Inside The Science of Ethical Influence

Since I teach hypnosis and NLP, plenty of people ask me about influence and persuasion. Many people wrongly assume that influence is about ‘clever’ language, often to the point of asking for ‘scripts’.

The truth is that the language is far less important than certain other motivating factors that surround the influence situation.

There are six universal factors in influence and persuasion that you should be aware of.


  • it is important to be aware of when someone might be trying to influence you against your interests
  • it is useful to know how to influence someone ethically

I know that, for some, the words ‘ethical’ and ‘influence’ don’t normally belong in the same sentence. The difficulty is that we can’t not influence each other, so – if you consider yourself to be ethical – you need to know how to do this for the best of all concerned. And ethical influence is the only good long term persuasion strategy.

The six influencing factors are described in the video below. This is the work of Dr. Robert Cialdini, the most cited expert on influence and persuasion.

Notice how so little of this is about clever or convoluted language. All influence depends on simple, normal everyday actions – done with awareness for mutual benefit.