MIB: How to Influence People (with an assist from Charlie Munger)

When psychology professor Robert Cialdini wrote his 1984 book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, he had no idea just how much influence “Influence” would have. The book sold 3 million copies in 30 languages.

Not too long after publication, he received a package in the mail. It contained a personal note from Charlie Munger, Warren Buffett’s colleague. He had read and greatly enjoyed Influence, immediately recognizing decision-making errors highlighted by Cialdini were also made by investors. The package included 1 share of Berkshire Hathaway stock, along with Munger’s personal phone number, and an invitation to come to the next Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting. Thus began a 25-year friendship.

In our conversation, he explains the differences between “Influence” and “Persuasion” in a variety of contexts, including how the President chooses one over the other in the current political environment. Trump focuses on “Persuasion” over “Influence” — he is not seeking to change minds (influence) but to move the people who voted for him to go to the polls on November 6th. Cialdini newest book is Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade.

His favorite books are here; transcript of our conversation is posted here.

You can stream/download the full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunesBloombergOvercast, and Stitcher. Our earlier podcasts can all be found at iTunesStitcherOvercast, and Bloomberg.

Next week, we speak with Ray Dalio, founder, Co-Chair and Co-CIO of Bridgwater Associates, author of Principles: Life and Work, his new book, Principles for Navigating Big Debt Crises was just published.



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