Centre for Continuing Education

The Psychology of Influence Course

Psychology. Explore the human mind.

Learn Psychology the smart way with Psychology courses at the University of Sydney.

Eleanor Shakiba
Eleanor Shakiba is an expert in ‘people skills’. She has trained over 49,000 people in the skills of breakthrough communication. She has been teaching at the Centre for Continuing Education for over ten years.

Eleanor 's qualifications include a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Anthropology, Graduate Certificate in Applied Psychology, Graduate Diploma in Adult Education, Master Practitioner and Trainer certifications in Neuro Linguistic Programming, accreditation to administer MBTI and DISC psychometric instruments and LEADR training in mediation. She writes and teaches in the areas of applied psychology, communication and conflict resolution.

Influence is the ability to guide someone’s thinking, decisions or actions. Although some people seem to be ‘born’ influencers, it is possible to learn how to influence. Doing this can help you change others' minds, shift the direction of a conversation, get your point across and have an impact in situations where you don’t have formal authority. Discover what it takes to be a skilled influencer. See how to apply principles from applied psychology to real-life influencing situations. Hear how to create a persuasive message and deliver it in written or spoken format. Suitable for professionals who manage relationships, interact with customers, work in teams, provide consulting services or need to ‘manage up’ effectively.

Outcomes

Practical techniques for influencing and persuading in business contexts. Discover why some people are easier to influence than others. Hear what experts in psychology know about getting a point across successfully. Learn how to:

  • Understand how key concepts from social psychology can be used to improve the persuasiveness of your communication.
  • Take an ethical approach to influencing in business contexts.
  • Apply six principles of influence to everyday work situations.
  • Use a four-step process to structure and present a compelling message.
  • Identify and match motivational drivers to increase receptivity to your message.
  • Use influential language patterns to speak persuasively.
  • Handle objections and resistance by using principle based negotiation tools.

Content

This is an introductory level. It presents a range of robust, evidence-based techniques from social psychology in an accessible, experiential format. The presenter will introduce you to theory, principles and processes using mini-lectures and video examples. You will also participate in written exercises, group discussions and small group activities. The aim of this approach is to give you practical experience in using positive psychology techniques. You will gain the most from this class if you are prepared to participate, ask questions and learn from you classmates.

Topic one: What is influence?

Learn what influence is. Understand how social and individual factors impact on your ability to exert influence. Explore models of influence proposed by key thinkers such as Aristotle, Harold Lasswell, Carl Hovland, William McGuire, Philiip Zimbardo, Dale Carnegie and Robert Cialdini. Understand how these models can be applied in today’s business world. Discuss the difference between influence and manipulation. Consider the importance of ethics when influencing in professional situations. See how to apply principles of ethical influence in business contexts.

Topic two: 6 principles to boost your influence

Discuss practical ways you can apply Professor Robert Cialdini’s research on influence. Learn how effective influencers use six key principles to persuade and engage. These principles are reciprocity, commitment and consistency, social proof, liking, authority and
scarcity. Watch examples of these principles in action. Develop a plan for using each principle in your work context.

Topic three: Steps for success

Turn theory into action with a simple four step process for planning and implementing an influencing approach. Learn why structured planning will boost your effectiveness as a communicator. Discover the benefits of actively building rapport before seeking to influence. Hear why changing the wording of your message can make you more persuasive. Find out why preparation will help you handle objections and resistance to your message. The remainder will be spent learning practical techniques for applying these ideas.

Topic four: Planning your approach

Influence is like public speaking: you’ll get better results if you plan before you speak. Try out a simple template for planning your influencing strategy. Define your outcome for an influencing attempt. Identify the motivational drivers which impact on how someone make decisions. Design an argument which will align with an individual’s drivers and make it more appealing to them. Identify potential objections and plan to pre-empt or address them.

Topic five: Building rapport and linking to needs

Explore the art of using verbal and nonverbal behaviour to build rapport. Rapport is a state of mutual understanding. It enhances receptivity during communication. Discuss ways of applying Cialdini’s principle of liking when connecting with others. Experiment with using coordinated movement to enhance rapport. Use active listening techniques to detect others' needs and concerns. Use cognitive and affective matching techniques to address those needs – so that your message becomes more compelling and gets through to your listener.

Topic six: Using persuasive language patterns

Learn how concepts from psycholinguistics and cognitive linguistics can boost your ability to influence and persuade. Use the principles of ‘persuasive argumentation’ to structure a compelling message. Discover why some figures of speech are more persuasive than others. Then learn how to apply these figures of speech to real-life situations such as public speaking or one-to-one influencing attempts. Language patterns you’ll cover include repetition, rhetorical questions, anecdotes and metaphors.

Topic seven: Handling objections and resistance

It’s normal to encounter resistance or objections when you’re influencing at work. In this section, you’ll learn how to respond constructively when this happens. See how to use discovery questions to uncover the needs or concerns beneath objections. Hear how to use principle-based negotiation techniques to build consensus and move beyond ‘no’.

How can put your learning to use?

The practical, focus emphasises the application of evidence-based methods to real-life situations. Influencing skills can be used in business to build stronger networks, persuade people to listen to your ideas, negotiate, create buy-in to change and keep meetings on track. They can be used in your personal life to get friends and family members on-side, sort out disagreements, handle difficult people and build stronger relationships. The educator will answer your questions about using influencing techniques in your specific contexts.

Who teaches this?

Eleanor Shakiba is a leading people skills trainer, based in Sydney. She has taught over 48,000 people – like you- to use breakthrough thinking and communication tools. She has written over ninety training courses and produced 12 audio programs to help you excel at work.

Eleanor is qualified in Social Anthropology, Adult Education, Applied Psychology, Neuro Linguistic Programming and Mediation. She writes and teaches in the areas of applied psychology, communication and conflict resolution. Her passion is helping professionals learn skills for success in the real world.

Intended Audience

Suitable for professionals who need a basic understanding of how to frame an influential message. Participants will get the most from this if they are:

  • Willing to contribute to group discussions.
  • Confident communicating verbally in English.
  • Comfortable participating in role play style activities.

Delivery Style

This is interactive. It covers the why, what and how of influencing skills. You’ll learn through a variety of methods including:

  • Small group discussions.
  • Role plays or simulations.
  • Written exercises in which you will apply key concepts.
  • Question and answer sessions with the trainer.

Materials

Able, S., and G. Stasser. 2008. Coordination success and interpersonal perceptions: matching versus mismatching. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 95: 576–92.

Allen, M. & Preiss, R. W. 1997. Comparing the persuasiveness of narrative and statistical evidence using meta-analysis. Communication Research Reports, 14, 125–131.

Bernieri, F. J. 1988. Coordinated movement and rapport in teacher-student interactions. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior 12: 120–38.

Burger, J. M., N. Messian, S. Patel, A. del Prado, and C. Anderson. 2004. What a coincidence! The effects of incidental similarity on compliance. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 30: 35–43.

Burnkrant, R. E. & Howard, D. J. 1984. Effects of the use of introductory rhetorical questions versus statements on information processing. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology , 47, 1218–1230.

Bushman, B. A. 1988 The Effects of Apparel on Compliance. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 14: 459–67.

Carnegie, D. 2009. How to Win Friends and Influence People. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Cialdini, R. B. 2016  Pre-suasion: A revolutionary way to influence and persuade. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Cialdini, R 2001 Influence: Science and Practice Fourth Edition, Allyn and Bacon, London.

Clarkson, J. J., Z. L. Tormala, and D. D. Rucker. 2011. Cognitive and affective matching effects in persuasion: an amplification perspective. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 1415–27.

Conner, M., Rhodes, R. E., Morris, B., McEachan, R. & Lawton, R. 2011. Changing exercise through targeting affective or cognitive attitudes. Psychology and Health, 26, 133–149.

Eagly, A. H. & Chaiken, S. 1993. The psychology of attitudes. Orlando: Harcourt, Brace Jovanovich College Publishers.

Goldstein, N. J., Martin, S. J., & Cialdini, R. B. 2008. _Yes! 50 scientifically proven ways to be persuasive_. New York: Free Press.

Gorassini, D. R. (2016). Composing Persuasive Messages: Science and Ethics [Kindle iOS version].

Hovland, C. I. & Janis, I. L. 1959. Personality and Persuasibility Oxford, UK: Yale University Press.

Iyengar, S. 2011.  The art of choosing . New York: Twelve

Kruglanski A. & Stroebe W. 2012 Handbook of the history of social psychology (pp. 285–320). New York: Psychology Press.

Lakoff, G. & Johnson, M. 1980. Metaphors we live by. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Maio, G. R. & Haddock, G. 2010. The psychology of attitudes. London: Sage.

Malhotra, D 2004 Risky Business: Trust in Negotiations. Negotiation Vol 7, No 2 February 2004

Pennebaker, J. W. 2011.  The secret life of pronouns: What our words say about us . New York: Bloomsbury Press.

Perloff, R. M. 2010. The dynamics of persuasion: communication and attitudes in the 21st century (4th edn). New York: Routledge.

Pligt, J. v. d., & Vliek, M. 2016. The psychology of influence: theory, research and practice [Kindle iOS version].

Regan, D. T. Effects of a favor and liking on compliance." Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 7 1971: 627–39.

Schein, E. 2013 Humble Enquiry Berrett-Koehhler Publishers, San Francisco

Shakiba, E. 2016 Difficult People Made Easy, New Holland Publishing

Tillett, G. 2006 Resolving Conflict Oxford University Press

Woodsid Van Swol, L.M.  2003.  The effects of nonverbal mirroring on perceived persuasiveness, agreement with an imitator and reciprocity in a group discussion.  Communication Research, 30(4), 461-480.

Woodside, A. G., and J. W. Davenport. Effects of salesman similarity and expertise on consumer purchasing behavior." Journal of Marketing Research 11 (1974): 198–202.

Zimbardo, P. G., & Leippe, M. R. 1991.  The psychology of attitude change and social influence . Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

Features

  • Expert trainers
  • Central locations
  • Small class sizes
  • Free, expert advice
  • Student materials – yours to keep
  • Statement of completion

What others say.

  • Great course! The presenter really knows the stuff and is a great facilitator and trainer. Practical exercises reinforced the theory in the course notes. I will say it’s a lot to learn and I will have to keep referring to the notes for a while – a heck of a lot to take in and digest. Changing a lifetime of habits won’t come overnight but it all makes sense. Venue was great, instructions to get there nice and clear. The lunch completely exceeded expectations... blown away.

  • Very informative, interesting and useful course. Presenter was very engaging and facilitating.

  • A fantastic teacher who made the content easy to understand, and the practical exercises helped to apply it. Thank you!

  • A fantastic tutor! Very knowledgeable and able to demonstrate the theory and better ways to express your thoughts more effectively.

  • Fantastic course and presenter who provided many practical tools and tips for me to implement straight away at work and at home.

  • I put into practice the skills I learnt at this course today – and it worked!

  • It was great that the course was on a Saturday as it would have been difficult to get time off work to attend otherwise.

  • This was a really enjoyable course – well paced and with a good mix of theory and exercises.

  • The course was well run. There were plenty of practical exercises.

  • This course is well worth your time. It provides a great theoretical basis that is well explained and supported by practical methods which are broken down into components that are appropriately practiced during the class and that you can implement immediately. The Tutor has clearly invested time and effort into making this an interesting and appropriate adult learning opportunity which significantly benefits those who attend.

  • Found the course to be of great value to me and I will be able to apply the principles readily in my work and home life.

  • I am interested in attending more as I was pleased with my value for money.

  • The tutor was fantastic. I thought they did a great job. Lots of discussion and followed up with relevant videos and the tutor displayed a lot of experience.

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The Psychology of Influence Course
University of Sydney (Venue TBA)
$450 inc GST

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Enrol Now
There are places available
The Psychology of Influence Course
University of Sydney (Venue TBA)
$450 inc GST

Course added to cart.

Proceed to Checkout Close this message
Enrol Now
There are places available
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