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Persuasion Power At Work – The Trickery of Flattery

I bought Aesop’s book with the title, “The Fox and the Crow” for my 2-year-old grandson to read to him. He did not like the book at first, but now he wants me to read the story to him. We would have read this story during our school days under the title, “Aesop’s Fables”. One thing good about Aesop’s stories is the moral lesson behind each story. To refresh our memory of this story, I repeat the story here:

A Fox once saw a Crow fly off with a piece of cheese in its beak and settle on a branch of a tree.

“That’s for me, as I am a Fox,” said Master Reynard, and he walked up to the foot of the tree.

“Good day, Mistress Crow,” he cried. “How well you are looking today: how glossy your feathers; how bright your eye. I feel sure your voice must surpass that of other birds, just as your figure does; let me hear but one song from you that I may greet you as the Queen of Birds.”

The Crow lifted up her head and began to caw her best, but the moment she opened her mouth the piece of cheese fell to the ground, only to be snapped up by Master Fox.

“That will do,” said he. “That was all I wanted. In exchange for your cheese I will give you a piece of advice for the future: “Do not trust flatterers.”

Some of us can be gullible to flattery from people, especially from people who are smugglers, a term to describe a type of persuader, according to Dr. Robert Cialdini, who trained and certified me to become one of the 29 Cialdini Method Certified Trainers(CMCT) who have been endorsed by him to teach the Principles of Persuasion (POP).

Dr. Cialdini described how the power of flattery is revealed in a North Carolina study that evaluated the effects of positive, mixed, and negative comments on male subjects: “First, the evaluator who provided only praise was liked best by the men. Second, this was the case even though the men fully realized that the flatterer stood to gain from their liking him. Finally, unlike the other types of comments, pure praise did not have to be accurate to work. Positive comments produced just as much liking for the flatterer when they were untrue as when they were true”. Beware the wolf in sheep’s clothing!

If you are keen to learn more about how the Principles of Persuasion(POP) will help you to get people on your side, there is a POP workshop to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from October 21-22, 2013. Book your seat early to get an Early Bird Discount. Kindly contact or call 6012-4019398.

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