You Have More Influence Than You Think: How We Underestimate Our Powers of Persuasion, and Why It Matters (Paperback)

You Have More Influence Than You Think: How We Underestimate Our Powers of Persuasion, and Why It Matters By Vanessa Bohns Cover Image

You Have More Influence Than You Think: How We Underestimate Our Powers of Persuasion, and Why It Matters (Paperback)

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"This remarkable book will change the way you see your own potential." —Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive



An original investigation of our hidden power to persuade, and how to wield it wisely.


If you’ve ever felt ineffective, invisible, or inarticulate, chances are you weren’t actually any of those things. Those feelings may instead have been the result of a lack of awareness we all seem to have for how our words, actions, and even our mere presence affect other people.


In You Have More Influence Than You Think social psychologist Vanessa Bohns draws from her original research to illustrate why we fail to recognize the influence we have, and how that lack of awareness can lead us to miss opportunities or accidentally misuse our power.


Weaving together compelling stories with cutting edge science, Bohns answers the questions we all want to know (but may be afraid to ask): How much did she take to heart what I said earlier? Do they know they can push back on my suggestions? Did he notice whether I was there today? Will they agree to help me if I ask?


Whether attending a meeting, sharing a post online, or mustering the nerve to ask for a favor, we often assume our actions, input, and requests will be overlooked or rejected. Bohns and her work demonstrate that people see us, listen to us, and agree to do things for us much more than we realize—for better, and worse.


You Have More Influence Than You Think offers science-based strategies for observing the effect we have on others, reconsidering our fear of rejection, and even, sometimes, pulling back to use our influence less. It is a call to stop searching for ways to gain influence you don’t have and to start recognizing the influence you don’t realize you already have.



Vanessa Bohns is a professor of organizational behavior at Cornell University. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times and Harvard Business Review, among other publications. She lives in upstate New York.
Product Details ISBN: 9781324035954
ISBN-10: 1324035951
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: January 3rd, 2023
Pages: 256
Language: English
Bohns reveals an enormously empowering secret: In many situations, we don’t recognize the great influence we possess.
— Robert Cialdini, New York Times best-selling author of Influence and Pre-Suasion

One of the most enticing and entertaining books I’ve ever read on persuasion.
— Adam Grant, author of Think Again

It will forever change how you understand and see influence.
— Amy Cuddy, author of Presence

An exhilarating, evidence-based, expert read.
— Dolly Chugh, author of The Person You Mean to Be

You will wonder, after reading this marvelous new book by Vanessa Bohns, how you overlooked the power you have to make another person’s day, or life, better, and you will know how to use that power wisely.
— Angela Duckworth, New York Times best-selling author of Grit

The book contains a lot of positive messages about better understanding your influence and putting it to good use. For instance, it turns out that we all tend to fall short in expressing our gratitude to the very people who would most appreciate hearing it. There is also a very strong case for us to use our influence less—to not say something if it hurts someone who holds us in high regard.
— Financial Times

Soulful, eloquently written, and vital reading for anyone who wants to leave the world a better place…Bohns strikes the perfect balance between cutting-edge science and vivid storytelling.
— Adam Alter, New York Times best-selling author of Irresistible

Bohns sheds light on what we all want to know about our effect on other people, but rarely get to see. This book will make those in positions of power think twice about the weight their own words can carry and reassure anyone who has ever walked away from an interaction feeling invisible that they had impact.
— Reshma Saujani, New York Times best-selling author of Brave, Not Perfect

[Bohns] teaches a profound lesson: We are more influential than we think. This latent superpower, the first topic I cover in my MBA class on negotiation, must be handled with care. Read this essential book!
— Eli Finkel, author of The All-Or-Nothing Marriage