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How to Get People to Do Stuff: Master the art and science of persuasion and motivation

By Susan Weinschenk

Published by New Riders

Published Date: Mar 9, 2013

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We all want people to do stuff. Whether you want your customers to buy from you, vendors to give you a good deal, your employees to take more initiative, or your spouse to make dinner—a large amount of everyday is about getting the people around you to do stuff. Instead of using your usual tactics that sometimes work and sometimes don't, what if you could harness the power of psychology and brain science to motivate people to do the stuff you want them to do - even getting people to want to do the stuff you want them to do.
In this book you’ll learn the 7 drives that motivate people: The Desire For Mastery, The Need To Belong, The Power of Stories, Carrots and Sticks, Instincts,  Habits, and Tricks Of The Mind. For each of the 7 drives behavioral psychologist Dr. Susan Weinschenk describes the research behind each drive, and then offers specific strategies to use. Here’s just a few things you will learn:
  • The more choices people have the more regret they feel about the choice they pick. If you want people to feel less regret then offer them fewer choices.
  • If you are going to use a reward, give the reward continuously at first, and then switch to giving a reward only sometimes.
  • If you want people to act independently, then make a reference to money, BUT if you want people to work with others or help others, then make sure you DON’T refer to money.
  • If you want people to remember something, make sure it is at the beginning or end of your book, presentation, or meeting. Things in the middle are more easily forgotten.
  • If you are using feedback to increase the desire for mastery keep the feedback objective, and don’t include praise.

Table of Contents

1) The power of stories
2) How to use examples
3) Getting people into the flow state
4) How to work with someone's habits, not against them
5) Why seeing progress toward a goal is motivating
6) When rewards work and when they don't
7) How to get people to STOP doing something
8) How chemicals in the brain that get people to do stuff
9) Using surprise and unpredictability to motivate
10) How the desire for mastery is motivating
11) How the drive to be autonomous is motivating
12) People want to look smart to others
13) How to get around people's natural laziness
14) Harnessing the dislike of boredom
15) When competition is not motivating
16) Using the desire to connect and be social to motivate
17) People's built in tendency to imitate
18) Using emotions to motivate
19) When making something hard makes it more desirable
20) When anticipation is more important than reward
21) How most goals and desires are unconscious
22) The more difficult something is to achieve the more people like it
23) The power of anticipating
24) Unconscious decision-making
25) Why the brain wants to control the situation
26) How having an experience can be more motivating than having a possession
27) When people are swayed by a dominant personality
28) When and why people look at what other people are doing to decide what
they should do
29) How the "persona" that a person has of themselves influences their
30) How to get people to change long held beliefs and actions