The next time you want to ask someone for a favour, try apologising first. Apologising for what? Anything at all, even the rain!
Photo by butupa.
A new study by researchers at Harvard Business School and Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania shows that people are more likely to grant you a favour if you apologise first, whether it's your fault or not.
In experiments, a participant approached strangers to borrow their mobile phone; and half of the time, he preceded the request by saying, "I'm so sorry about the rain." With the apology, 47 per cent offered their phone; without it, only nine per cent offered their handset.
The researchers note:
Superfluous apologies represent a powerful and easy-to-use tool for social influence. Even in the absence of culpability, individuals can increase trust and liking by saying 'I'm sorry' — even if they are merely 'sorry' about the rain.
It seems silly, but hey — it's worth a shot. Hit the link to read more.
Want people to trust you? Try apologising for the rain [BPS Research Digest]