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You Have More Influence Than You Think: How We Underestimate Our Power of Persuasion, and Why It Matters

You Have More Influence Than You Think: How We Underestimate Our Power of Persuasion, and Why It Matters

by Vanessa Bohns


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Named a 2021 Best Book for Ethical Leaders by Notre Dame’s Deloitte Center for Ethical Leadership and a Top Business Title of the Month by the Financial Times

“One of the most enticing and entertaining books I’ve ever read on persuasion.” —Adam Grant, #1 New York Times best-selling author of Think Again

"This remarkable book will change the way you see your own potential.” —Daniel H. Pink, #1 New York Times bestselling author of When, Drive, and To Sell is Human

An original investigation of our hidden power to persuade, and how to wield it wisely.

If you’ve ever felt ineffective, invisible, or inarticulate, chances are you weren’t actually any of those things. Those feelings may instead have been the result of a lack of awareness we all seem to have for how our words, actions, and even our mere presence affect other people.

In You Have More Influence Than You Think social psychologist Vanessa Bohns draws from her original research to illustrate why we fail to recognize the influence we have, and how that lack of awareness can lead us to miss opportunities or accidentally misuse our power.

Weaving together compelling stories with cutting edge science, Bohns answers the questions we all want to know (but may be afraid to ask): How much did she take to heart what I said earlier? Do they know they can push back on my suggestions? Did he notice whether I was there today? Will they agree to help me if I ask?

Whether attending a meeting, sharing a post online, or mustering the nerve to ask for a favor, we often assume our actions, input, and requests will be overlooked or rejected. Bohns and her work demonstrate that people see us, listen to us, and agree to do things for us much more than we realize—for better, and worse.

You Have More Influence Than You Think offers science-based strategies for observing the effect we have on others, reconsidering our fear of rejection, and even, sometimes, pulling back to use our influence less. It is a call to stop searching for ways to gain influence you don’t have and to start recognizing the influence you don’t realize you already have.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781324005711
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 09/07/2021
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 305,799
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Vanessa Bohns is a professor of organizational behavior at Cornell University. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times and Harvard Business Review, among other publications. She lives in upstate New York.

Table of Contents

Introduction ix

1 Unseen Influence 1

2 Your Power of Persuasion 29

3 Just Because You Asked 53

4 Why It's So Hard to Say "No" 75

5 Misinformation, Inappropriate Asks and Me Too 99

6 Power and Perceived Influence 125

7 Seeing, Feeling, And Experiencing Your Influence Over Others 157

Conclusion 191

Acknowledgments 195

Notes 199

Index 229

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