Influence is Your Superpower Book Summary - Influence is Your Superpower Book explained in key points
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Influence is Your Superpower summary

Zoe Chance

The Science of Winning Hearts, Sparking Change, and Making Good Things Happen

4.6 (542 ratings)
24 mins

Brief summary

Influence Is Your Superpower by Zoe Chance explores the science behind persuasion and how anyone can master it. It provides tactical insights, behavioral experiments, and real-world examples to help readers understand and apply the principles of influence in everyday life.

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    Influence is Your Superpower
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    To influence what people think, learn how people think.

    Influencing what people think begins with understanding how people think. And there’s a good chance you’re thinking about thinking all wrong. Ready for a bit of cognitive science?

    There are two basic modes of thought processing. Researchers have labeled these modes System 1 and System 2 but, because that’s not very catchy, we’re going to call them something else.

    We’ll call System 1 the Gator Brain. Alligators can weigh up to 999 pound. But the average gator’s brain is the size of a half tablespoon. Because their small brains need to power their big, hungry bodies, alligators are all about conserving mental energy. To perform everyday tasks, they rely on instinct and learned reflex rather than complex cognition. Essentially, whether they’re sunbaking or swimming, alligators spend the majority of their time on autopilot. Their cognitive powers only really kick in when they spot a threat or an opportunity.

    Your brain is definitely bigger than half a tablespoon. But it has more in common with an alligator’s brain than you might think. To conserve your mental energy, your brain spends a lot of time in Gator mode. Whenever you’re doing something habitual to you, like chopping onions, swimming laps, or reading a novel, you’re using instinct and reflex to power through the task. You’re using your Gator Brain.

    We’ll call System 2 your Judge Brain. In Judge mode, your brain performs more complex cognitive feats, like analyzing, comparing, questioning, and concentrating. High-level tasks and tasks that you’re not yet proficient in will demand your Judge Brain take over.

    Here’s the catch. Most people think that the Judge performs the bulk of the cognitive workload. In reality, we operate far more frequently in Gator mode. Gator Brain is actually your default setting, cognitively speaking. In fact, nothing even gets sent to your Judge Brain without your Gator Brain’s approval.

    When we come to someone with a proposal, a pitch, or a request, we often try to appeal to the Judge. But we might see better results if we addressed the Gator instead. Remember: every cognitive input, without exception, has to go through the Gator. And the Gator is efficient. Less politely: your Gator brain is seriously lazy. 

    One corporation turned that laziness to its own advantage with stunning results. In 2015, Pizza Hut was the world’s largest pizza delivery company. Its rival, Dominoes, wanted the top spot. 

    So, Dominoes introduced the Anyware campaign. The goal? Make it easier than ever to order a pizza. The company figured they already had their customers' payment information and address. Here’s what they came up with: you could text, or tweet, an emoticon of a pizza to Dominos and – well, there is no and. That was it. Send a pizza emoji, get your usual order delivered to your door. Sales went up 10 percent in that quarter alone, and just three years later, Dominos knocked Pizza Hut off its perch and became the biggest pizza delivery company in the world.

    When you make a proposal graspable, a call-to-action simple, a decision easy-to-make, you’ve already increased your chances of success, because you’re appealing directly to the Gator. So before you try and over-complicate things, see if you can find your pizza-emoji-equivalent.

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    What is Influence is Your Superpower about?

    Influence is your Superpower (2022) is a deep dive on influence: how it works, why it's important, and how you can wield it for ethical, positive results. It explores how influence operates by drawing on insights from cognitive science, linguistics, market research, and more, empowering readers to unlock their own natural powers of influence.

    Influence is Your Superpower Review

    Influence is Your Superpower (2022) by Zoe Chance is a book that explores how we can harness the power of influence to improve our lives and achieve our goals. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • With its in-depth analysis of psychological principles and persuasive techniques, it provides readers with practical tools to enhance their influence and communication skills.
    • The book draws on real-life examples and research studies to illustrate key concepts, making it relatable and applicable to various contexts.
    • Through its fascinating exploration of human behavior and decision-making, the book ensures that readers are engaged and captivated, making it anything but boring.

    Who should read Influence is Your Superpower?

    • Entrepreneurs who want to pitch ideas without sales-y sleaze
    • Employees who want to advocate better for themselves and others
    • Activists who want to create lasting change in their communities

    About the Author

    Zoe Chance is a writer, researcher, philanthropist, and teacher at Yale’s School of Management. Her expertise in influence was honed in a career that has taken her from door-to-door marketing and telesales to the upper echelons of corporate America. Now, she’s passionate about teaching others to harness their powers of interpersonal influence.

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    Influence is Your Superpower FAQs 

    What is the main message of Influence is Your Superpower?

    The main message of Influence is Your Superpower is that we all have the power to influence and be influenced in various aspects of our lives.

    How long does it take to read Influence is Your Superpower?

    The reading time for Influence is Your Superpower depends on the reader's speed. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Influence is Your Superpower a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Influence is Your Superpower is worth reading because it provides valuable insights on how we can harness the power of influence to improve our personal and professional lives.

    Who is the author of Influence is Your Superpower?

    The author of Influence is Your Superpower is Zoe Chance.

    What to read after Influence is Your Superpower?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Influence is Your Superpower, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Mastering Communication at Work by Ethan F. Becker and Jon Wortmann
    • Influence by Robert B. Cialdini
    • Communicate with Mastery by J. D. Schramm with Kara Levy
    • The Data Detective by Tim Harford
    • Communicate to Influence by Ben Decker & Kelly Decker
    • Influence and Impact by Bill Berman & George Bradt
    • The 16 Undeniable Laws of Communication by John C. Maxwell
    • The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
    • The Six Disciplines of Strategic Thinking by Michael D. Watkins
    • Atomic Habits by James Clear