An INFLUENCER motivates others to change, An INFLUENCER replaces bad behaviors with powerful new skills. An INFLUENCER makes things happen. This is what it takes to be an INFLUENCER. Whether you're a CEO, a parent, or merely a person who wants to make a difference, you probably wish you had more influence with the people in your life. But most of us stop trying to make change happen because we believe it is too difficult, if not impossible. We develop complicated coping strategies when we should be learning the tools and techniques of the world's most influential people. But this is about to change. From the bestselling authors who taught the world how to have Crucial Conversations comes Influencer, a thought-provoking book that combines the remarkable insights of behavioral scientists and business leaders with the astonishing stories of high-powered influencers from all walks of life. You'll be taught each and every step of the influence process-including robust strategies for making change inevitable in your personal life, your business, and your world. You'll learn how to: Identify a handful of high-leverage behaviors that lead to rapid and profound change. Apply strategies for changing both thoughts and actions. Marshall six sources of influence to make change inevitable. Influencer takes you on a fascinating journey from San Francisco to Thailand where you'll see how seemingly "insignificant" people are making incredibly significant improvements in solving problems others would think impossible. You'll learn how savvy folks make change not only achievable and sustainable, but inevitable. You'll discover why some managers have increased productivity repeatedly and significantly -- while others have failed miserably. No matter who you are, or what you do, you'll never learn a more valuable or important set of principles and skills. Once you tap into the power of influence, you can reach out and help others work smarter, grow faster, live, look, and feel better, even save lives. The sky is the limit...for an Influencer. Are you an Influencer? "You don't have to be a manager to realize that no one likes being told what to do. Yet lectures are still the main way we try to get people to change their behavior. Fortunately, social learning academics have been studying alternatives for decades. Patterson and his fellow consultants have now collected their findings in this engaging, example-rich book. The key message is hardly new, but it has gotten more sophisticated: Managers need to get out of the way and facilitate, not manage, the process of change for employees. They can do this by offering vicarious experiences, restructured environments, peer pressure, and frequent tests -- all geared so that people embrace the change as authentic to them, not imposed by an outsider. Missing are only success stories of organizations that persuaded managers to drop their controlling habits and choose to be mere facilitators." --John T. Landry, Harvard Business Review.
Already referred this to over 50 colleagues Terribly realistic research and data. Contains absolutely practical insights and solutions for use in my leadership development organization. After referring this to over 50 colleagues, the reports back to me are; 'Grateful', 'Glad you thought of me', 'Hit me again', 'Going to put this to use immediately',and more. Phil at http://maximizeothers.wordpress.com...more info
Couldn't influence me to finish reading the book I will be honest and say that I was unable to complete reading this book. I made it half way and had read enough to know that I had completely and totally lost interest. This book was not very helpful or informative. I echo the sentiments of most of the reviewers here and feel that this book was a complete waste of time. I thought that there would be specific instructions or methods on influencing people, situations etc. but this was not so.
All in all, this wouldn't be too bad if the book didn't influence its readers to think something that it was not. ...more info
Great Book! But I would suggest a different title I am slightly past halfway through this book which is usually more than what I read in most of my books. Even though this book is titled "Influencer" - it covers comprehensively what it takes to enable people to do what you want them to do; that it is not just about convincing them (verbally), but also helping them to find their own meaning in the work (sense-making) and providing them with the right operational environment to make it happen.
The title gives a wrong impression that this is about manipulating your fellow human beings to "do your bidding" - what I have found reading this book is that it is a thoughtful way to enable and empower others in matters and matter.
But I suppose 'Enabler' or 'Empowerer' wouldn't sell as many copies?...more info
Influence and change yourself Excellent book with wrong subtitle - we can not change anything (or everything), just ourselves. And this is where influenece and change starts. Influence yourself and you are on good track to influence the others. One raindrop rise the ocean, change of one person changes the world....more info
Behavior Modification It's a well-written book, but not terribly exciting. It does have good basic information about behavior modification techniques, providing examples of where the techniques have worked, how and why they have worked. The book sites case settings and ties them in throughout the book with various examples. The book also explains types of influencers that do NOT work in certain situations and why (i.e. why lecturing someone would not work in a specific situation.)
The concept of the book is: 1) here are the behavior influencers that have successfully worked; and 2) YOU can use them successfully to achieve certain behaviors (as others have). This book may be particularly useful to supervisors, coaches, teachers, or others who have a need to motivate others. There are 258 pages of information.
The book begins telling you that you have learned to follow the well-known prayer, ". . .[grant me the] SERENITY to accept the things you cannot change, the courage to change the things you can, and the wisdom to know the difference." So, basically, we try to fix a chronic systemic problem a few times, then give in to the serenity and accept that we cannot change this problem/behavior/thing/etc, and most of us only lack the proper SKILL to be the catalyst for the change. The book studies cases of those who did NOT fall into acceptance of serenity and what they did to successfully influence others. One such successful influencer used throughout the book is Dr. Mimi Silbert, founder of Delancey. Through various therapy and socialization techniques and through her skills in behavior modification, praise, etc, Dr. Silbert has taken "thieves, prostitutes, robbers, and murderers" who are "nasty, racist, violent, and greedy" and gotten them to totally change their behaviors, become employable productive citizens and actually care about each other's success. She states that "most were gang members and many are third generation gang members". "Some have been homeless for years and most are lifetime drug addicts". She states that within hours of joining Delancey, they are working. "Of those who join Delancey, over 90 % never go back to drugs or crime." You will see examples from Delancey throughout the book.
The book explains 6 vital behaviors, which apply across ages, gender, geography, etc., the first vital behavior being reward vs. punishment. Top influencers reward positive performance frequently, while non-influencers criticize and condemn. Of course, the book continues in more detail.
Notable is also that at the end of each chapter is a summary of the concepts covered in the chapter, making it easy to assimilate what you just read in each chapter and easy to return and reference the high points of each chapter.
From soccer mom to manager--great stuff. This material is universal. The authors define twelve skills that folks should focus on if they hope to be able to improve circumstances around them. Even though I do not have a particular interest in business, I still found this information very helpful. I found it applied to the day-to-day management of life from parenting to charity work to employment.
After reading many self-help books, I find some better able to detail core concepts about change and managment than others. This one does a fine job. The authors point out how ideas of motivation and ability can either kill or escalate one's influence. It's great to realize what factors generate social and individual change.
I also appreciated the examples. I liked the examples of large scale social change. The examples of criminal reform and erradicating disease taught me a couple of things. First, individual behavior can create large-scale, critical change and secondly, because that principle holds true, I may have the ability to influence those around me if I choose. This is practical, useful information is for anyone trying to perform well at their job, balance family demands or simply survive soccer carpool. I found this information really, very helpful. ...more info
Full of interesting insight into human behavior I tend to carry a lot of pessimism into a book such as this, partly because I'm exceedingly individualistic, partly because I consider the vast amount of sociological self-help books to be pure hokum, and partly because I know that I am personally way too messed up in the head to be radically "improved" by the contents of a single book. I also have a latent fear that a book such as this is somehow going to be a manifestation of that infernal Who Moved My Cheese? book. Believe it or not, however, I found Influencer to be a valuable read, as it provides a lot of fascinating insight into the workings of the human mind. Whether you call it motivation or manipulation, it is the authors' contention that you can change virtually anything by understanding and implementing the types of techniques and strategies they identify and expound upon in this book.
To be a true "influencer," you have to change your way of thinking, according to the authors. The real secret is not to concentrate on producing the outcome you desire; instead, you must target the behaviors responsible for producing that output. You absolutely have to change behavior patterns in order to yield the results you are after. It takes work, experimentation, etc., but baby steps in the right direction can ultimately lead to giant leaps in virtually any aspect of life, not just business. The authors identify and discuss six sources of influence which you must address in order to bring about and sustain comprehensive change. Success requires deliberate practice, a lot of honest feedback, the setting of mini-goals along the way to keep people motivated, flexibility and mutual collaboration, etc. There really are no magic formulas here; the influence strategy you ultimately adopt must be personalized and comprehensive if you are to succeed. If you don't truly understand the behavior in question or you try to pick and choose between different sources of influence, you will most likely fail in your endeavors.
The authors do a good job of showing why the most simplistic agents of change do not work very well at all. You don't have to be the parent of a teenager to know that lectures rarely yield the desired results. The more you yell and threaten, the less likely you are to get what you want. On the other hand, you would think that incentives and rewards for desired behavior would work well, but the authors show how this strategy can also backfire. So how do you enable these all-important behaviors and forge a workable strategy? The authors boil it down to three things: improving personal mastery through deliberate practice, working with others to build personal capital, and changing the environment. It is amazing how you can influence human behavior just by making even the smallest of changes inside a person's environment. For example, I know that complaints about the slowness of a certain business software program declined significantly after the words "Please Wait" were replaced by "Processing." The program wasn't one bit faster than it used to be, but people thought it was simply because it was no longer prompting them to wait. The authors pack this book full of even more telling examples than this, offering empirical evidence for every recommendation they endorse.
This book hasn't radically changed my life, but it has given me a lot to think about. I would definitely recommend it to a wide range of readers, as it is more of an idea book than a practical guide aimed at a specific audience....more info
An examination of the influences in our lives Have you ever wanted to know why certain people succeed at making changes, while others don't? This book can help you understand the successful strategies that involve influencing and manifesting change. The authors break down the types of change and influence into six categories, as well as show how these six types are interconnected to each other.
In addition, they provide excellent examples of how these influence strategies have been applied to situations as diverse as parasites in water, to former gang members being rehabilitated. More importantly though, the authors show the reader how to apply these principles to their lives.
I highly recommend this book because it will show you how to change your life....more info
Helpful, general, and practical information The book presents very general concepts with specific and powerful examples that illustrate the main point -- you need to change the way people think about something before you can influence them to change their behavior. It looks at human behavior, influence techniques, and influence traps/pitfalls, and offers tons of tips on how you can approach influence in any situation....more info
Necessary Reading! Great book for educators. Should be required reading for all who work with people. Practical and effective information taught in a comprehensive and understandable fashion. Our faculty is doing a group study and application to our school with great results!...more info
Rack of lamb fter consuming both "Crucial Conversations" and "Crucial Confrontations", this new book, "Influencer", was like the rack of lamb added to the baked potato, asparagus, and sourdough bread. After 40 years in the consumer packaged goods industry, I find myself quite often selected to sit on committees that develop policy or solve problems. I sit in rooms filled with young guns and old coots that go nose to nose with each other pitching their version of the "answer". What do you do when the testosterone, pride, and personal agendas have dissipated and all you have left is the same old problem steaming there in the middle of the table? This book gave me a roadmap, a compass, and a worksheet to help me provide the positive influence to - at least sometimes - cure the illness instead of bandaging the wound. I would suggest that anyone on any level read this book and start fixing the leaks in their lives instead of applying patches.
Blink with a plan - to somewhat borrow the theme of a previous reviewer I thought that this book was great. It nicely packages a bunch of good and important info not readily available elsewhere (some of which stems from the authors' own work), and it tells you how to apply this info. It's not simply content with leaving you amazed at all the sexy info/research. It tells you what to do with it.
A very rudimentary outline is (a) it presents a framework/plan for how to go about producing change (of basically any form) in the first couple chapters. For instance, it shows you how to break down complex and confusing problems into more manageable, precise problems (e.g. finding the "vital behaviors"). And (b) in the main body, it presents various strategies for getting these problems solved (i.e. generating positive influence), along with a framework to organize these strategies. Here is where you can create your specific plan of attack (e.g. select a domain of influence and see what the research has shown about how to go about influence within this domain). Finally, interspersed throughout are a bunch of cool examples from people who have been successful at changing badness into goodness. The end product is a compendium of what have to be some of the best ideas out there for producing change. Moreover, these ideas are presented in a step-by-step, organized manner.
However, I think it should be noted that the major strength was not a set of task-specific techniques, but instead, the presentation of a framework for organizing and selecting which specific techniques will work best. The book promises to give you the "power to change anything", and the plan they give you is correspondingly general. It's not really a diet book or a book focused on specific persuasion techniques, and they don't present a set of results supporting public policy A over public policy B. What they present instead is a (research supported) plan to follow for organizing and selecting the set of specific techniques that will best get the job done. And a broad perspective like this is especially helpful in our kind of information-overload world.
Basically, it combines the "amazing research tales" of Blink with a real plan for application. And in so doing, it delivers in a very realistic way on what it promises in the title. It presents what has to be one of the best general schemes out there for trying to effect change....more info
Too much tell, not enough show When your book has the subtitle "the power to change anything," you really need to deliver tools to let readers effect change. Instead, this book is dry and jargon-heavy, telling what some alleged influencers did, rather than showing how the reader can do it as well.
As a result, it's a marginally interesting read at best, and of dubious value....more info
Influencer: The Courage to Change Anything, Including Ourselves Just as I have come to expect from Joseph Grenny and Company, Influencer is both informative and inspirational. The authors, in their usual easy-to-read style, challenge us to shed serenity in favor of courage... the courage to lead change. The examples and guidance are clear and create a practical path for leaders and groups who want to resolve some of the world's most vexing problems. Frankly, while this book will and should be read by department managers everywhere, I'd like to recommend it to John, Hillary and Barack......more info
A fun, readable book (though the subtitle is a bit misleading!) The title of this book is "Influencer: The Power to Change Anything." I'll call shenanigans on that subtitle, because this is not a book about exercising personal power. Rather, it's a series of case studies that demonstrate how influence can be used in positive ways to improve the world around us. It's powerful reading, yes. But that's because many of the anecdotes are interesting, and some are quite powerful.
This is a very well-written book, with some extremely interesting stories to share. Dr. Donald Hopkins and his fight against the dreaded guinea worm is a common theme, and it's an interesting story. Another "influence master" detailed started a rehabilitation center for convicts that actually works. Yet another started a small business program in Bangladesh that has given hope to the poor. The stories really stuck with me after I read the book, and they've helped me to think of ways I can influence others in my own life.
Of less value to me was the "six sources of influence" model, which sounds very academic, but lacks the intuitive "oomph" of methods like the "7 Habits" or the "22 laws" that leadership gurus like to bring up. You can actually find all of the information about the abstract concepts on the book's website, and you can read case studies on many of the featured stories on publisher VitalSmarts's site. (This is mentioned in the book as well, so I'm guessing the authors don't mind if people mine their sites for information before reading.)
Still, "Influencer" is a great read, and I'd certainly recommend it to anyone looking for inspiration. The world can be a better place, and this book does a good job of calling out some notable cases. Just don't expect to walk away prepared to change the world -- apparently, it's not as easy as the subtitle would lead you to believe....more info
So Many Useful Ideas In general, I am not easily impressed by these business books that purport give some great insight into how to make things work. If somebody really had the ability to "change anything" then he wouldn't be wasting time writing books, he'd be out there changing things, if not for the better, then to his advantage. With that caveat in mind, however, I have to say that I enjoyed this book.
There are a couple of reasons why I enjoyed it. First, it is so much better written than most. I don't know how its five authors actually collaborated to produce this volume but it reads very well. It doesn't show the effects of too many cooks. It delivers a series of very clear, easy to follow steps. If it doesn't support itself with a lot of quantitative research, it has a selection of well-chosen anecdotes. The Guinea worm stories and the Delancey Street stories have etched themselves into my memory. I've already shared them with a number of people.
Second, the six sources of influence, the elucidation of which takes up the bulk of the book, are simple to understand and seem very reasonable. In fact, most of us have used or experienced each of the types of influence before. It is the author's cleverness to synthesize them for us. Not only that, that demonstrate how to use them effectively. Ultimately, they make the point that, to have real success in influencing others, you must use as many of the sources of influence as possible, preferably all of them. Too often, change doesn't happen because we don't use all the sources of influence available to us.
Like many books of this type, it wouldn't have suffered any by being a little bit more compact. Still, as someone who works for change in my day to day life, I was able to draw a lot of useful information out of it. Perhaps more useful things than in any book I've ready recently. That's high praise indeed....more info
Influncer: The Power To Change Anything This is a powerful book that is relevant and helpful for anyone who is dealing with personal and/or organizational issues. It is very timely given what we are going through now as a nation and as a world community. ...more info
Changing Human Behavior - A Competent Look INFLUENCER: THE POWER TO CHANGE ANYTHING is a satisfactory exploration of the ways in which we can bring about change in human behavior. Written by the authors of CRUCIAL CONVERSATIONS, a highly regarded bestselling book on influence and conflict resolution, their latest entry lacks the sparkle of their previous work. Nonetheless, it provides significant information of how behavior can be significantly changed by simple yet effective techniques that help you to discover vital behaviors and insights on you we, as influencers, can change minds and subsequent actions and behaviors.
The book examines internal (individual), external (societal), and institutional (structural) motivators and how to connect with people on multiple levels. Although the advice is sound and competently presented, in my opinion, the book suffers from a sense of committee authorship. While there are times when the text flows well, at other times, the narrative seems somewhat stilted. In general, however, for those seeking to change either their own behavior or the behavior of others, INFLUENCER can provide a framework for additional reflection and action.
Upset! I ordered this book over 11 days ago. I have yet to receive it. I have checked my account, the monies have been taken from the account. However, I have been left high and dry! How do I, either get my money back or obtain the property that I paid to get?
Unique ideas This book introduced some insights and techniques for persuasion that I never thought of. Excellent read on the power of common sense approaches to major and minor problems....more info
Like a lot of business books that aren't technical, it could have been 90% shorter Like a great many "business" books (or motivational, or "how to increase sales - GO! RAH RAH RAH!!!") kinds of books, Influencer has little in terms of actual practical data, ideas, or theory. It is incredibly heavy on adjectives, "go get 'em!" platitudes, jargon, and contextless examples without any kind of helpful critique/analysis as to why they succeeded, the theory behind them, or how they were actually executed.
I give this four stars, though, because unlike most business/motivational/sales kinds of books, this one actually does offer a tad more meat in comparison. Influencer has also a few powerful examples of success in influencing people.
The basic theory here, which in my opinion is a very sound theory, is that the best way to influence people is to help them a path of small successes that increase their confidence and help them learn to trust the person who wants to do the influencing. But, barring a few anecdotal stories that fit that theory, the book offers nothing in terms of studies done, theory, or backing up by any kind of academic work. But, that's fairly typical for these kinds of books, so I'm not surprised and it was exactly what I expected before I even began reading it.
Like a lot of evangelical Christian books, republican rightwing books (such as Coulter and Limbaugh), Influencer suffers from a serious lack of footnoted "facts" and a far too heavy use of anecdotal stories as universal truths and normative, universal experience.
Still, some of the stories are powerful, especially the story of the woman who has been helping thousands of former criminals find new life as law-abiding citizens. Just don't expect that the author will provide any kind of scholarly look as to why any of these work.
Is it worth reading? In the realm of business/motivational books, this is probably at the top of the list in terms of being written without every sentence being pure jargon and buzzwords, and in terms of offering some stuff that is actually usable.
I continue, though, to await the day when someone writes a book like this with some actual meat and usable analysis/theory that can be practically applied, and change behavior at a deep level, and not just a superficial level....more info
fascinating book on people who influence change... Though I doubt that I am ready to go out into the world and immediately start affecting change, I found this book to be very compelling. Some of the ideas in the book are good common sense when you think about it. If you are trying to lose weight you make it easier to choose good behavior, you might begin to eat on smaller plates, causing you to eat less, not going to the gym across town but having equipment or a pleasurable exercise activity close to home, etc. These are simple things, but when put into practice afford great change. The book goes over small changes like this along with very great changes, which have been employed by successful influence masters, such as Dr. Mimi Silbert, who runs the Delancey program in San Francisco, where she has changed the lives of over 16,000 (and counting) criminals and drug addicts by creating an environment where they have to be responsible for each other and teach others daily as they move up the chain to more responsibility and privileges. This is amazing considering the people in this program are mixed together with people that were previously rival gang members, other races and with varying backgrounds.
Another story in the book that I found extremely interesting is that of Dr. Muhammad Yunus, of Bangladesh. He found a way to supply micro loans to poor women in his home country, when banks would not. Dr. Yunus realized that only a small amount of capital was needed to start a business, but that no bank would loan the money and loan sharks would take a cut of 1000% which caused the borrower to never get out of their indebtedness and never realize a profit. One instance was a woman that made handcrafted stools but was held in poverty because she could not come up with the five cents a day needed to buy supplies. He worked the loans in teams, one person would be supported by four others in the group who would co-sign for the loan and would be basically a think tank, they would go over proposals and put together plans on the business and how they would make it successful. Each of the other four members would eventually also be granted a loan and in turn the others would co-sign for them. As the author(s) say, what then do you expect? These were people not formerly educated, sticking their necks out on the line, well, you get some really good, innovative ideas, because there is no room for half-baked ideas when your livelihood is at stake. Dr. Yunus's amazing success rate is 95%! That's right, 95%, meaning a successful business and also a full repayment of the loans.
Other items reviewed in the book are how to garner peer pressure, how to look at the problem and factors around you that could be influencing behavior and how even the best idea, that is presented by an innovator may just not be accepted because you need an "opinion leader" to be the one to actually garner the acceptance (someone who is respected and people feel at ease with that they know is looking out for their interests).
I am very interested in psychology and how the mind works, so for me I thought that this book was very interesting and enjoyed the way the book was layed out and how humor was used in varying instances.
If you like to understand what makes people tick and would like to understand better the six sources of influence that can affect change you will find this book an interesting read, and who knows, maybe you will be the next one to make a big change in your life or in those around you?
Create change by becoming an influencer What an amazing book! Very inspirational, educational, and motivational. I highlighted something on nearly every page! The authors use stories from their consulting experiences to illustrate how some people have been very successful at influencing the behaviors of others. Two of the examples that they return to again and again are the efforts to eradicate the guinea worm, and the Delancey rehabilitation organization in San Francisco.
The authors demonstrate how to focus on behaviors that need to be changed. They detail how to find the key behaviors that change create a cascade of changes, and then how to build influence to affect these behaviors, pointing out that simple education and oral persuassion techniques do not work. They explain six sources of influence that should all be used together for maximum effect.
Throughout the book I found strategies and ideas that I can immediately see how to apply to a particular problem I have in mind. I highly recommend this book to leaders of every kind, and to the lay person who wants to make a difference and produce results in some area they care about....more info
A Comprehensive Framework for Achieving Lasting Change "The Influencer" is a must read for anyone aspiring to lead change. No matter the scope of the challenge--personal goals or multi-national change efforts--the principles in this book are broadly applicable. "The Influencer" doesn't just propose a single, simplistic `silver bullet' approach, but instead outlines a comprehensive framework for achieving meaningful change that lasts. The principles taught are based on solid academic research and are illustrated using inspiring and concrete case studies of people actually changing the world. The authors strike a terrific balance between academic rigor, comprehensiveness, and application. Because of this balance, I found it easy to make the `what's-in-it-for-me' connection. Whether fine tuning my fitness routine or leading the integration of a newly acquired company at work, I find myself structuring my planning using the influence framework and principles explained in this book. "The Influencer" is a great companion to "Crucial Conversations" because each book addresses complementary skills and influence strategies. I enthusiastically recommend "The Influencer"--it will help you change anything....more info
Excellent The audiobook edition is what I am listening to, and it's one of the most compelling reads out there. This is not a self-help book, but it examines very clearly and concisely the forces and factors where influence takes hold and changes human behaviour. With clear examples and step by step analysis, the authors offer a convincing study of how people influence other people's behaviours, and insights to keep in mind in our own lives and actions. This is a book which examines people dynamics but uses strong anecdotal examples from around the world. A good effort that will be valuable for any leader, sociologist, etc....more info
An influenceing how-to manual that is solid, accessible and informative. The authors start out by debunking the notion that the ability to influence is reserved for people with charismatic and silver-tongued DNA. They firmly and kindly suggest that this notion is an excuse used by those of us who have tried to influence and failed or who feel daunted by the prospect of using influence to bring about significant change. Deciding that we aren't equipped to influence gives us permission to work on that spreadsheet that will convince the world we are right or to yell louder hoping that people will eventually "get it," rather than getting out there and making change happen. Having momentarily snapped us out of denial, Patterson et. al. give us a how-to manual for influencing that is solid, accessible and informative.
Here are the three elements of the book that I found most useful
1) Change the Way You Change Minds: "People choose behaviors based on what they think will happen to them as a result." "When it comes to resistant problems, verbal persuasion rarely works." Sharing personal experience is a great tool but in the absence of this tell people a story. Tell a story that acts on their internal view of the world and gets them thinking that they have the ability to change and that change might be in their best interest.
2) There are actually six influence points not the one (whatever it is) that YOU know and use over and over (with, the authors predict, limited success). The authors provide an intuitive and simple to remember influence framework that you can refer to you when you are planning (note, planning) to influence. While the examples and teaching that the authors provide will help you quickly internalize the elements, once you see the framework you might feel a little sheepish that you hadn't thought of it yourself.
3) There are six influence points and the more of them you use, the more success you will have. Conversely if you use just one or two, you will be less successful.
I suggest reading the book through once and marking up the parts that seem particularly relevant to you. Chances are you will want to come back to the highlighted sections again and again as you apply the lessons of Influencer to the change initiatives you are trying to move forward....more info
Broaden Your Perspective on Influence Influencer changed the way I look at the world. More particularly, it changed the way I look at the problems I face in MY world and opened me to options of how I can change those problems. People spend a lot of time thinking in terms of how to motivate people only from the standpoint of their personal motivation - they aren't doing what you want because they don't care, they're lazy, the don't respect me, etc. The emphasis on the power of social and environmental conditions was revelatory. I've stopped thinking about challenges as inevitable and think more in terms of how I can approach tough issues differently.
The case studies are fabulous and inspiring. I was somewhat distracted that the cases weren't presented start to finish, but as I progressed through the book I understood the reasoning. The authors illustrate principles that build, so the cases wouldn't have demonstrated those points with a start-to-finish recitation at the beginning of the book. I'm ready to read the book again, which will string together the cases and reinforce the key points of the book.
The Serenity Prayer is a Trap Yes, you heard me right. According to the authors of this book the prayer is a trap and I think I agree with them. The prayer reads:
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
When Reinhold Niebuhr wrote these lines over six decades ago, I'm sure he didn't think his prayer would give solace to those would give up. But that's exactly what his prayer seems to encourage, giving up. Instead on accepting things one cannot change, one should try and make a difference, one should have the wisdom to try and make a difference. If everybody accepted the things they thought they couldn't change, the world would be a pretty dismal place.
Once the authors take their readers past the Serenity Trap, they give plenty of examples of people who didn't accept the things they couldn't change, instead they changed them. The authors not only give good examples of how an Influencer (someone who instigates change) works, but they show you how to be an influencer as well. And if I have any influence over you, dear reader, I'd like to influence you to order this book, you won't be disappointed.
Review submitted by Captain Katie Osborne...more info
Excellent book on the subject I'll start by saying that this is a really good book if you want to understand how people influence each other and how to use that information to your benefit. That being said, the beginning of the book can be an exercise in frustration. The authors mention several individuals and how they have influenced others to change whether as an individual or a whole community but they give no details of how it was done. It can leave you wondering if there is anything of practical value in the book. However, if you persevere and read through the book you will find that these questions are answered and you will come away with a much greater understanding of how influence works. By the time you're finished you will understand how to use the principles of influence to change your life and help others make positive changes in theirs. With clear examples of why common myths about influence don't work and why successes do work it is a very interesting read. This is one of the better books on influence that I have read it is highly recommended for business, civic, and community leaders as well as anyone else who needs to know how to get people to take action or think in a new direction....more info
The Reward in Doing the Right Thing I watched David Maxfield, one of the authors of Influencer, present at a health care conference at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan not long ago--he was animated and enthused and quite fascinating. His presentation was based on this book, a New York Times bestseller, from the same authors that brought readers the concepts of "crucial conversations," "crucial behaviors" and VitalSmarts. The latter is today a company that offers consultations on how to motivate positive change, not only on an individual basis, but companywide.
I was fascinated enough by the presentation that I purchased the book to learn more. Indeed, the organization for which I work has held it up to its employees as a source of wisdom. As an organization, we, too, have now developed our own vital behaviors. From what I am witnessing, there are some positive changes going on--and that's no small trick for a large corporation.
So why not take this down to the individual? I read with great interest, initially amused by the admonishment to "stop seeking serenity" unless we are willing to stop growing. The new age advice is forever urging us to settle, and while serenity is nice, it can also become a trap, holding us in place rather than moving toward positive growth and change.
As Maxfield pointed out in his presentation, human nature resists change. We tend to take the route most worn in, the easiest, the tried if not quite true. Even when we know a certain behavior isn't getting us anyplace good, may even be hurting us, we still resist change. Consider the addict who is destroying his or her life with bad behavior, yet will continue that behavior even when all that matters is lost--family, friends, health, wealth, home, self-respect. Even on pain of death, we won't change. Why? What's missing?
Influencer is a study of what breaks through our natural resistance to change. It is based on examination of success. What are the differences between those who succeed in life and those who fail? Those who change in order to move in a better direction, and those who stagnate in their bad behaviors for a life of failure? To improve a situation, what must people do? Find your vital behaviors, the authors advise. Study the behavior, not the outcome.
The starting point is to see oneself as an influencer. If you don't believe in your ability to change, you won't. If you don't want to change, you won't. The authors debunk the idea of therapy as being helpful in changing especially addictive behaviors if the focus is on examining childhood experiences or any kind of dallying in the past. Rather, we should expand the self-image to include the ability to influence--ourselves and others--and learn the vital behaviors that cause positive change. (It is also important to consider the company we keep. Hang out with losers, and you'll be one. Hang out with the best, and you'll be challenged to improve yourself.)
With various examples, the authors illustrate how their suggestions play out in real life. Rather than being someone who only worries about keeping his own corner of the world clean, an influencer must abide by two rules--be accountable and hold everyone else accountable. The person who looks the other way whenever he or she sees a colleague at work shirk responsibility is as guilty of bringing the company down as is the colleague. To be an effective team is as much about doing good work as ensuring that others do good work, too. What's the saying? The chain is as only as good as its weakest link? You get the idea. If a "crucial conversation" is then needed, so be it (see previous works by these authors).
Success is not about avoiding mistakes or risks. Quite the opposite. But it doesn't mean being reckless, either. The authors encourage an intense study of success in one's area of interest. What works? Not in terms of outcomes, but in terms of the behaviors leading to success. To learn how to overcome an addiction, study recovery behaviors and emulate them. Everyone makes mistakes; those who succeed make plenty, but they also continually remain aware and make constant corrections each and every time they slip off the path. Each mistake produces a correction of one's compass.
What doesn't work? With rare exception, punishment doesn't work. It may force a behavior change in the short run, but almost guarantee rebellion at first opportunity. The battering husband may have achieved a wife who never moves from his side in seeming devotion, but she will leave when the time is right, and by then, he will lose any respect or love she may have had for him. Similarly, the battering boss may force discipline in his office, but turn his back once, and everyone is off to the water cooler. Or the employment office.
Praise always works better than punishment. Allowing people to make their own mistakes is also crucial. Rather than micro-management, a good leader allows the team to misstep now and then, finding their own way, praising when they get back on track. More importantly, a good leader is a good role model. Adults are not so very different from children when it comes to how we learn. We watch and emulate our leaders more than we follow rules and regulations.
That is not to say we don't listen. If outright persuasion is rarely an effective form of influence, think of it as the hard sell versus the soft sell. Tell a great story, and the same lesson comes through dipped in honey. The reason media and entertainment are such effective influencers, the authors argue, is because they are venues for storytelling. Great storytelling can cause great change where all else fails because it produces a vicarious experience.
"Entertainment education helps people change how they view the world through the telling of vibrant and credible stories. Told well, these vicariously created events approximate the gold standard of change--real experiences... We can use words to persuade others to come around to our way of thinking by telling a story rather than firing off a lecture. Stories can create touching moments that help people view the world in new ways." (pg. 57)
The dark side of this tool for change, however, is that the wrong story can also cause negative change. The authors illustrate the concept of garbage in, garbage out, and so children who grow up watching violent television and video games are increasingly exhibiting behavior to match the stories on which they have been nurtured. Where your eyes are focused, so follow your thoughts, and where your thoughts go, so go your actions.
Once that valuable moment of inspiration happens, however, it will not stand alone to cause change. The next question that comes to mind is, "will it be worth it?" and then, "can I do it?"
Without hope for something better, no one strives to change. There's no point. To understand fully the goal of what one is trying to achieve, making the determination that it is indeed worth the struggle, paves the road to change. Hope and value--these are the mental maps one follows to reach for success.
Most people do have values, and yet so many bypass them when behaving badly. What happens to our moral codes when we chose the wrong path in life? There is a frequent disconnect between our behavior and our personal standards. People do wrong almost always knowing they are doing wrong. Yet they do it anyway. Worse, they despise anyone else who behaves in similar manner.
"Often humans react to their immediate environments as if they were on autopilot. They don't pause to consider how their immediate choices reflect their ideals, values, or moral codes... when we make horrific and costly mistakes, more often than not we're not choosing at all. It's the lack of thought, not the presence of thought, that enables our bad behavior." (pg. 95)
The solution here is to reconnect. Turn off the autopilot. Stop, think, be aware. Instead of acting on emotion or even instinct, stop long enough to consider if what you are about to do aligns with your moral code. If a moral action doesn't always seem to be a "natural" one, the authors remind us, consider that brushing our teeth everyday is not natural either. We do it because it aligns with our standards of health and hygiene. It is the right thing to do.
Common tactics of enabling our bad behavior, making it possible, are:
dehumanization or objectifying
Doing the wrong thing is virtually impossible without indulging in one or all of these tactics to disconnect ourselves from our own values. We must morally disengage before we can do wrong. Stop the disengagement and you will have stopped the wrong behavior.
"The only way out of the nasty practice of disconnecting ourselves from our moral grounding is to reconnect. This means that we must take our eyes off the demands of the moment and cast our view on the larger moral issues by reframing reality in moral terms... If we don't reconnect possible behavior to the larger moral issues, we'll continue to allow the emotional demands of the moment to drive our actions, and, in so doing, we'll make short-term, myopic choices.... Individuals who learn how to reconnect their distant but real values to their current behavior can overcome the most addictive of habits--cocaine, heroine, pornography, gambling, you name it." (pg. 98-99)
With abuse of all kinds escalating in modern society, it seems absolutely crucial to understand this simple truth--that, unless we are sociopaths without any conscience whatsoever, our minds and hearts force us to dehumanize before we can abuse. We must objectify before we can disrespect. We must erase a person in our minds before we can betray them. Reconnect the disconnect and the rest will follow.
So what are the common traits of those who succeed? The authors cite studies which observe the commonalities in those who do well in life. If one personality trait stands out above all others, it is this: the ability to delay gratification. The best in life is almost never the most easy to attain. Success is hard won. To not get lost along the way, or distracted by temptation, "succeeders" are those who know how to distract themselves from that which gives pleasure or ease in the short term. Delaying gratification, those who succeed at the highest level display all sorts of interesting tricks and quirks to keep their awareness on the goal at end rather than the easy win at hand. Children offered candy but told that if they waited a while longer might have the cake were observed to work at moving their gaze away from the candy, playing little games to get their minds off the candy, counting, singing, anything to distract their own attention. Inevitably, if the initial moment of temptation is won, it will quickly lose its luster. Those who gave in quickly, however, even when having to lie about their taking the candy, did not make any attempt at distraction. They kept their eyes on the sweet until they gave in and so lost the real prize. The ability to withstand temptation is a learned skill. Like any skill, practice makes perfect. The more you practice a discipline, the more natural it becomes to you.
Finally, the authors point out that it is not reward that motivates us to greatness. Doing the right thing--that is the reward. Human nature is more inclined toward goodness than one might think. Doing right makes our self esteem rise. Doing right causes our social standing to climb. Doing right earns us respect, our own and that of others. Doing good feels good.
All this wisdom offered, however, won't do a thing ... unless there is a real desire to change. All our actions come back to us. We decide. We are accountable. Change is always possible.
Good read This book is a managerial manual of sorts, a conversational account of a framework to promote change in your environment. The basic principles are illustrated in story mode, rather than presenting a dry, abstract system. I found it more enjoyable to read (and a lot less dogmatic) that I thought it would be. The ideas are not groundbreaking, but the stories that revolve around the application of the ideas really allow the reader dream up their own scenarios and how the concepts would apply in their own situations while they are reading. Some may not enjoy it, but this book is meant to be read as an account, and to let the ideas sink into long term memory over time, very much as the work suggests the same method in influencing behavior.
Breaking down the vital behaviors that need to be changed, and reinforcing them are presenting in various contexts....more info
Wow, such cynical reviews.... Wow, I was surprised to find such cynical views as I came here specifically to post a good review, a 4.5. First lets start with the complaints.
1. ITS NOT SPECIFIC HELP: They really don't concentrate on specific plans, they concentrate on general principles. YOU have to make a plan from there. But they give you six general principles and much more information.
2. ITS TOO ACADEMIC / NOT ACADEMIC ENOUGH: So which is it? They refer to academic studies but don't bore you with academia. They have pages of footnotes at the end.
3. WRITING STYLE WAS POOR: Yea, for 5 authors I thought it could have been better. It did seem a bit unfocused.
4. IT COULD HAVE BEEN WRITTEN IN A PAMPLET: Not. But it is so valuable I am in the process of preparing a cheat sheet of sorts.
5. IT'S JARGON-FILLED MUMBO JUMBO: I didn't find it so. I found about 20 different insights.
6. IT DIDN'T INFLUENCE ME!: Too bad you expect to be spoon fed.
7. IT ISN'T THE MAGIC PILL I NEED: Then follow the principles in the book into ACTION and stop expecting READING A BOOK to change your life!
In short, the negative reviewers expected a magic pill.
Here are some things I learned:
1. Negative reinforcement rarely works
2. "Willpower" can be taught, and they give examples of how
3. Change behavior first and values will follow
4. Changing just a few "vital behaviors" in a situation usually can make all the difference
5. Actual behaviors are more important to focus on than the goal. Goals usually leave people frustrated. People who focus on the behaviors are the people who reach the goals.
6. So the behaviors are what should be rewarded
7. Most change fails not because of lack of character, but because of lack of a means and skills, and people who consider failures as systemic flaws they can correct are those who move forward.
8. To change people's behaviors you have to change their "maps" of cause and effect--their expecations of the results
9. OK, you are on your own from here, those were just the ones off the top of my head. There are at least 10 more points of equal or greater significance.
10. Guinea Worms are really gross.
I am adding this book to my favorites. This is because if someone followed the principles in the book positive change would be inevitable. People who want to change the office or the home or the world should read it and develop a plan based on the principles.
And dudes, they give you worksheets on their website as a start, so stop griping that they don't tell you what to do.
PS--They are a business entity that wrote the book, so there is some marketing you will find towards the end. They are trying to sell you more...
The Power to Influence How many times have you found yourself in a seemingly unwinnable situation in the workplace or at home? We all find ourselves facing difficulties from time to time. And often these difficulties stem from human relations. This book, Influencer by Kerry Patterson -- Josheph Grenny -- David Maxfield -- Ron McMillan -- & Al Switzier will help you with just those types of situations.
As a teacher I find some of my most challenging, yet rewarding moments of my job come wrapped up in the fact I work with people. People are always unpredictable, always changing, and always intriguing. The challenge comes in the fact that it is not always easy to lead and influence people to help them become what you know they have full potential to be.
This book was quite useful to that end... Leading people and assisting them to reach their full potential. The authors of this book take the time to practically guide you in learning to influence others.
Near the beginning of this book the point is made that, "You are an influencer." Whether we like it or not, what we do and say is observed and acted upon by others. We have great power to influence the culture around us and the sphere in which we operate every single day.
What I liked best about this book is the common sense approach the authors take. Influencing others can be daunting to say the least. But this book takes the track that influence can be wrought by identifying just a few critical behaviors and helping those you work with to change those particular behaviors.
Too often when we are faced with a challenge we try to deal with the whole gamut of issues involved. Based on the research the author's of this book undertook, that can be an exhausting and defeating approach. When we really analyze a problem and boil it down to the most crucial elements we can work smarter not harder at solving it. When we isolate crucial behaviors and work to change those behaviors, then and only then will we influence those around us. And that is when we cause lasting change.
Another powerful point I found in this book was that people will not change unless they are given opportunity to safely try new behaviors. Modeling of and structured experiences with new behaviors are critical to creating lasting change. I see this in my elementary classroom all the time. Young students need opportunities to try what they are learning to do. And they must have scaffolded opportunities to work with them. Meaning, we those already competent with the skill must give the person we are influencing helping hand... a model... and a support while we are helping them try the new behavior. Without real-life experiences and supported practice the change we are trying to influence will stay in the world of generalities forever.
What's best about this book? The anecdotes and practical real life examples of influence in action will astound you. This isn't just a, "Ho-Hum" self-help book. It is a nuts and bolts approach to helping you make a real and lasting change in the places you live and work. You are an influencer!...more info
Insightful Stories Great stories of how individuals were able to positively change systemic behaviours in groups of people -- alcoholics, sex workers and other "hopeless" cases. These communication techniques and strategies should help business and IT execs improve performance with their intractable problems.
An important and good read to effectively help others without force or by power This is an excellent book that I almost passed on because of the bad reviews. If you want to learn how to change behaviors that seem intractable this book will give you powerful change tools. Influencers will help managers and leaders with organizational change, parents with their children's behaviors. This book isn't about quick fixes, self-help, or even the "persuasion techniques" that salesmen need to close a deal or managers need to get their orders followed. This book is about influencing behavior over the long view. This is an important book.
Let me address the critical reviews that almost "influenced" me to not buy this book. The principle complaints seem to be: the book is poorly written, there are 5 authors, the book mocks the `Serenity' prayer, and lastly it is not a self-help book. The reading level of this book is probably greater than the 8th grade level most books are written at. However the book is well organized, threads its various stories and points throughout and kept me involved to the end. The joint efforts of these authors has produced two other fine books (Crucial Conversations and Crucial Confrontations) so their writing skill and collaboration are proven.
Serenity has become apathy: the acceptance of things that we can change--a substitution for courage. This book calls readers to challenge the status quo and to lead change where possible. Lastly, this is NOT a self-help book. This is not a book for salespeople or others looking for persuasion techniques. If you want to learn about those things read Tipping point, anything by David J. Lieberman (such as "Get Anyone to Do Anything"). Read "Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion" by Robert B. Cialdini or "The Psychology of Persuasion" by Kevin Hogan. This is a book on how to help others.
"Influencers" creates an entire change model based on the fact that people choose their behaviors based on what they believe works and only change after answering two questions: can I do it and is it worth it? Those two dimensions of desiring change--motivation and ability--have personal, social, and structural elements, resulting in 6 strategies influencers can use to leverage change.
The book solves the paradox of having so much information but little change, for example dieting or smoking. We know what to do but we don't do it: we need people who are Influencers. Influencers know that behaviors are not changed through verbal persuasion but through personal experience. When experience can't be had Influencers need to create profound visceral experiences. Change "takes a combination of strategies aimed at a handful of vital behaviors to solve profound and persistent problems" (76). This book will teach you how to do this! If you are the kind of person that reads books like Rick Warren's "A Purpose Driven Life" or John Maxwell's "Becoming a Person of Influence" you will like this book. If you want to be effective in helping others without force or by power you should read this book.
Good book but need to change it up a bit..... Good book with a good system which takes you through the different steps required in influencing. The one negative is they seem to draw on the same examples over and over again. Sometimes it is hard to tell what the difference is between the various sections. It does get the message across that you can influence anyone to do anything. It also helps lead you into a direction so it is a pretty decent book.
I liked the last part of the book where they gave an example in corporate America where they went in and changed attitudes and behaviors. I would have liked another few examples like this throughout the book....more info
Why didn't I think of that? The Vital Smarts Team provides another great book on how to collaborate and work with others. Choosing vital behaviors and telling a story easily convey how to communicate with Gen A-Z. ...more info
Intuitive but not obvious--really useful information This book sets out clear and useful information that will ring true with most people. Using engaging examples and a fun, playful tone, the authors build on years of important psychological research to draw out concrete steps we can all take to effect change in our personal and professional lives. While most of the content will make sense on a gut level, the authors describe a comprehensive set of strategies that, when combined, greatly increase the chance of success....more info
New techniques for changing behavior This book is a joy, and, as the authors no doubt intended, an inspiration. Often, those who try to create change over the long term give up and become resigned to the way things are. Into this stable situation come five authors - Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan and Al Switzler - full of optimism, examples and, best of all, practical techniques you can use right away to create change. It would be easy to say the book is too optimistic, or that it claims too much is possible, but some of its examples show the success of sweeping, ambitious changes. Instead of clinging to a dour but "realistic" view of the world, they invite you to re-examine your influence strategies and analyze your environment for new clues, whether you are trying to change yourself or your employees. The social possibilities are exciting. We recommend this book to anyone who is trying to create social change, and especially people who are open-minded and at ease with new ideas. ...more info
"Influencer" doesn't Influence Pro's:
- Several good insights, but they are lodged in a deep thicket of brush
- Good supporting anecdotes
- Verbose, jargon filled, repetitive - reads text book like...grindingly difficult to finish and I couldn't - had to set it down.
- Same message could have been delivered in 25% of the pages
- Recommendations not presented with clarity and are not straightforward
- Not much new here. Books falls far short of living up to its pitch
Another Pointless Self-Help Book I'm not sure why I ordered this book other than that it was free. I am not the type of person who reads self-help or business books and the one or two times in my life that I was forced to do so I couldn't see the point of the book nor did I derive anything beneficial. I have been in sales most of my life and at various points have been known as one of the top salesmen in my field. I've often been asked to share what has made me successful so I have taught classes on selling. It seems to me to be an exercise in futility. I wish it was easy to simply tell some one how to be or what to do and that success will follow. It is my belief that human beings are infinitely more complex than what the business & self-help books portray and they do not change easily, if ever. I am sure that there are people who have benefitted from this class of book but I have never met one and I suspect they are rare. People are what they are and even if you get them excited for a short time they soon revert to their norm.
As far as this book goes it seems neither better nor worse than other books in its class. It relies on telling stories to show people how they might use different behaviours to achieve more influence. I don't think reading this book is going to enable anyone to make a profound change in their lives, just as the past twenty years worth of self-help and business books haven't seemed to make a bit of difference to anyone I know personally or within society in general. There is an old saying, "Those who can, do, those who can't, teach". That's why I don't teach anymore. It's depressing to try and teach something and see that the message sent just isn't ever received because of the fundamental difference in experience, motivation, outlook and thought processes between two different people. I would also offer this thought....the only way you'll change your life or influence others successfully is simply to go try doing it and get better. In other words, there is no magic words/spell/book that is going to change your world. There is only doing, practice, and gaining experience. Save your time and money, skip the book, and go practice influencing others. You'll fail a lot, but then you get better incrementally, and you'll have made progress. It's as unlikely that you'll make progress reading a book as it is unlikely that you'll learn to play the piano by reading a book. People make a lot of money by the lure of a shortcut to be found within the pages of their book but I don't know of any shortcuts to playing a piano or in learning to influence others. I sure didn't see any in this book....more info
The Power of Imitation The basic truth in this book is that we are most apt to be influenced by the modeling of behavior around us. I've needed to lose weight for some time and when a good friend who had been heavy for some years informed me one day that he had lost 40 pounds--I was immediately influenced to get off my can and change the behaviors that were causing me to be overweight. This book takes that truth and teaches the reader how to be an influencer--very practical and contains lessons that one can begin applying to their business and life right away....more info
I Wish I Had The Power I was looking for a book that would help me gain a little more control in the sales job that I do, to try and influence someone to book a suite rather than a generic hotel guest room, I thought this book would help. This book did not explain how to influence people, but simply discussed stories of people who were influencers. Knowing how they did it would have been a much better approach. It didn't help me any more than I already knew....more info
Read this book if you want to impact the world I was invited to a webcast featuring the new book by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxwell, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler, Influencer: The Power to Change Anything, McGraw Hill:New York (c) 2008. I left the room convinced I had to buy it and also give it to two managers as belated Christmas presents. I picked those two not because I thought they needed it most, but rather because I thought they would be most receptive. I have now read the book and can recommend it highly to all of you. You can breeze through it, but I recommend that you do as I did and take your time thinking about how their "out of box" solutions might apply in your life and work.
Those of you who have heard me speak about learning through "stories" will appreciate my surprise and delight to find 12 pages devoted to using stories. These pages were at the end of a chapter and started with the subheading "Use stories to help change minds." Many of their examples were short stories. I didn't appreciate how they kept promising "more about that later". But this is still a book to make you think about how you can influence the world.
Parents and teachers will be interested in the findings that the "use praise versus the use of punishment." is a behavior that separates top teachers from poor teachers (p. 33). They also found that "top performers rapidly alternate between teaching and questioning or otherwise testing."
Influencer A great "how to" book that should be required reading for anyone in management. We've used a couple of the strategies over the years, but not as effectively as a combined and orchestrated manner as we will in the future. This book exposes some of our strategic deficiencies that we are setting out to change. A great guide that could have saved us substantial time and money in the past, and will surely help us in the future. It's an easy & quick read - and great on CD as well....more info