Robert Cialdini: One Aspect Of Buffett’s Brilliance

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In his latest interview on the Masters In Business Podcast, Robert Cialdini discusses one aspect of Buffett’s brilliance. Here’s an excerpt from the interview:

RITHOLTZ: I recall reading something about that in “Influence” someone who is honest and humble.

CIALDINI: There was a couple of years ago Berkshire did so well that year, there wasn’t anything they did wrong so you know what Warren did, he told us about a mistake he made in 1993 with Dexter Shoes. He told us about an error just so he’s making clear to us look not trying to claim that I know everything. Look I make mistakes and once again I’m astounded by the honest — the transparency of the guy and am willing to follow him from there on.

So it’s a brilliant is a brilliant tactic that it’s not a tactic in the sense that he’s doing something phony, he is an honest guy, he’s showing us his honesty by doing something I recommend to… I would recommend all your listeners.

If you got a case to make, and all cases of course have strengths and weaknesses. Mention a weakness relatively early in your case because that establishes your credibility for what you say next. And that’s the moment for your strongest argument. Immediately after you’ve mentioned the weakness if your saying you think we ought to move in this direction for your investments, let’s say you’re an advisor, but there let’s talk about the tax consequences of this and this may take a little bit longer, but I think it will be well worth it for these reasons.

People will now listen to those reasons differently in the moment after you’ve mentioned a weakness and you will allow those strengths to just wipe out the weakness.

You can listen to the entire interview here:

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