be taught, learned and applied.

The Harvard Business Review released an article highlighting the science of persuasion. In their findings, they revealed six fundamental principles of persuasion and suggested a few ways that executives can apply them in their organizations. They firmly believe that no leader can succeed without mastering the art of persuasion. The six principles are explained in the table below.



In a business sense, these six principles can be summed up nicely. Business leaders should utilize the following applications when putting these principles to use.

  • Liking: Uncover real similarities and offer genuine purpose.
  • Reciprocity: Give what you want to receive.
  • Social Proof: Use peer power whenever it's available.
  • Consistency: Make their commitments active, public and voluntary.
  • Authority: Expose your expertise; don't assume it's self-evident.
  • Scarcity: Highlight unique benefits and exclusive information.

Although the six principles and their applications can be discussed separately, they should be applied in combination to compound their impact.