Persuade me

Photo Credit: soukup via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: soukup via Compfight cc

I wrote a few weeks ago about the manager with the underperforming staff member in a performing team. I suggested looking at 6 principles of influence as suggested by Robert Cialdini.  Let’s look at each of them in turn from a LD perspective:


I’ve written before about the provision mentality with LD and we see a lot of this within reciprocity.  The LD team want to make sure the compliance activity is completed, so trade off what is required for compliance with the managers demands. It’s give and take but LD is giving the wrong thing; support shouldn’t automatically mean provision and in many cases, LD has fallen for too long in playing a subservient role to their organisation in provision.


I get sold scarcity by LD vendors a lot; the inference that there is a lack of availability at a certain price and if I don’t get on that train now I won’t get on it.  This might be an approach that LD needs to adopt with the manager in my last post – there will be a lack of support in the future and if the manager doesn’t take it now they’re going to be left behind.


How many LD professionals are in a position where they can demand that a certain course of action is followed? Yeah, didn’t think so.


Again, we’re into the realms of provision.  If LD has always bent to the will of the organisation, what will the organisation do when LD doesn’t bend any more?  The LD team need to  realise that changing their approach will feel difficult for both them, and the organisation.  Our approach is different and it’s taking a long time for people to understand that our approach to learning is our new consistency.


LD people are nice.  We have a tradition of helping people and what do we do after training courses? Give people a sheet where they can score how much they liked it.   People like similarity, cooperation, and compliments and we do that in LD by putting people together to learn, stating how much we work with people and telling people how well they’re achieving with a neat little certificate. I’ve no problem with using liking to influence as long as we don’t lose our eye on the goal – business performance.

Social Proof

How much business integrity does your LD function display?  Do you challenge managers? Is your LD team part of the business? There’s a great line in Cialdini’s book:

As a rule, we will make fewer mistakes by acting in accord with social evidence than contrary to it.

Cialdini, Robert B. (2009-05-28). Influence (Kindle Location 1877). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

So, what would your preferred course of action be for the underperforming manager?  Thoughts, as always, welcome below.

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