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Persuasion And Influence-How Authority Can Make You More Persuasive

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You and I exist in perhaps the most rapidly changing and complex environment ever to be seen on our planet Earth. Thus, most of us do not have the time to analyze each and every event, person or action that we encounter everyday. To live most efficiently, we use shortcuts, termed judgemental heuristics. For example, certain mental shortcuts we use include the "expensive is good" stereotype. People with the correct knowledge can exploit these mental shortcuts that we use and take advantage of us. I'm going to talk about one of the most common stereotypes we use in our modern lives - the assumption that 'authority is believable" and how to use this assumption to your advantage.

You probably know that companies all around the world are taking advantage of the 'authority is believable' stereotype. For example, companies like Nike get football stars like Fernando Torres to endorse their football boots. Fernando Torres is considered to be one of the best strikers in world football and can be seen as an authority on the subject of football. People trust Torres and buy the product that he endorses and Nike takes advantage of this. There have also been cases where the co-pilot of the plane did not correct the pilot even when the instructions of the pilot were wrong as the co-pilot felt that the pilot was the authority and whatever he said must be right.

Now that you have seen the power of authority figures in persuasion, how can you use this to your advantage? The obvious way is to work hard to attain certain titles of authority like that of a doctor, lawyer, professor and so on. Alternatively, you could also strive to work hard for a promotion in your job status. For example, a promotion from a salesman to a sales manager will establish you as an authorial figure in the office and people will be more easily persuaded by you.

But such a way takes lots of hard work and a long period of time. An alternative way is to change your way of dressing. For example, people are more likely to be persuaded by a formally dressed person than a person in sandals and a T-shirt. Those wearing expensive watches, have cars and beautiful houses are also perceived by others to be people of authority and status.

Height is also something that is constantly associated with status or authority. Don't we all have the experience of a taller person towering over us? His height actually makes him seem to be an authority figure that we can trust and believe. I was once persuaded by a 2.0m tall salesman to buy his microwave oven even though I had no use for it. If you are shorter in height, you could try to buy some height enhancing footwear or even try some height enhancing stretching exercises.
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