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Power of Expectation to Perusade! Date Posted: 4/30/2005

Persuasion E-News

©2005 Speakman & Associates, LLC

Welcome to this issue of Persuasion E-News! Today’s issue covers an extraordinary insight into how we think before we interact with other people … and then how those interactions will guide the responses we get from others! I call this subject: "Expectation Persuasion!" Take a few minutes to read through it … enjoy! As always, let me know what you think by sending me an email:


"Winners expect to win in advance. Life is a self-fulfilling prophesy." – Author Unknown

"When you expect things to happen – strangely enough – they do happen." – JP Morgan


There is a powerful tool that each of us can use to almost immediately alter the behavior of another person and point them in the direction we want them to go. The problem is, we are usually so wrapped up in our own lives and our own priorities that we become too narrow minded and begin barking out orders to people. When we do that, a natural wall of resistance goes up … and no persuasion takes place at all. So what is this "powerful tool" of persuasion? It’s the power of expectation!

The Power of Expectation

The technique is very simple and can be used in one sentence. The best way to explain this is to tell you about my trip to the home opener of the Cleveland Indians. Behind me were four people who were obviously in the wrong seats and they were drinking too much and annoying everyone around us. About halfway through the game, the true ticket holders for the seats arrived and forced the others out. As the new group sat down, we said to them, "Boy are we glad you got here, the people you’re replacing had too much to drink and were bothering all of us … I’m sure glad you’re here … I’m looking forward to enjoying the rest of the game!" They were very nice, we talked briefly and then enjoyed the rest of the game. Additional one-sentence examples of "Expectation Persuasion" include:

"I’m glad you’re the kind of person who _______"

"You’ve always been straight with me, so I know I can count on you to tell me the truth about __________"

"I’ve always appreciated how you can stay so level-headed in tough situations … let’s take a look at ________"

"We tend to get what we expect" – Norman Vincent Peale

Why does this work?

This works because of "commitment and consistency" which is one of the six weapons of influence that Robert Cialdini reports in his book, Influence: Science and Practice. We will strive to act in a manner that is consistent with the way others see us. We like to be consistent with our prior commitments (even if these "commitments" are gently given to us by others). When we’re given an expectation to live up to … we want to do that … and we’ll take action to support it.

"We will always tend to fulfill our own expectations of ourselves." – Brian Tracy

The Four Areas of Expectation…

There are four very important areas of Expectation, and they are:

Internal Positive Expectation

This IS the internal self-talk that you direct … it’s your internal ability to focus on the positive and your own internal positive expectations that you will perform well

External Positive Expectation

This IS the way you expect others to perform … and in this area, you expect people to perform well and to do things in such a way that your goals are advanced

Internal Negative Expectation

This IS the bad internal self-talk … that unfortunately you let happen. This is a kind of self-inflicted, mental abuse … it’s when you just don’t expect that you will be able to meet even your own standards.

External Negative Expectation

This IS when you believe that the other person is not going to do what is necessary … you expect the other person to fail … which will cause you to have to do something extra … you’re disappointed in the other

"An optimist expects his dreams to come true. A pessimist expects his nightmares to come true." – Author Unknown

How can you use this?

There are a number of ways that you can use the Persuasive Power of Expectation to your benefit both internally and externally. This first and most important "secret" is to become aware of just how powerful these expectations are when it comes to how you act and react to life situations. Second, really get to know what you expect of yourself by writing it down. And finally, write down what you expect of the other people in your life. This writing is for your eyes only, but it will surprise you just how much it will clarify your expectations to see them on paper in black and white. So, take a couple of minutes and write it out today!

"In order to win, you must expect to win." – Richard Bach

Want to know more?

In the days ahead, I’ll be posting more information about this powerful area on my website. Be sure to check it out at:

"Life … it tends to respond to our outlook, to shape itself to meet our expectations." – Richard DeVos

Is your company or organization looking for a Speaker?

Take a close look at the speaking/training topics available at and send me an email about your favorite topic and the dates you would like a presentation to everyone at your office! From a quick 45-minute session to a 4-hour workshop, you can decide how much information you want to cover. As you know, my focus of study is Persuasion! There are an almost unlimited number of ways that increasing your knowledge of the techniques of persuasion will help you to be more successful with all the other people in your life (coworkers, customers, suppliers, vendors, charities, voters, managers, etc…). How would an increased knowledge of Persuading people help your organization?

Have a great week!

Jim Speakman


P.S. Do you have a question?

If you have any questions relating to how to persuade another person of anything … just send me a quick email. I’m not saying that I’ll have THE answer, but I might be the spark that helps YOU find the right answer!



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