Books on influence and persuasion at work, books to improve your influencing skillsLeadership & Influence

How To Win Your Next Big Project At Work

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Observe this Master Persuader Move from Elon Musk in his tweet below. A brilliant way to get people to buy a Tesla by asking them to consider the other mediocre competition in the electric car market.

Here is the mechanism for its potency:

  1. Establishes credibility by showing he is more about clean vehicles than Tesla sales.
  2. Uses reverse social proof persuasion by making people contrast Teslas to the rest of the mediocre competition.
  3. And most importantly, no one is aware that he is attempting to persuade them. They think it is just an altruistic tweet for the good of the environment.

This is weapons grade persuasion, the kind only a Master Persuader doles out.

Workplace Influencer Master Move To Learn

For the next big project (or sale) at work that you’d like to bag, tell your boss:

“If you don’t want me to run this project, here are all the others who could still do a decent enough job.”

It elevates your credentials and establishes credibility, followed by influencing through reverse social proof. All done without the appearance of direct persuasion.

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The typical approach people take is to ask for the project and then list reasons why they are deserving of it. Reasoning in humans generally invokes argumentation [1]. This causes people to look for arguments against your case and minimal persuasive effect, if any.

This Workplace Influencer Master Move, on the other hand, primes your boss to think of reasons you would be the best choice, and to do it on the backdrop of you being highly credible.

Read more on the science behind this revolutionary persuasion skill set:

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion By Robert B. Cialdini, Revised Ed., Collins Business Essentials, New York, NY 2007

Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade By Robert B. Cialdini, Simon & Schuster, New York, NY 2016.


1. Mercier, H.; Sperber, D. “Why do Humans Reason? Arguments for an Argumentative Theory” Behavioral and Brian Sciences, 2011, 34, 57-111.


Influence, Persuasion, Leadership, Leadership Development, Career Advice, Personal Development

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