The Persuasion Law of Connectivity is one of the 12 key laws outlined in celebrated author Kurt Mortensen’s book: Maximum Influence. * Mortensen fits this Law of Connectivity into the frame of “fulfilling emotional needs.”
As with the Law of Connectivity, these 12 laws are both conscious and subconscious. They are neither good nor bad. They are automatic triggers. Whether people recognize it or not, they work!
What is the Law of Social Connectivity?
People are human. People seek connections. People seek linkages. The more people are connected, the more likely people we will be persuaded by others. If people like another person, persuasion potential is high. If people trust the other person, persuasion potential is even higher.
What Strategies Can Be Used to Create Connections?
Author Mortensen advises to look for commonalities. Maybe both people are from Ohio. Maybe they are both interested in skiing. Maybe they both enjoy traveling to Costa Rica.
Also, one can look to thinking styles, conflict management styles, communication styles, or work styles.
In addition, note attitudes and moral values. These could be shared.
Story example: How singer Bono persuaded former Senator Jessie Helms
Former conservative Senator Jessie Helms of North Carolina associated AIDS/HIV with immoral homosexuals and blocked AIDS funding to Africa. Helms generally opposed foreign aid. Bono had become an expert on AIDS in Africa. Bono decided he would meet with Helms to persuade him not to block the upcoming bill. Bono was armed with statistics and initially tried persuading Helms in this way. After several minutes, Bono noticed Helms’s eyes had glazed over. This appeal to logic was not working.
Bono reached into his “persuasion toolbox” and decided to switch gears. What did they have in common? The Bible! They both were very knowledgeable about the Bible and could connect on this level. Bono then compared AIDS to leprosy and it worked. Bono noted 2103 Scripture verses that referred to helping the poor. The meeting was successful. The next time Bush’s $5 billion AIDS funding to poor countries, mostly Africa, was presented, Helms did not oppose. Helms had become a fan of Bono.
The Persuasion Lessons?
-The magic persuasion formula is appeal to emotion, appeal to logic, and appeal to value. Tailor this approach to the person you are trying to persuade.
-Each persuader has many tools in their toolbox. If a tool is not working, change the tool. Eventually, one is most likely to work.
-Persuaders need to be agile and versatile, as well as flexible.
-Planning before persuasion is vital. It is clear from this story that Bono did plan, He researched Helms and probably reviewed his Bible knowledge.
Examples of the Law of Connectivity
This winery follows the Law of Connectivity. One Saturday, they had visitors totaling 45. They took four visitors at a time to sit at the wine bar, taste the wine, with cracker bits in between the tastings. The server got to know each person by name: Dale, Debbie, Jill, and Larry. As a result of this connectivity, each visitor bought at least one bottle of wine, if not a case.
According to Wikipedia, “Zipcar is an American car-sharing company and a subsidiary of Avis Budget Group. Zipcar provides automobile reservations to its members, billable by the minute, hour or day; members may have to pay a monthly or annual membership fee in addition to car reservations charges. Zipcar was founded in 2000 by Antje Danielson and Robin Chase.“
The Zipcar business knows the Law of Connectivity. They name each car names like “Catherine.” They know that many customers rent the same car from the same location constantly so they create an affiliation for the car.
Bancroft Elementary School Peer Mediation Program
For many years, this DC school had a peacemaking program. During the training graduation, the 25 mediators seat themselves in a circle. They have a ball of yarn. Each student states their “take-away” from the training, hold on to a string of the yarn, and throw it across to the next student (They love the throwing part). After 25 throws, the yarn strings stretch into what may resemble a spider web. One student is asked to move his hold on the yard web. This move affects all others and that is the lesson: What happens to one student at this school connects to each student. The school is a community.
One executive coach provided services to the National Science Foundation (NSF). NSF then recommended that coach to NIH (National Institutes of Health) who recommended this coach to the Society of Microbiologists then on to the Society for Neuroscientists. One might think this coach had a scientific background, but no, it was the Law of Connectivity among these scientific organizations.
The worldwide Nextdoor application and websites is all about neighborhood connections. It divides neighborhoods into manageable 2,000 folks, symbolizing people’s actual neighbors. They urge communication on local issues such as trash, communication, traffic, lost items, community gardening, etc. Nextdoor has “leads” who monitor the communication so it remains respectful.
According to it's website, Nextdoor is "where communities come together to greet newcomers, exchange recommendations, and read the latest local news. Where neighbors support local businesses and get updates from public agencies. Where neighbors borrow tools and sell couches.”
Nextdoor's research with Brigham Young University demonstrates that just knowing six other neighbors helps reduce feeling lonely, lowers depression, and decreases social anxiety. These helpful (COVID-19 safe) actions included:
Emotional support (23%), such as cheering up or listening to a neighbor;
Tangible support (17%) like mowing a neighbor’s lawn, bringing groceries, or running errands;
Informational support (17%), such as providing advice or helpful information about potential job opportunities, doctors in the area, where to shop, etc.;
Companionship support (23%), such as regularly calling a neighbor or chatting over a fence; and
Belonging support (12%), such as contributing to a larger neighborhood effort like a neighborhood cleanup, volunteer drive, or sharing talents/skills with others.
All of these actions lead one to be much more open to persuasion.
“Founded in 2004, Facebook is currently the biggest social networking service based on global reach and total active users. Launched by Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg and some of his contemporaries….” Facebook has 2.7 billion active members meaning that they have logged in at least once per 30 days.
Users from all over this world see CONNECTIVITY via Facebook for family, friends, and business. It is challenging to think of one topic that does not have a Facebook page. Of course, there are Facebook pages for mediators, arbitrators, the American Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section, and then there are bizarre ones such as “Going to McDonalds,” “Need to Sneeze,” “Moments to Sneeze….” Also, one called “Buy Nothing” so advocacy for exchanging furniture, etc.
Russians used Facebook to persuade, influence and manipulate voters. Surely Russians recognized the need for connectivity using Facebook as their No. 1 site to spread untruths. Russians used active measures to penetrate into and influence the minds of the American public.
Facebook has taken down 118 fake Russian accounts. According to Global Security Review, “about 34,000 accounts followed one or more of the fake Facebook pages and about 86,000 accounts joined at least one of the fake groups.”
Founded in 2006, Twitter, with over 330 million users, exudes the Law of Connectivity.
According to Wikipedia, "Twitter is an American microblogging and social networking service on which users post and interact with messages known as "tweets". Registered users can post, like and retweet tweets, but unregistered users can only read them. Users access Twitter through its website interface or its mobile-device application software ("app"), though the service could also be accessed via SMS before April 2020. Twitter, Inc. is based in San Francisco, California, and has more than 25 offices around the world.
Russia used the Law of Connectivity on Twitter in 2016/2020 Elections
There is always a downside to each Persuasion Law and Russia surely used the law of connectivity to influence thousands of Americans during recent elections. They created thousands of false accounts causing the readers to believe the information was coming from local regional outlets. They manually manipulated words and phrases in a very patient way. The virality machine built into social media amazed maybe even Twitter who suspended 3900 fake accounts which were involved in information warfare.
It seems befitting to end a discussion of the Law of Connectivity with an excerpt from Making the Case-The Art of Persuading Judges by former Justice Antonin Scalia and Bryan A. Garner:
An every=present factor, however, and one that you can clearly influence, is the human proclivity to be more receptive to arguments from a person who is both trusted and liked. All of us are more apt to be persuaded by someone we admire than by someone we detest. In the words of Isocrates: The person who wishes to persuade people will not be negligent as to the matter of character; they will apply themselves above all to establish a most honourable name among their fellow citizens; for who does not know that words carry greater conviction when spoken by a person of good repute. Aristotle further noted that character makes a special different on disputed points: We believe good people more fully and more readily than others: this is true…where exact certainty is impossible and opinions are divided.
Your objective in every argument, therefore, is to show yourself worthy of trust and affection.
*Maximum Influence: The 12 Universal Laws of Power Persuasion Paperback – June 12, 2013, by Kurt Mortensen
“How would you like to be able to read anyone instantly? Get people to trust you instinctively? Change minds easily? Convince anyone to give you almost anything? These “powers” are not unobtainable Jedi mind tricks but are actual skills that everyday people can discover and develop within themselves--today! The secret lies in the 12 Laws of Persuasion”
DISC Conflict Management Styles Instrument. Many conflict management classes use this instrument to begin a discussion on styles. This site presents “a lighter side” to this discussion.
See Recommended Books under “Blogs” drop down menu. Clicking on any book will lead one to the discounted Amazon site.
Roy J. Lewicki is the author of 'Essentials of Negotiation', published 2015 under ISBN 9780077862466 and ISBN 0077862465. Publisher: McGraw Hill Higher Education
The Conflict Resolution Training Program, Leader’s Manual, ISBN: 0-7879-6077-2. Prudence Bowman Kestner and Larry Ray