Researchers Discover the Key to Persuasion

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Researchers Discover the Key to Persuasion
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Researchers Discover the Key to Persuasion (ABC News)

Persuading your boss to give you that coveted promotion could be as easy as saying five little words.

Been Kim and Cynthia Rudin, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, have identified five words that can increase a speaker's persuasion during meetings, and revealed them in a new study released in June.

They are: yeah, give, menu, start, meeting.

People who use these words to express ideas are more likely to have their ideas accepted by co-workers and bosses, according to the study.

"We find that many of these words are not specifically tied to the topic of the meeting," Kim and Rudin wrote in their study, "but seem to be more generally persuasive."

The word "yeah," was ranked the most persuasive of the list.

"'Yeah' makes the idea come across as if it were in line with previous thoughts by others, so the suggestion has a higher chance of being accepted," Kim and Rudin wrote.

The reasons for the effectiveness of the other words weren't explored in the study.

Kim and Rudin did not immediately respond to requests for comment via email.

The study also suggested placing compliments before criticisms, instead of after, in order for them to appear more genuine.

Approximately 11 million meetings occur every day in the United States, according to the study. Kim and Rudin noted it is important for employees to understand what they called "complex interpersonal dynamics."

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