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Influence Principles: Cialdini’s 7 Shortcuts Of Persuasion

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If you are tired of everyone saying no to you all the time, you are surely not alone. Many of us feel that influencing is a skill that you are either born with or to get good at, you will have to get extensive training.

However, bestselling author and social psychologist, Robert Cialdini, in his groundbreaking research has shown that people make most decisions based on 7 principles of persuasion. Knowing them and how they operate on people, gives you the best chance at influencing others.

Simplified by Cialdini, they are principles that are quickly learn-able and with little practice, can be used as weapons of influence at work and in life to get what you want. The key is to make people want to say yes to you even before making your request. Cialdini’s 7 shortcuts and principles of influence show you the right way to do this in his bestselling book, Influence: the Psychology of Persuasion.

This book will truly transform your life and is a must-read if you want to understand how to persuade people and get your way.

Here Are Cialdini’s Main Pathways To Influencing People:


Give something to the other person first. Make it personalized and meaningful.


Show limited supply of what you have to offer. People put more value on dwindling resources.

If you are trying to sell someone on something, let them know how rare or uncommon its features are.


Establish your credibility first and highlight relevant expertise.

Commitment & Consistency

First get people to say yes to a smaller request. Once committed to you, they are more likely to agree to a future, bigger request in order to be consistent.


Give compliments (genuine and personalized), pace/mimic to win favor.

Social Proof

Show other examples. Only 5% of people are initiators the remaining 95% are imitators. If they see that others are doing the same thing, they are more likely to comply.


Remind them of a shared identity with you. A shared location, ethnicity, hobbies, previous company/industry, or a favorite sports team.

The last one, Unity, comes from Cialdini’s more recent book, Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade, but I’ve included it here as it completes his list.

You can read our book review on Pre-Suasion here.

If you want to get deeper insights and advice on these topics, here are some books that will help you.

Shaun Mendonsa, PhD is an influencing expert and pharmaceutical development leader. He writes on the topics of influence and persuasion, and develops next generation drugs in human pharma by advising international pharmaceutical CROs and CMOs. He can be reached at


Influence, Persuasion, Career Development, Leadership Tips

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