Book review

The Small Big: Small Changes That Spark Big Influence

The Small Big: Small Changes That Spark Big Influence
Read date: Feb 2019

The Small Big: Small Changes That Spark Big Influence by Steve J. Martin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An interesting and generally very practical book: 52 short chapters, each with a specific, straightforward, and tested, suggestion for how you might influence people to get a particular outcome.
– Having problems getting people to attend their appointments for your clinic? Get them to write down the time and date on a slip themselves, or read it back to you over the phone – this improves rates over simply giving them a printed slip with the details.
– Want to improve your own likelihood of going to the gym or remembering to meditate? Visualise the specific details of what you’re going to do as you start the process, in advance of when you want it to happen. Better yet, write these details down in a short note to yourself.
– Want to improve your tips as a server in a restaurant? Put a sweet or a mint on the tray with the bill for each person in the group – and then come back after a minute with another mint or two.

And so on. Each chapter will only take you ten minutes to read, and although you may have come across some of the suggestions before if you’ve read the authors’ other works, there will very likely be some that are new to you. And by the way, the authors are not science journalists, but are among the most widely recognised leaders in this field – Cialdini, for example, is the most referenced author ever in the field of social influencing.

Clear, helpful, actionable: what more could you ask?

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