Fascinating MBA Talk of the Week: Science Of Persuasion (Dr. Robert Cialdini and Steve Martin)

How can you persuade someone to do what you want? There is perhaps no greater skill for business leaders to master. Is it something innate? Are only certain people charismatic enough to consistently get buy-in from others? In this lecture on the Science of Persuasion, Cialdini and Martin show that techniques for persuasion are actually quite logical and learnable. With only a few minor nudges based on universal human behavior, aspiring MBAs can more effectively persuade peers, clients, and superiors.


  • The six universal shortcuts that guide decision-making: reciprocity, scarcity, authority, consistency, liking, and consensus.
  • If the waiter gives a mint at the end of the meal, what is the effect on the tip amount? Does the manner in which it is given matter?
  • Real estate agents increased business by 20% by having their receptionist list their credentials before putting clients through to them on the phone
  • The keys to getting someone to liking you: similarity, paying them compliments, and cooperation towards mutual goals
  • Those little cards in your hotel bathroom asking you to save the environment by reusing your towels result in towel result in 35% compliance with towel reuse. There is a way to use the principle of consensus to increase that rate even further.