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Pre-Suasion: Review and Takeaways

Book Reviews

I wanted to like this book more than I did.

Don’t get me wrong; it wasn’t bad, and I learned some new things. But I expected it to be a totally immersing and fascinating read, like The Chemistry Between Us or So You Want to Talk About Race, and it just didn’t grab my attention to that level.

The crux of this book is this:

“The best persuaders become the best through pre-suasion–the process of arranging for recipients to be receptive to a message before they encounter it.” (P4)

Robert Cialdini then goes on to discus various examples of pre-suasion and discuss studies that show how certain openers can affect outcomes.

I did want to share one great takeaway, that is perfectly timed for the new year. 🙂


One of the studies that had the most impact on me was one that explored the concept of pre-suading one’s self, via the use of “If/then-when” statements.

“In one particularly impressive demonstration, hospitalized opiate drug addicts undergoing withdrawal were urged to prepare an employment history by the end of the day to help them get a job after their release. Some were asked to form an if/when-then plan for compiling the history, whereas those in the control group were not asked to do so.

A relevant if/when-then plan might be, “If/when lunch is over and space has become available at the lunchroom table, then I will start writing my employment history there.” 

By day’s end, not one person in the control group had performed the task, which might not seem surprising–after all, these were drug addicts in the process of opiate withdrawal!

Yet at the end of the same day, 80 percent of those in the relevant if/when-then treatment group had turned in a completed job rĂ©sumĂ©.” (P139)

Eighty percent success. Versus total failure.

And the only difference was setting an “if/when-then” statement of intention.

Given that 2019 is just around the corner, what are some “If/when-then” statements that might help you achieve YOUR goals?

Non Fiction Bingo 2018 Progress

This is officially the final book of #nonficbingo2018! That was one heck of a year! I don’t think I’ve ever read that much nonfiction in my life. It was challenging, but also really eye-opening and educational.

nonfiction bingo 2018 pre-suasion

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