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Do You Want To “Build Influence”?

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Some  (though certainly not all) people who advocate for progressive education issues or for increased use of educational technology in schools complain a lot about how difficult it is to get people to “agree” with their priorities. I‘ve shared a few of my thoughts on this issue reflecting my nineteen year career as a community organizer.

An opinion piece in the San Francisco Chronicle today shares some similar perspectives. It’s titled “How Obama Can Build Influence” but the points can be applied to anybody who wants to make change.

The author refers to a popular business book called Influence: Science and Practice. In it, Robert Cialdini, the author, describes what he thinks are six key factors towards building influence: reciprocation, consistency, social proof, liking, authority, and scarcity.  I haven’t read the book, or even heard of it before today (I just ordered it), but it sounds like there is some similarity to community organizing principles.  Organizers, though, might say that building relationships and reciprocity are the two most important ways.

Check-out the column.  It gives ideas on effective things to do for those who now spend time whining and complaining about how people won’t listen to them even though they’re “right.”

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

One Comment

  1. Larry,
    Insightful post! Nice article as well. Tell me how the book is when you finish reading it.

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