Daniel H. Pink's persuasive inquiry talk assures us that the art of persuasion can be mastered in two simple questions.
Techniques that involve bribery, threats or extortion as a means of getting something are only short-term solutions. A more durable, long-term method comes in the form of 'motivational interviewing,' a term originating from counseling literature. The premise is simple: you simply ask someone to rate, on a scale of one to ten, how ready or likely they are to do something. Once they respond with a figure, your follow-up question asks why the number isn't lower. Though it might seem counter-intuitive, this tactic forces the person to articulate their own reasons for doing something. This is especially significant, because people tend to believe their own reasons more deeply and adhere to the corresponding behavior more strongly.
We tend to think of persuasion as an act that one person does to another instead of something we do for ourselves. In order to be an effective motivator, we must illuminate someone's personal reasons for doing something to themselves.