Whether it’s soft drinks or charity event tickets, why is it that celebrities and influencers endorse them? Featuring celebrities in advertisements and promotional videos can immediately grab attention and enhance the brand image. This high-impact marketing strategy is only successful because of the influence and persuasive power celebrities have over the public.

The Robert Cialdini persuasion principles will help you gain a deeper understanding of how influence works. Read on to explore the six different principles of Cialdini’s influence theory and how they’re useful in the workplace.


  1. What Are The Principles Of Persuasion?

  2. The Importance Of Cialdini’s Principles

  3. Conclusion

What Are The Principles Of Persuasion?

Robert Beno Cialdini is a professor of Psychology and Marketing at Arizona State University. He is widely known for his book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion (1984), where he talks about the power of influence and persuasion. Over 35 years of rigorous and evidence-based research has led Cialdini to explore why people say ‘yes’ and what moves them to change their behavior. He looks at both conscious and subconscious factors that lead to successful persuasion.

Here are the 6 principles of persuasion that Cialdini wrote about:

  1. Principle Of Reciprocity

The most basic principle of influence is reciprocity i.e., simply giving what you want to receive. In other words, you do something for someone without expecting anything in return; the person is most likely to do something for you. For example, giving someone respect, listening to them and being empathetic will endear you to that individual.

  1. Principle Of Consistency

This principle states that people have a need to be seen as consistent, which is why once we’ve publicly committed to something, we tend to deliver on our promise. The psychology behind it suggests that humans align commitment with self-image, therefore behaving in ways that are consistent with past behaviors. However, a commitment should be voluntary, otherwise, the person is unlikely to keep their word.

  1. Principle Of Social Proof

People often rely on social cues to think and act in particular situations. They pay attention to what others are doing—consciously and subconsciously. For example, as an HR manager, you want the senior managers to change their policies. To exercise your influence, you must be able to get their buy-in first. Make them believe that their actions and changes towards policies will make an impact—give them their social proof.

  1. Principle Of Authority

Individuals who are authoritative are more influential and persuasive than others because of the perceived credibility. We’re likely to trust someone who looks like they know what they’re doing. For example, you’re more likely to pick a particular dentist after you see their high ratings on Practo, the certificates in their chamber or the referrals you’ve received.

  1. Principle Of Liking

One of the most common principles of persuasion, it refers to the ability to persuade people we like and who like us back. When we share similar interests, hobbies and tastes, it’s easier to connect and influence their choices. Often, salespeople find common grounds to initiate conversation and get an idea of a person’s likes and dislikes. This gives them great leverage and they’re able to persuade customers successfully.

  1. Principle Of Scarcity

People tend to value things when they’re scarce. The less of something there is, the more value it has and the more people want it. This is why you often see brands and marketers use phrases such as Hurry! Only a few items left in stock! or The offer expires at midnight! Limited time or limited supply offers instantly create a sense of scarcity.

The Importance Of Cialdini’s Principles

Cialdini’s six principles of persuasion is an important lens to understand and navigate the workplace. Influence and persuasion are some of the most powerful leadership skills. As managers and team leaders, you’re required to motivate your team, build strong interpersonal relationships and mediate conflicts, if any. It’s only through influence and persuasion that you are able to gauge people’s expectations better and communicate in ways that help them change their behaviors and actions.

For instance, you’ve been managing a team of five employees for almost a year now. You’ve maintained healthy professional relationships with each one of them. Imagine that you have a new project for which you need your team to put in additional hours. They’re likely to agree readily because of the principle of authority or the principle of liking. In short, your team will show commitment because you’ve been there for them in the past.


Negotiation is one of the cornerstones of influencing and persuading people successfully. Negotiation skills are instrumental in establishing credibility and winning the support of your team and others. Harappa’s Negotiating Wisely course will help you sharpen collaboration skills and gain the confidence to articulate your position clearly. You’ll present your case persuasively and become a champion of persuasion.

Explore topics such as What is Negotiation, How to Develop Negotiation Skills, How to Use Negotiating Technique & Knowing Your BATNA in a Negotiation from Harappa Diaries and learn to negotiate wisely.

Related articles

Discover more from Harappa with a selection of trending blogs on the latest topics in online learning and career transformation