What can Chess teach us about Persuasive Moves……
April 2005, in spite of strong censure by the USA, a sovereign nation overwhelmingly granted citizenship to former world chess champ, Bobby Fischer – even though they didn’t like him!
What country would do this, to defy the USA? – Iceland, – which is an ally of the USA.
Why would they willingly defy the USA after Fischer violated a UN sanction and played a $5m chess match in Yugoslavia.
The answer is because of 1972. This was the year when a world chess match was held between Fischer and Boris Spassky of the USSR. The match was played in Iceland at the height of cold war – and garnered huge worldwide publicity.
In fact, it put Iceland on the world map.
Playing the match in Iceland was seen as a significant gift Fischer bestowed on the isolated nation. It was so Significant that 30 years later Icelanders had not forgotten, and were keen to repay favour, even though Fischer was unlikable.
The importance of the message is this – the “Norm of Reciprocation”
– it obligates us to repay others for what we have received
– the norm drives us toward fairness in everyday social interactions
A study was done where people received a small unsolicited gift from stranger – a can of coke.
Those given a can of coke by the stranger then purchased twice as many raffle tickets from the giver of the can of coke, as those who didn’t.
– It didn’t matter even if there was a significant time delay between the gift and the request
– It didn’t matter if there was no reference to original gift when selling raffle tickets
Those who received a can of coke from the stranger, made purchase decisions completely irrespective as to whether they liked the seller or not.
This demonstrates a feeling of indebtedness, caused by the Power of Reciprocity.
We often make this simple Mistake – to persuade or influence others, we often ask, “Who can help me here”.
You should change that to “Who can I help” instead.
This ‘Norm of Reciprocity’ has an inherent strength when it comes to returning the favour.