The article starts off by talking about the different categories of decision making. The five types include: Charismatics, Thinkers, Skeptics, Followers and Controllers. To be an effective persuader and sell your ideas it’s best to know the audience. According to the article nearly all sales presentations focus on only two of different decision making categories. Charismatics are have strong emotions and tend to become fascinated with new ideas. In the end however these types of people have learned from experiences as they have made bad decisions before out of impulse. Thinkers can be described as very intelligent people with more introverted personalities and utilize comparative data. Unlike Charismatics these people try not to allow their emotions to get involved and are often the hardest people to persuade. Skeptics may be the most self-explanatory; these are people that hold strong defining personalities and are highly suspicious of everything they hear. Finally, followers are those who make decisions based on how other members in the group feel or based on previous decisions they’ve had to make.
I think this article was one that was geared toward certain professions more than others. A lot of the information presented would definitely help those in marketing and sales as opposed to a general office setting. I would imagine that lawyers use a lot of the same techniques that are in this article. Being able to argue your case and then convince a jury/judge would require this type of skill set. Another thing this article goes into detail about is using buzzwords to grasp people’s attentions and then focus on the point. Still, in any case, this article demonstrates techniques to become a better communicator in general. I have a very introverted personality and have actually taken a course here at the University to improve my interpersonal skills. Based on the information given in this article, I think that I fall into the “Thinkers” category of decision makers.
One thing that really surprised me from the article is that the biggest class of decision makers’ found in executives were the “followers”. Again, these are the individuals who make decisions “based on how well they’ve made similar choices in the past or on how other trusted executives have made them.” I find this odd because this goes against almost everything I’ve been taught throughout my life. I’ve always been told to be a leader and not a follower. Surprisingly enough, 36% of executives surveyed possess these traits when it comes to decision making. The author even went on to note 3 prominent examples whom are Peter Coors, Douglas Daft and Carly Fiorina. All three of these figures are millionaires, and two of them ran for senate! It could be misunderstanding this, but when I think of our countries leaders I don’t think of people that exhibit the characteristics of followers.
Application and/or Further Research
The second article I chose the read for further Research was titled “Harnessing the Science of Persuasion” by Robert B. Cialdini. I personally liked this article a lot more then “Change the Way You Persuade”. This article involved studying the results of experiments conducted by behavioral scientists rather than the survey that was used in the former article. What I learned from this article is that many people are naturally born with the art of persuasion and have an incredible ability to convince people into their way of thinking. However, the primary focus of this article is that there are 6 fundamental principles of persuasion and with enough practice anyone can learn them. One of them involves liking, where people who like and trust someone are much more inclined to be persuaded by them then to someone that they despise. Another principle is reciprocity. I think this goes hand in hand with liking; it’s defined as giving what you’d want to receive. If you are able to make a compromise on a matter with someone, then chances are they’ll do the same for you in the future. Another principle that I think is very true is authority based on knowledge. I know for a fact that I am much easier persuaded by people who are an expert on the topic such as a professor or a doctor.