Book review: Yes!

Emma De Vita reviews the new book by Noah J Goldstein, Steve J Martin and Robert B Cialdini


No, this isn't the kind of self-motivational book that would get David Brent excited.

Instead, it's a fun and eye-opening guide to becoming more persuasive - a necessary skill for any manager, whether it's used in getting yourself promoted or coaxing a business to partner your charity.

The authors are: Noah J Goldstein, a US management academic; Steve J Martin, who speaks on the art of persuasion; and Robert B Cialdini, professor of psychology and marketing at Arizona State University.

There are 50 short chapters on how small changes can make you more persuasive. Chapter 10 asks: "Which office item can make your influence stick?" Answer: the humble sticky note - a social scientist called Randy Garner wondered if compliance could be improved by a written request made to another person. He discovered that if a request to complete a survey was accompanied by a handwritten message on a sticky note, more than three-quarters of recipients complied. Among people who received only the survey and a covering letter, the response rate was much lower, at 36 per cent.

If such a small thing can help you get others to do what you want, isn't it time you stocked up on notes? Get sticking!

Emma De Vita is books editor of Management Today

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