142. Power and Persuasion: Live Insights from Stanford Experts | Think Fast, Talk Smart:...

142. Power and Persuasion: Live Insights from Stanford Experts | Think Fast, Talk Smart:...

Introduction (00:00:00)

  • Stanford Executive Education offers on-campus programs to refine approaches and stay ahead in an ever-changing landscape.
  • The event combines renowned faculty, Executive Education participants, and a strategic communications expert for a unique learning experience.
  • Jenny Luna, executive producer of Think Fast, Talk Smart, welcomes the audience and introduces the panel discussion.
  • Michelle Gelfand, professor of cross-cultural management and organizational behavior, discusses conflict and negotiation.
  • She emphasizes the importance of finding a balance between cooperation and competition to create the best deals.
  • Understanding the underlying interests of parties involved can lead to win-win solutions.
  • Metaphors used in negotiation, such as battle, sport, dance, or necessary evil, can influence behavior and should be chosen mindfully.
  • Mismatched metaphors can lead to ineffective negotiations.

Understanding and Managing Diversity (00:04:51)

  • Metaphors can be constructive in managing diversity.
  • Conflicts can arise from the metaphors we use rather than what we say.
  • We should be mindful of the metaphors we use in personal and professional lives.
  • Brian Lowry is the co-director of Stanford's Institute on Race.
  • The institute focuses on the diversity of human experience and how to manage it for everyone to flourish.
  • Diversity can create obstacles to living together well and productively.
  • The institute aims to bring together knowledge and insights from faculty and communities to find ways for diverse communities to flourish together.
  • Leaders should create situations where diverse individuals can work incredibly well together and everyone has a voice.

Dynamics of Power and Influence (00:07:57)

  • To compensate for the lack of physical presence in virtual environments like Zoom, individuals can take up space by speaking slowly, owning silence, and pronouncing words clearly.
  • Important people often set the stage for themselves by appearing in a large, formal room and positioning themselves far from the camera to signal power and authority.
  • Creating more physical space between oneself and the camera, as well as choosing a formal setting, can enhance the perception of power and status during virtual meetings.
  • Good lighting is essential for professional video calls.

Persuasion and Effective Communication (00:14:04)

  • Lighting is crucial for creating a professional and engaging presence in virtual communication.
  • Pronouns matter in persuasion, especially in adversarial contexts.
  • Replace "you" with first-person plural pronouns like "we," "us," and "our" in adversarial contexts to create a more inclusive and receptive dynamic.
  • Using "we" instead of "you" makes the speaker seem more open and receptive, which increases receptiveness, willingness to engage, and decreases censorship.
  • The less likely a person is to be censored, the more they use the word "you" in their discussions.

Acting with Power in Interactions (00:18:44)

  • People's pronoun use on Reddit can influence the likelihood of censorship.
  • The benefits of using "we," "us," and "our" in communication have been previously discussed.
  • Michelle's research on framing conversations, conflicts, and negotiations can influence language use.
  • Deb's research focuses on how people intentionally show up in different contexts.
  • She is particularly interested in how investors make decisions about startup teams based on their demeanor.
  • Investors are aware that they pay attention to certain things, but they are not consciously aware of what those things are.
  • Deb is exploring whether startup teams that appear more hierarchical or egalitarian are more successful in attracting investment.

The Pursuit of Meaningfulness (00:20:47)

  • People often confuse achievement with meaning.
  • Achievement is easy to measure and instantly gratifying, but it doesn't always lead to a sense of fulfillment.
  • Meaning is harder to quantify and can feel uncomfortable to pursue, but it can lead to a deeper sense of fulfillment.
  • Meaning is about participating in someone else's story or participating in a story larger than yourself.
  • Significance is a key component of meaning, as people want to feel that what they do matters beyond just themselves.

Cultural Tightness and Looseness (00:24:14)

  • Culture is omnipresent and affects us constantly. Cross-cultural psychologists aim to make culture visible and understand its evolution, consequences, and management.
  • Tight cultures, characterized by strict norms and rules, often arise from historical threats and help coordinate survival.
  • Tightness-looseness can be observed at various levels, including nations, states, organizations, and industries.
  • Misalignment occurs when organizations become too tight or too loose, requiring flexible tightness or structured looseness to maintain balance.
  • Understanding oneself, including one's tightness-looseness mindset, is crucial for comprehending others and navigating cultural differences.

Persuasive Communication (00:28:52)

  • People tend to perceive increases as more significant than decreases, affecting scientific communication, persuasion, and decision-making.
  • Building trust and demonstrating a shared direction are essential for effective communication and persuasion.
  • The podcast "Think Fast, Talk Smart" from Stanford Graduate School of Business offers insights on power and persuasion, featuring experts like Michelle Gelfin, Brian Lowry, Zack Tormala, and Deb Gruenfeld.
  • Find the podcast on YouTube and wherever you get your podcasts, and subscribe, rate, and follow on LinkedIn and Instagram.
  • Stanford Graduate School of Business provides over 50 Executive Education programs, both in-person and online, for leaders of all levels and career interests.

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