by Noah Goldstein, Steve Martin, and Robert Cialdini
Have you ever wondered how effective those notes are in hotels that invite you to help the environment by reusing your towels? It turns out that pitching the idea of global preservation is not nearly as persuasive as notes indicating that the majority of previous guests at this hotel reused their towels at least once during their stay. This second angle increases towel reusage by 33%, according to one study. The reason for the difference is that the second angle invites a bandwagon effect, affirming that one person's towel activity really does make a difference.
The 260-page Yes! book offers fifty similar examples of how small changes can make a big difference in one's power of persuasion. Each chapter tells a story from everyday life experience, such as the effort to reuse towels in hotels, and then it references a scholarly study that often offers a counterintuitive perspective. The commentary is clear, non-technical, and highly readable.
Each chapter offers a different window into the psychology of persuasion. Most ideas are readily adaptable into the world of churches and spiritual persuasion. Co-author Robert Cialdini, bestselling author of Influence, is the world's most-quoted expert on the subject of influence.
Warren Bird, Ph.D., is Research Director at Leadership Network, and co-author of 19 books on various aspects of church health and innovation.