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Persuasion: How to Master the Craft of Corporate Gift Giving in Business

Whether we realize it or not, gift-giving is social psychology in action, a technique powerful in force when applied correctly. I’m not speaking of gift giving on traditional holidays, birthdays, and the like, but rather gift-giving as a form of persuasion in social psychology that is used in successful businesses, from large corporations to smaller independent companies, every day.

In our precursor to this article, The Art of Persuasion, we explained how persuasion is used by all of us everyday in order to persuade a successful outcome in our favor: foot-in-the-door, that’s not all, and scarcity. Gifting motives in business are no different.

Only one prominent distinction between the we use persuasion in our everyday lives, and the way successful companies use gifting, is that the former is often unconscious while the later is most definitely always conscious, and absolutely intentional.

There’s no hard rule that says how much you need to spend. CEO’s of multi-million-dollar corporations are some of the most frugal of all people. More likely to wait for a bargain that’s as close to nothing than the average coupon-cutter mom at the super market. Along with that they aren’t going to spend one-dollar to send a gift to a prospect client unless it’s sure to produce a return in profit for them. Here are the motives that inspire businesses to use gifting to persuade outcomes in their favor: To grow their network and develop long-lasting relationships, To market their company and brand, Customer retention – or loyalty, To close a deal. Continue reading

The Future of Social Psychology

Gaining simple understanding of just the basic principals of social psychology will offer significant insight to the behaviors present in yourself and others.

Thoroughly investigating these behaviors and how they change within a group setting, under the pressure of persuasion and conformity, or in accordance to our attitudes towards others, can give an accurate predictor into the psyche of the social being. The contributing factors within this study have been outlined within the articles of this topic. They will leave little question as to how the area of social psychology is a critical part of understanding human behaviors.

The study of social psychology has been very revealing of human behaviors and an explanation into why they occur. The many different components that contribute to a person’s social self, the attitudes and behaviors that occur, are due to both internal and external factors that rely on social psychology for a clear translation. Without social psychology we would have little insight as to why people behave the way they do and no understanding of the elements involved. Social psychology is the future of explaining human behavior and will allow for many more monumental breakthrough’s to come. Continue reading

Group Dynamics: Understanding Group Types and Their Influence

How to identify Group Types

A group can be defined as at least two people that communicate and form some type of reasonable unit. There are many different types of groups such as intimacy groups, tasks groups, or loose associations. Intimacy groups are those closest to us such as a group of friends or a group of family members.

Tasks groups work to achieve a common goal, like a study group working on a school project together. Loose associations are groups that are formed because of their similar preferences such as music or theater. Being involved in some type of grouping, if not various groupings, is quite the norm for most people. Continue reading

How to Set Yourself Free: Obedience and Conformity

Social “norms” dictate what is acceptable within a certain society, culture, or group. These norms are a predominant reason we tend to conform to the masses rather than striking out on our own, even when our way is right for us. Injunctive norms, what is approved or disapproved of, or descriptive norms, describing what most people do, have an impact on our behavior and our conformity tendencies. This article will tell you have to evaluate what you’re doing in your life based solely upon obedience and conformity to our society around us – and how to free yourself to live for your best intention.

The Influence of Information

Often we conform is because we believe the group or crowd knows something we do not and therefore we follow suit. This is called an informational influence and happens more frequently than we think. Have you ever followed the car in front of you when you were pulling out of a crowded event and a bit lost because you figured they know the way? This is experiencing an informational influence. The want/need to be accepted within a group is experiencing a normative influence which is also very Continue reading

Understanding the Art of Persuasion

Everyday different persuasion techniques are used by us and on us to persuade a successful outcome in our favor. Listed below are a few of the top persuasion techniques, their definitions, and an example for clear understanding.

*Foot-in-the-door: A small request is made, and adhered to, only for a larger request to present itself. For example, you are asked if you would like to enter a raffle for $500. You fill out the little slip at which point you are told you will be receiving the Detroit Free Press for the next month free of charge, than it will cost $30 a month thereafter. The point of the foot-in-the-door method is, if you want to get someone to do something, start small before moving big.

Here’s a video that illustrates the impact of the foot-in-the-door tactic in 59 seconds

*That’s-not-all: The initial proposal is made but then many bonuses are added to the original offer to sweeten the deal. For example, you see an ad for a car wax which is minimally interesting but suddenly they add car deodorizer and interior wipes- free of charge! Continue reading

Thinking about Others: Evaluating the Way We Perceive Other People

Our attitudes towards things are simply evaluations we make based upon our reactions.

There are explicit and implicit attitudes that are present at most times. Conscious attitudes we have about a situation are explicit and attitudes we are unaware that we have are implicit. Our attitudes can often be predictors to our behaviors that follow a certain attitude.

If Jim has the attitude that he hates all black people, Jim is most likely not going to act favorably when he is introduced to Joe, a new black student at his school. Then again, Jim may be very pleasant and enthusiastic about meeting Joe which conflicts with his explicit attitude. When our behaviors do not match our attitudes this is called cognitive dissonance and can be quite uncomfortable to experience.

Attributions play a huge role in forming our attitudes and whether they will be positive or negative. Attributions are what you attribute a situation to; if you blame an internal attribution for the reason your taxi is late picking you up, you are choosing to pinpoint a dispositional attribute of the taxi driver (laziness, he is a jerk, etc…) as the cause. If you instead look at an external attribution as the cause of his lateness you will blame the traffic or mechanical issues as the cause.  

    Explanatory styles can also help us to decipher which attribution will be made towards a certain situation. The optimistic explanatory style is seeing a positive situation as internal, stable, and global whereas a negative event will be looked at as external, unstable, and specific. Continue reading

Discovering the Self: Identifying Self-Perceptions from True Identity

The perception we have about ourselves is an important piece of the puzzle that predicts our attitudes and behaviors. Our self-schema is the knowledge we have about ourselves which impacts how we look at the world and the people in it. We are more likely to participate in an action or behavior that fits to our self-schema. If one enjoys music but has dislike for movies, they are more likely to engage in an activity/conversation about music rather than movies.

Our self-schemas define who we are as an individual and what choices we will make to match that self-schema. Our self-schema is similar to our self-concept, which is figuring out who we are based upon our beliefs and attitudes, but self-schemas help us to organize that information and apply it in to our everyday lives. Having a favorable self-concept about yourself can determine your worth, competence, and happiness.

Discovering the Self

    Figuring out who you are as a person requires self-awareness, and is often comprised of different components. You’re internal thoughts and feelings that no one can see expect for yourself, is your private self-awareness whereas your public self-awareness is what others see when they look at you.

For example, if your boyfriend broke up with you and you feel completely depressed and saddened by this, you have a private self-awareness on the issue. On the other hand, if externally you are going out dancing, laughing, and talking to other guys an observer would be looking at your public self-awareness which completely is the opposite of your real feelings. Because you know others are looking your public self-awareness will change to match what you want others to think, not always what you truly feel. This can cause a discrepancy within yourself as your actions are not matching up with how you truly feel which in turn can cause turmoil. Continue reading

Interpersonal Communication: The Bloodline to Your Personal Relationships

Let me give you the best and most informed advice I can on how to maintain a strong interpersonal communication with one another, even in times of conflict.

A strong communication is the vital foundation that is needed to maintain a lasting, profound union and to better understand one another. Without the elements needed to interpersonally connect with one another on all levels, your relationship will not thrive as a healthy union should. Interpersonal communication is at the core of our personal and professional successes, as well as our own self-concept, emotional intelligence, and our ability to overcome barriers and conflicts that we may encounter as individuals.

I will start with the meaning of an interpersonal communication which is any type of communication that occurs between two individuals. It can be personal, profession, a chance meeting, a planned conversation, or everyday communication that happens in a relationship, as is the case with you two. There are three components that comprise the reasons we communicate which are to meet our personal needs, to learn about ourselves, others, the world we live in, and to create and maintain relationships with others. Shared meaning is the number one goal of all communications; the hope that what you are saying can be understood and the meaning of the message can be shared effectively with them.  Continue reading