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Aboitiz Leaders Take Dr. Cialdini Workshop On Increasing Influence and Persuasion

Cheska De Ocampo | October 3, 2019

Aboitiz Group leaders from various business units learned about increasing influence in decision power using universal principles of persuasion from the Dr. Cialdini Influence Workshops on Principles of Persuasion and Moment Maker: A PreSuasion Training on September 25-27.

Facilitated by Dr. Gregory Neidert, developer of the Core Motives Mode of Social Influence at Influence at Work, the workshops aimed to help participants increase influence in decision power, and to ethically and effectively apply Dr. Robert Cialdini’s Six Universal Principles of Persuasion. By applying these principles, leaders can produce lasting change and avoid common influence traps.

The Principles of Persuasion are Reciprocity, Scarcity, Authority, Consistency, Liking, and Consensus.

Reciprocity is defined as the obligation to return the same form of behavior, gift, or service initially received. However, the Principle of Reciprocity yields better and surprising results when it is first given – personalized and unexpected.

Scarcity operates on the idea that people will want more if it is depleting or they will have the short end of the stick.

Authority is equivalent to credibility, wherein people are more inclined to trust more knowledgeable and experienced individuals.

Another principle is consistency, which can be activated by introducing small initial commitments in line with what was being done before.

Liking is simply based on three important factors — discovery of similarities, giving of compliments, and cooperation towards a mutual goal.

Lastly, individuals will often find a consensus or a validation based on other people’s actions to help determine their decisions.

Also during the training, leaders learned to use the T.I.M.E. Pre-Suasion System, which targets, identifies, and moves triggers and extends the impact of these pre-suasive moments.

By learning of the T.I.M.E. Pre-Suasion System and Cialdini’s Six Universal Principles of Persuasion, leaders learned a holistic approach for successful influence.

Dr. Robert Cialdini is a social psychology professor at Arizona State University and New York Times Best-Selling author for his ground-breaking book, “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion”. The book is a result of his years of research in discovering scientifically-tested tactics that move people to change, act, and say “yes” to all types of requests.

Dr. Gregory Neidert is the director at Influence at Work, an international consulting, strategic planning and training organization based on Dr. Robert Cialdini’s Six Principles of Influence. With a clientele ranging from Fortune 100 companies to SMEs, he is a sought-after organizational consultant for more than 35 years with expertise in resolving organizational and social traps by applying the science of social influence. He is also the president of World of Work, Inc., a comprehensive psychometric assessment used throughout North America, Britain, Australia, and New Zealand.

Why are we here today? To learn to build a skill that we sorely need to improve. Are we bad at it? Of course not! If we were, we would not be here. Are we the best at it? You will have an answer for yourself over the next few days, moreover, into the future as you reflect. Are we good enough relative to the need? You know!

It can be done. If history has taught us anything, it is that anything can be done. We have asked Dr. Neibert from the Cialdini Institute to help us get better at this.

– Endika Aboitiz, Chairman, Aboitiz Equity Ventures (in his opening remarks for the workshop)

Aboitiz TLs shared their key takeaways and steps they intend to take in applying the concept of pre-suasion and the principles of persuasion in their respective functions.


People don’t know what is causing their behavior. Personalities, values, and attitudes predict behavior only 1-9%…so people want to be convinced.

Saying “no problem” belittles the effect of all the effort you have made for that person. Stop using it!

Spend more time thinking. We don’t think enough. We rely on our improvisation skills way too much. Use contrasting more – by providing two things in succession that are different from each other. You can make things seem more different. I would like to master this.

Jokin Aboitiz,  AVP – National Logistics, Pilmico



The Cialdini Persuasion Workshop is one of those few very insightful training workshops I had attended in my entire worklife.  It is just so interesting to know that you can figure out how to make other people agree to what you want even before they would experience it and the guiding principles (6 Principles of Persuasion) are just so practical to apply. I just realized that while it is important to build good relationships with the other leaders and colleagues, good relationship alone can not be a guarantee that you will be effective in influencing them.

The Reciprocity principle taught me to do something which will give them an opportunity to reciprocate or give back and that will enable you to get that probability of them supporting you. Additionally, I just realized how powerful it will be in convincing one when you capitalize Consensus and Scarcity. Because in this kind of world where people are getting more intelligent, the actual successful experience of others and loss framing of possible outcome will greatly help in influencing others.

In Quality and Operational Excellence, the process improvement works that we do would always cut across a number functional boundaries. Such would require different leaders and colleagues to be unified in recognizing a better thing to do. Sometimes, we would spend 70% of our time convincing people and 30% in putting our best work forward. While not everyone is hungry for improvements in their processes, there are a lot of cases where we need to influence them. The Persuasion principles are very helpful and useful for me and my team in doing our job more effectively. With this, I need to download what I learned from the workshop to my team so that, functionally, we anchor to the same principles that we need to capitalize when we drive process improvements, innovation activities and ultimately build a culture of operational excellence.”

Cleo Flores, AVP – Quality, Lean Six Sigma, Safety, Health and Environment, Pilmico



I highly appreciated the deep dive into the principles of persuasion. I realized that while I was already using the methods with customers and other stakeholders I interact with, it was really refreshing to understand the science behind such principles and methods.

Incorporating the science with my existing stakeholder engagement methods, and having awareness of such is, for me, the best way to apply these things better and more effectively.

Bigs Salvador, AVP – Energy Sales, AboitizPower



Persuasion is something we do in our daily lives and, more often than not, we do not see the real value or impact of every act of persuasion we do. It is not just about getting what you want and get people or a person to agree to whatever you say (I must this say this is superficial). It has to be something that adds value not only to a single party but to both and more importantly, has to be done in a well thought and ethical manner.

In my current role in Sales, both are critical for me to deliver my and my team’s goals. I need to do a lot of learning and unlearning for me to deeply understand my internal and external client’s motivation, what influences their behavior and thinking process – this adds more structure to how we approach every sales pitch and negotiation table and create REALITY on the context of what we want them to see and experience.

– Cathy del Villar, AVP – Retail, AboitizPower



Persuasion is not just simply about having the right idea or marketing spiel. It is not a one-sided affair. It’s a continuous cycle of the right spiel, how you make your mark on another and how you are able to engage and enhance the thought process of the one you are dealing with.

The concepts of pre-suasion and the principles of persuasion are very much applicable to my line of work. Of course, with the right idea or study, these concepts can be used in pitching these ideas to management. Careful study of the matter and the audience is necessary as mentioned along with proper preparation of oneself. A great idea can be be pitched through even simple ways like small talking the audience to gain comfort (the principle of liking), wearing the proper attire (the principle of authority) and addressing simple questions and key points such as why this idea is needed (the principle of scarcity) and showing the feedback of others are following it (the principle of social proof).

Anthony Co, AVP – Portfolio Management, AboitizPower