Monthly Archives: January 2015

Principle of Influence – The Law of Reciprocity

This blog is going to discuss one of the principles for influence, the Law of Reciprocity which I like to call ‘the boomerang effect.’

This is part 2 of a 7 part blog series. You can view the previous blog here

Reciprocity is when you do something for someone expecting nothing in return. This is usually something that helped another person but what happens is later on, they will help you. They feel obligated to reciprocate and assist you.

A number of research studies have been done on this phenomenon and some psychologists called this the reciprocity law. One study that was conducted by a psychologist at Chicago’s O’Hare airport where they sat and observed everyone’s behavior. At the time, members of Hare Krishna would come up to you and present you with a handmade flower. They would hand you the flower despite your many protests as you were hurried and were trying to balance your bags while making it to your next gate in time or go to baggage claim. But this group was so insistent and direct that you would ultimately grab it and shove it in your pocket or stuff it somewhere. Then they would ask you for a donation. While you had no intention of giving them money, psychologists found that people felt obligated. Everyone reached in their pockets to pull out a dollar and hand it to them but a few steps later, they would throw the flower away. This study highlighted the fact that people were feeling a high percentage of obligation because they got something for free and they fell obligated to return that favor.

This study can be used to influence people which I affectionately refer to as “life credits.” I will go and do something good for my neighbors so when I’m in a jam they’ll help me out! Look at how you can help others around you, whether it’s your coworkers, your partner, your clients and see if you can make their lives batter and do something small for them. Step back and watch what happens when you’re in need they’ll help you.

This is one of the first laws of influence which you can use now. Try this law of reciprocity or boomerang effect on your friends, neighbors, coworkers and let me know how it goes by posting a comment.

If you want to read more about this phenomenon, take a look at this link which references Dr. Robert Cialdini’s study on the Hare Krishna at Chicago’s O’Hare airport.

    Heather Cole Presents at FEI Tampa Chapter Event

    Heather L ColeHow prepared are you to lead your organization to capitalize on the analytics age?

    Heather Cole, a thought leader and expert in Business Analytics spoke at the January 2015 meeting of FEI (Financial Executives International) Tampa Chapter.  She gave an engaging and illuminating presentation to attendees on “How to Lead Innovative Organizations with Data and Analytics”.
    The age of analytics is here and Heather Cole from Heatherized is here to help guide you to be successful.  Digital Disruption is creating new industries faster than ever.  Companies that learn to embrace and leverage the vast amounts of data being collected daily can change the course of their industries.  Only 26% of large companies surveyed believe their teams have the skills needed.  Only 27% thought their companies will put the right resources (people, budget and time) to leveraging data for innovation.
    Digital Disruption: Unleashing the Next Wave of Innovation by James McQuivey

    For more information on how Heather Cole can help you and your company, contact her at

    7 keys to building dashboards for the C-Suite

    Summary: Heather Cole was recently interviewed for her thoughts on dashboards & C-Level executives.
    Businesses have access to more data than ever before. But, is this data actually helping business leaders make more informed decisions? In many cases, the answer is “No.” Why? Far too few businesses actually capitalize on their data. In this article, you’ll learn how effective dashboards will help your executives capitalize on your data, as well as tips for building dashboards that work.

    You can read the full text of the article here:7 keys to building dashboards for the C-Suite