Influence Is Your Superpower | Zoe Chance

Summary of: Influence Is Your Superpower: The Science of Winning Hearts, Sparking Change, and Making Good Things Happen
By: Zoe Chance


Dive into the world of influence with Zoe Chance’s book, ‘Influence Is Your Superpower’, where you’ll learn the science behind winning hearts, sparking change, and making good things happen. Discover the two basic modes of thought processing – the Gator Brain and the Judge Brain – and how understanding these cognitive systems can greatly improve your ability to persuade and influence others. Additionally, you’ll explore various strategies, ranging from handling rejection to the art of effectively posing requests, and how to frame ideas persuasively. Lastly, learn to tackle resistance through anticipating, deflecting, and reframing objections, ultimately leading to more mutually agreeable solutions.

The Power of Gator Brain

The ability to influence people’s thoughts lies in understanding how their brains work. There are two modes of thought processing, System 1 (AKA the Gator Brain) and System 2 (AKA the Judge Brain). The Gator Brain is the default setting for most people, involving instinct and reflex to perform everyday tasks. The Judge Brain takes over when performing complex cognitive tasks and tasks that one is not proficient in. Understanding this, we can appeal to the Gator Brain when making proposals, calls-to-action, and decisions, increasing our chances of success. Dominoes used this technique with great results in their Anyware campaign, allowing customers to order pizza by simply texting or tweeting a pizza emoji.

“Saying No to Fear of Rejection”

Jia Jiang, a recent MBA graduate, was so afraid of rejection that he almost gave up on his dream of becoming an entrepreneur. To overcome his fear of rejection, he embarked on “100 Days of Rejection Therapy,” where he approached people with outlandish requests every day for a hundred days. Some of his requests were met with a yes, including a bespoke donut order from a Krispy Kreme employee. Jia learned that being comfortable with hearing the word no and making requests is the key to effective influence. To practice rejection therapy, try saying no to every request that doesn’t appeal to you, and pay attention to your feelings while doing so. By learning to pose requests effectively, you might hear yes more often than you think.

Timing is Key

Timing is a crucial factor in successfully pitching your ideas, whether it is asking for a promotion, offering advice, or selling a product. The Hong-Kong based Filipino airline agency demonstrated the power of clever timing and quick thinking by launching a guerilla marketing campaign on one of Hong Kong’s wettest days. By stenciling water-proof messages on the sidewalks that remained invisible until the next rain, they successfully increased flight sales by 37%. The lesson here is to make your pitch when your audience is primed to be receptive. Along with timing, the language used in the pitch is also crucial to its success. Avoid using diminishing language such as “I was just wondering” or qualifying phrases like “more or less.” Instead, use big asks and modify your first requests, appeal to the listener’s sense of reciprocity, and finally, use the “magic question” – “What would it take…?” to initiate a collaborative problem-solving approach. By following these strategies, you can increase the chances of successfully pitching your ideas.

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