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Tag Archive for Sway

Scale Your Capacity to Sway Others

This headline, “Exec loses job after allegedly slapping toddler on plane,” is an anger-evoking true story that spread quickly. Understanding why can help you spread your ideas, piggybacking on certain kinds of momentous events. “High arousal” negative emotions such as anger or anxiety spur us to share messages with others, discovered Wharton professor Jonah Berger, author of Contagious. So do certain high-arousal positive emotions: awe, excitement and amusement or humor. Susan Boyle’s unexpected singing performance, for example, evoked awe and 100 million views within nine days. Even years later, she inked a movie deal. Les Miserables’ movie producer Cameron Mackintosh… Read More

The Upside Of Trump-Evoked Name-Calling

After Trump called Marco Rubio a “low life,” “nasty guy” and “choke artist,” Rubio sunk lower. Citing Trump, he said, “You know what they say about men with small hands.” And Trump called Cruz “a little baby: soft, weak, little baby.” Unfortunately negative and bad name-calling and labels are more contagiously shared than positive ones, as you have undoubtedly noticed in this immersive, warped and ongoing reality show called the presidential campaign. The Argument Culture is on the rise again. Consider seeing the nasty escalation of political attacks – and heated reactions by the pundits -and many of us —… Read More

Four Ways We Sway Others and Get Swayed

As the invisible gorilla test famously proved, we are sometimes blind to what’s happening around us, and oblivious to signs that sway us. To become more aware of how you are influenced by what you see and hear, and to get ideas on how to influence others, here are four nudges: 1. Give Them an Obvious Sign • When you see a path of big green footprints you are more likely to follow them to the public bins and throw your trash away. That’s what the Danish Nudging Network discovered. First they gave distinctively wrapped caramel candies to pedestrians in an area. Afterwards they searched nearby garbage cans, bicycle baskets and… Read More

Craft an Attention-Grabbing Message

I am gratified by the 249 comments to this post I wrote for Harvard Business Review and seek your specific tips on quotability, the first step to connecting in this increasingly complex, information-flooded, and connected world: You can feel the tension in the compressed smiles, quick nods and pointed questions at the annual Morgan Stanley Global Healthcare conference. Schedules are packed as the high-stakes finance crowd gathers to hear 20-minute rapid-fire talks by CEOs of start-ups and public companies who seek funding or favorable stock analysts’ reports. Presenters speak fast, using complex medical and financial terms. In contrast, my client, the… Read More

I Was Completely Surprised by His Behavior

Reinventing himself when he arrived at college Sam, “who had never had much luck with women” successfully beguiled a string of women into one-night stands, leaving his male friends shaking their heads in wonder because the women, though dumped, saw him as “sensitive, caring and sweet.” Also odd, Sam took up the habit of frequently washing his hands. Now this might make you sufficiently curious to read the book in which this story is told, Out of Character. As you might have anticipated, Sam was subconsciously wiping his hands of guilt. A Macbeth effect for a man who’s dorm room… Read More