The 12-year tenure of New York Yankees manager Joe Torre ended last week. At a science conference in 2000, Washington Post baseball writer Tom Boswell discussed Torre’s success in terms of the principles set forth in a book called Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, by Robert Cialdini. Scientific American went on to commission a February 2001 article by Cialdini, available at sciamdigital.com. The piece discusses six major persuasion factors, which Torre used to such great effect.
One is reciprocity—you’re more likely to go out of your way for someone who has done so for you. The second is consistency—acting consistently shows people you can be trusted. Third, social validation—get enough people on the same page and the rest will likely follow due to peer pressure. Fourth is simply likeability—people are more likely to respond to somebody they like. Fifth is authority—Torre’s quiet dignity and outstanding record as a player himself gave him great authority with players. And sixth is scarcity—things in limited supply are more desirable. Which should make the one and only Joe Torre a hot commodity on the baseball market.