I’ve been in a training seminar two days this weeks with the below goal in mind.
“Become a polished, persuasive communicator and express your thoughts and ideas with clarity and diplomacy”
The diplomacy part likely occurred during my single restroom break,three minutes long, on the second day.
While I’ll address the material covered by the class in a future post I have concerns with the intrusiveness of marketing within the curriculum.
Anyone that’s read Professor Cialdini’s book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion (Collins Business Essentials),or Rushkoff’s Coercion may have been amused, as I was, that a seminar designed to teach you more effective methods of persuasive communication seemed to be using similar techniques to sell future conferences, audiobooks and training subscriptions.
I have no problem with selling during the breaks, displays within the room ,fliers in the course material. What I’d like is for them to restrict this solely to those areas. In what could be considered a mildly coercive environment the ethics of this practice are questionable. Cheaper dictionaries refer to coercion only in terms of physical force and I can see my usage of this term being confusing in that light.I’m referring to an environment that is engineered to trigger as many of the six principles of influence within the first few hours.
- Social proof.(people come forward to buy in breaks)
- Scarcity. (have to order by end of seminar)
- Authority (The obvious one:)
- liking. (Dr was likable, really good at what he does)
- Commitment and consistency ( writing in the prices, and additions to the advert in the same format the rest of the class takes)
- Reciprocation(Starts out with hey, schedule runs to 1630 but can get you out by 1600, next day 1530) To many that’s doing them a favor)
I can live with all the above, I may even be misinterpreting the above weapons of persuasion. Twenty minutes were taken up with Evelyn Wood’s speed reading course,and many other products,in the time preceding lunch on day one which to me seemed rather inconsistent with the stated goals.
Looks like I’m not the only one with this concern.
I seriously recommend both books to anyone that engages in commerce , eg every adult, in the USA.