This is part of a series of information/stories delivered from the INCREDIBLE book,  “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” by Robert Cialdini.     If you work or live a life where you have to get people to do thing, Influence studies and explains the 6 most powerful forces to persuade people.  No other book has been recommended to me more, by people smarter than both of us.

In short, they are:

1) Reciprocation

2) Social proof

3) Commitment & Consistency

4) Liking: People prefer to say ” yes” to those they know

5) Authority

6) Scarcity

And they will be a game changer for you and your business.

Today we elaborate on Consistency.


Yet another reason that written commitments are so effective is that they require more work than verbal ones.  And the evidence is clear that the more effort that goes into a commitment, the greater is its ability to influence the attitudes of the person who made it.  If you suffer a lot before you are allowed entry into a group, you will feel more loyal to it (gang initiations, fraternities, tribes right of manhood, military).  They function, oddly enough, to spur future society members to find the group more attractive and worthwhile.

It appears that commitments are most effective in changing a person’s self-image and future behavior when they are active, public, and effortful. But there is another property of effective commitment that is more important than the other three combined.  Social scientists have determined that we accept inner responsibility for a behavior when we think we have chosen to perform it in the absence of strong outside pressures. A large reward is one such external pressure.

All this has important implications for rearing children. It suggests that we should never heavily bribe or threaten our children to do the things we want them truly to believe in. Such pressures will probably produce temporary compliance with our wishes. However, if we want more than just that, if we want the children to believe in the correctness of what they have done, if we want them to continue to perform the desired behavior when we are not present to apply those outside pressures, then we must somehow arrange for them to accept inner responsibility for the actions we want them to take.