Conversation Agent - Valeria Maltoni - Like it or not, you Want Influence


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@Melody - motivation is huge. I think people are now able to see "selective authenticity", and they act accordingly. You cannot fake genuine interest when your digital body language says otherwise. And today motivation bubbles up to the surface, the dots will be connected. Well said!

@Pratap - thank you for the link. We could have used your perspective in today's #kaizenblog chat (see following post) about influence. Welcome to the conversation.

@Scott - yes, a lot more than it meets the eye in this post ;) Thank you for reading and thinking/processing.

@Peter - I was after the second exploration, yes. Indeed, a real shame Machiavelli is no longer with us. I found another appropriate quote of his for the slide deck on influence today: "for the great majority of mankind are satisfied with appearances, as though they were reality, and are often more influenced by the things that seem, than by those that are". Brilliant thinker, if you ask me ;)

@Eric - I spend a lot of time observing and processing information and tend to collect enough incremental, absolute and relative data to be able to discern when someone is faking authenticity to be liked/get their way vs. they just come across as self absorbed ;) Generally, I rely on the recommendations of mentors and teachers, people who are in it for the long haul. Even then, I use my own data/experience to choose.

@Daniel - you've hit on an important point about the dynamic nature of influence. Indeed, as we grow and change, our context and the things that work within it, also change. I was also thinking that often people transfer to themselves the quality the admire in others, for example, they may think they have done something because they were headed that way when in fact it was someone else they emulate. That is also influence, isn't it?

@Bryan - herd mentality at work ;) Online, we get to see how ideas spread. Part of that includes the shifts between liking/not liking and then being on the same side of issues.

@Scott - would it be fair to say that data and facts can influence a decision over emotional bias?

@Tom - sort of, I delayed its mention for today's post. I usually write all my posts on weekends, when I have time and room to think. I have written about customer conversations basing the content on Cialdini's work, which has indeed influenced the conversation on influence.

@Lateef - you make a great point simply. That's why social proof is powerful. We end up seeing (and following) the collective vs. the individual. One of the reasons why it's good to have a few negative reviews on a product/service is that they reinforce the majority of good reviews.

@Dave - indeed, we live mostly in the world of perception: we see the world as we are, through our own lens.

Hi Valeria,

I can't help but feel your "looking" for re-assurance that its ok to be authentic and it won't affect your numbers.

Are you asking (at some level) the opposite -

Can we see through manufactured "likability" 'to recognise the cynical manipulation of the human need to like and be liked".

I wonder this myself.

By the way, as a thought experiment I substituted the old fashioned word "power" for "influence" and got me thinking to about another Italian' s advice on recommendations:

"wise counsels, from whoever they come, must necessarily be due to the prudence of the prince, and not the prudence of the prince to the good counsel received"

Shame Machiavelli is not into twitter.

Always a pleasure.


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