In Art Of Coaching Podcast, Podcasts

If a total stranger came up to you and asked you to write the word “pickle” in a library book so they could prank their friend (and not have their handwriting recognized), would you do it? Sounds strange, but think about this for a moment…

Research (performed by today’s guest) overwhelmingly shows that we say yes more often than we say no to requests like this (despite the request requiring us to engage in socially undesirable behavior).

Why? We all have more influence than we think but because we aren’t aware of how we come across or are too nervous to ask for what we actually want/need, we often struggle to see the direct link between our behavior and people’s changing perceptions, actions and opinions.

Dr. Vanessa Bohns is an experimental social psychologist and professor of organizational behavior at Cornell University, and holds a PhD in psychology from Columbia University and an AB from Brown University. She is the author of You Have More Influence Than You Think: How We Underestimate Our Power of Persuasion and Why it Matters (OUT SEPTEMBER 7th, 2021). Her writing has appeared in the New York Times and Harvard Business Review, and her research has been featured by the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and NPR’s Hidden Brain.

We discuss:

  1. Why informal influence (gestures, facial expressions, tone) can trump formal influence
  2. The best (and worst) mediums to use when influencing others
  3. Why you should always just MAKE THE ASK if you want or need something
  4. Consent & why we say yes even when we don’t want to
  5. The 3 things we can do to assess the influence we have and better utilize it

Connect with Dr. Bohns:

*PSA* Pick up her book TOMORROW: September 7th, anywhere you can get the book. 

Via Twitter: @profbohns

Via her book: You Have More Influence Than You Think: How We Underestimate Our Power of Persuasion and Why it Matters

Via her website:


You heard from Dr. Bohns herself that experience and knowledge are two VASTLY different things. What if we could see ourselves influencing others in real time, understand what tactics we have at our disposal and how to make sure we come across as we’d like. That’s what the Apprenticeship (our live two day workshop) is all about: role playing, video analysis, a research backed evaluation, and lots of practice. But we’re officially down to our last few Apprenticeships of 2021! 

Join us before the end of the year: 

Finally, a resource that can help with self-awareness: Take our FREE and SHORT quiz to learn what really “drives” you and underlies your behavior. Better yet, have your whole staff or team take the quiz. Unlike other personality assessments (of which this is not), we measure your behavior in different contexts because we all show up differently depending on time, place and people. So take it once when you’re in a great mood, once in a poor mood, once when you’re hangry, once when you’re feeling fresh. You get the point.

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