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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

20 Extraordinary Lessons from "The Small BIG" by Steve J Martin

It is often not big changes, but small ones, that spark big influence in our lives. If ever there were small things that you could potentially achieve you extraordinary results, you ought to read this book. This book has the potential to impact your daily life by bringing in the minimal changes and achieving remarkable outcomes...
Do you already follow some of them? 
Read on..

"The Small BIG" by Steve J Martin / Noah J Goldstein and Robert B Cialdini is an awesome read. There are 52 small changes mentioned in the book (perhaps one for a week) that you can bring in yourself or your environment to bring in extraordinary results in your life. You may be aware / may have read about some of these in one form or the other but I have listed 20 of my Book Lessons that influenced me sharply. 

(1) Social proof - the evidence of crowd
The evidence of crowd following a specific thing is a big influencer to people behavior. Our behavior is largely influenced by the behavior of others around us. So, while selling a product, if you can highlight the number of positive feedback, reviews etc, it influences people to take a decision too.

(2) Reason not required
People who get influenced by the decision of the crowd often do not know or do not want to know the reason for their decision. 

(3) Specific Evidence
More specific is the evidence, more is the probability of others to follow. It is advisable to give real time specific information when talking about any concept or product.

(4) Uniqueness
People seek to define themselves based on what makes them unique. If possessing a specific product or a concept will bring people in a unique category, they are more likely to go for it.

(5) Client's Success
One of the biggest way to motivate an employee is to remind him / her of the significance of his / her role to client's success

(6) The Broken Windows phenomenon
The Broken Windows phenomenon suggests the importance of keeping small things neat and tidy and how these positively influences others.

(7) The sweetest word
Our own name is the sweetest word we hear. Use the recipient's name quite often in your communication with others to keep them interested in what you are trying to convey.

(8) Ask questions to confirm decisions
You can persuade people by asking questions that plan and confirm their decision rather than a question which could confirm or negate a proposition.
As an example, if you are pursuing a key person to attend a meeting, instead of asking 'Are you attending the meeting today?', you might ask a confirmatory question 'What are you doing just before our meeting today?'. Whatever be the answer of the person to the later question, you have got a confirmation for the meeting in any case.

(9) Lock people to commit to decisions
You can lock people to commit to decisions by letting them know that the decision is implementable in far future rather than in the near future. This is especially true if they are not very sure of their decision today.

(10) Meaningful distractions
Meaningful distractions for people waiting in queue can drastically reduce their frustration and improve loyalty.

(11) The Right Seating Arrangement
A circular seating arrangement nurtures collaboration while a square or rectangular seating arrangement promotes uniqueness and ownership. So, depending on the way you want to drive the meeting, you might choose an appropriate conference room.

(12) Unsure Experts
People expect experts to be certain about their opinions. But it is only when the expert expresses uncertainties that people are truly drawn into what they are saying. This is perhaps because they believe that no one can know everything, and an honest expression of uncertainty goes a long way in building the trust factor.

(13) Room Size
People are proven to think more creatively if the room has a high ceiling or, even better, is an open lawn. So, it is not only you feel better in an open space, but also think better and more creative. Another reason, I should again start sleeping in an open terrace rather than an air conditioned room.

(14) Visualisation
Once again, it is proven beyond doubt. You can recollect all your power by writing down or visualising your powerful moments from past. 

(15) Questions and Questions
There are no silly questions... Ask questions, ask help as often as you can. 

(16) Be the first one
While negotiating, be the first one to place an offer and make sure that the offer is as precise as it is feasible. The first offer becomes the baseline and drives the entire negotiation discussion.

(17) Cost Saving
When selling, don't just focus on cost savings for the client, but highlight what could potentially be done with the saved cost, thus leveraging the concept of Cost of lost opportunity, if the client does not go with you.

(18) Chasing Goals - Small Area Hypothesis
When starting to chase goals, focus on the smaller achievements in the early phases (like 10% done rather than 90% remaining) and on smaller pending activities at a later stage (like 10% remaining rather than 90% done). This is called small area hypothesis and keeps you motivated towards your goal. 

(19) From a Distance
Taking a physical step back and viewing the task from a greater distance can reduce your perception of how difficult the task of actually is. So, if you're stuck with a stubborn problem or are not able to take a decision, actually take a few physical steps back from the problem and re-think.

(20) Peak-End Effect / Duration Neglect
Every experience has a 'peak-end' effect i.e. we tend to remember the peak experience and the end of the experience e.g. Remember one of your older vacation and you will realise that we remember usually the best / worst experience of the vacation and then how the vacation ended, completely forgetting the rest of the duration. This term is also called as duration neglect. So, to create better memories for your lifetime, you may reduce the number of days of your vacation but ensure that you have the thrillist adventure possible and wind it up with a great last day.

Important is that all of these extraordinary results have been proven scientifically by more than one research and study. Go, pick your small change that can influence your results significantly.

Have you experienced some of these earlier? Do you have more such Lessons in life which can spark great results? If yes, write to me, and I will update my blog with the ones I feel go well with the topic.

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We at "Elevate Your Life", believe in spreading life elevating messages across our society, and so are our books.


Manoj Arora
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