“Is this ethical?”
Recently in a training this question came up. And it was asked before the end of the first day.
They were learning how to gain unconscious agreement. And how it trumps attempting to influence your conscious mind.
Then one of the ladies asked, “Is this ethical?”
I don’t get that question often.
When I do the answer is always difficult. Why?
The tools and strategies of influence are ethics agnostic.
For example, a hammer. It is a simple tool.
When you go to the store and buy a hammer the cashier doesn’t ask you, “Is it for ethical purposes?” Of course not, they just smile take your money.
Your intention when you swing the hammer is a different story.
If you’re putting a nail in the wall to hang a photo, that’s considered ethical behavior.
But, if you’re swinging a hammer to drive holes through someone’s skull, that’s not.
Or, if you’re nailing obscene photos to a public wall, that could be questionable too.
Persuasion and influence strategies are ethics agnostic. Just like a hammer.
Ethics is up to you.
If you’re like me, it’s never an issue. I want to leave a person better than when they met me.
Before I begin I start framing and positioning what the customer needs to understand. This helps them filter out bad ideas and puts what I’m doing in a favorable light.
That clears away the clutter so they can make an educated decision.
Then, I get into the customer’s mind before I spend one minute “presenting.”
By doing this, the customer usually makes up his mind that I can help him. I don’t really have to present because the customer is ready to buy.
And, if I can’t help the prospect, I can point him in the right direction. And I’ve become an even more trusted adviser.
Is that ethical?
I hope you say, “yes.”
Now, what are your motives?
Do you want to hurt people?
Do you want to use them for your benefit or for a mutual benefit?
Are you selling simply to fill your pocket with the Benjamins?
Depending on your motives it could be unethical.
Here’s the flip side.
What happens to you when you don’t understand the tools of influence?
How easily could you be manipulated by those with a less than ethical intent?
With that, I invite you to consider our politicians. And how eagerly they jump to learn and use these strategies.