Reciprocity

… a core concept in Communication Skills and Atlas 109

Concept description

Gary Orren identifies reciprocation as an ethos (characteristics of messenger) persuasion principle, and reciprocity is the first of Robert Cialdini’s 6 principles of persuasion science.

Robert Cialdini notes that people are more likely to say yes to those who they owe. People tend to return a favor, thus the pervasiveness of free samples in marketing. The good cop/bad cop strategy is also based on this principle.

Orren states this principle as we are more likely to persuade someone if we have given them something. This leads to the issue of concession: what can I afford to give away. There are substantive and stylistic concessions and Orren notes that listening is the cheapest concession you can make.

Orren contrasts effective reciprocity language with the less effective language used by “know it alls” at one extreme and “know nothings” at the other.

Orren’s examples of what reciprocity
(concessionary) language is and is not
Know It Alls
Reciprocators
Know Nothings
Imperious

Dogmatic

Condescending

Arrogant

Infallible

Smug

Disdainful/Disparaging

Contemptuous

Respectful (of others and their views)

Acknowledge (other possible views)

Emphatic

Indecisive

Doubtful

Meek

Timid

Weak

Equivocal

Mousy

Wishy-washy

Resources

John Fallon, Principle of Reciprocation, one-minute YouTube video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Duu3hfD3Mk, accessed 23 January 2016.

Bridget Beirne, Want to Persuade Your Presentation Audience? Give Them Something, at http://www.ovationcomm.com/insights-on-communication-skills-and-relationship-building/trying-to-persuade-in-a-professional-presentation-what-are-you-giving-them, accessed 23 January 2016.

Bronwyn Ritchie, Using reciprocity to persuade without manipulating – “Do the right thing,” at http://www.pivotalpublicspeaking.com/blog/using-reciprocity-to-persuade-without-manipulating-do-the-right-thing/#.VqQqWOT2bRY, accessed 23 January 2016.

Source

Gary Orren, PowerPoint presentation in 2005 to the Mortgage Bankers Association, Persuasion: The Science and Art of Effective Communication, accessed 17 January 2016 and “Cialdini’s Principles of Persuasion.” Robert Cialdini and Steve Martin, Secrets from the Science of Persuasion, published on YouTube 26 November 2012, at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFdCzN7RYbw, accessed 17 January 2016.

Normed topic and synthetic course with which the concept is primarily associated

This concept is primarily associated with the core normed topic Practices of Persuasion and is included in the synthetic course outline Atlas109 Leadership and Communication Skills.

Page created by: Ian Clark, last modified on 12 February 2016.

Image: Robert Cialdini and Steve Martin, Secrets from the Science of Persuasion, published on YouTube 26 November 2012, at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFdCzN7RYbw, accessed 17 January 2016.