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Instant Influence: How to Get Anyone to Do Anything--Fast Hardcover – May 9, 2011

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (May 9, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316083348
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316083348
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #258,559 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"If you are a business leader, a coach, a teacher, or a parent, you influence others every day. How do you move forward when you run into resistance? Wouldn't it be great if you could help someone come up with his or her own reasons to change? Michael Pantalon's amazingly simple six-question technique can be quickly applied by anyone to positively motivate the behavior of others. Instant Influence is a fabulous concept and a fabulous book."—Ken Blanchard, coauthor of The One Minute Manager® and Lead with LUV

"INSTANT INFLUENCE will equip you with an array of simple, yet powerful, techniques to persuade others and move them to action. And as you learn, you'll gain fresh insights into the human condition itself. This is the rare book that is both practical and profound."—Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive and A Whole New Mind

"This book is fantastic. I keep a close eye on new business books; this one stands out for its sheer usefulness. Pantalon presents exactly one concept here -- but it's a concept that will alter your view of communication and will seriously improve your ability to get things done."—Doug Stone, coauthor of Difficult Conversations

"As someone who writes motivational books, I have to say that Instant Influence is one of the clearest, most user-friendly guides for helping people change that I've come across. Whether you're a parent, spouse, manager, mental health or medical professional - anyone who wants to help someone move from point A to point B - you'll find Instant Influence to be invaluable. The book is based on science but filled with practical, real-life examples for how to implement easy strategies for influencing others in a way that will benefit them and you. Instant Influence can even be used to bring about change in yourself - I'm putting it to work!"—Anne M. Fletcher, MS, RD, is author of Sober for Good, the Thin for Life books, and Weight Loss Confidential

"Many have said that when people know why, they accept the what. Pantalon offers six simple but elegant questions to help individuals influence others by exploring why. Based on rigorous theory and research, the books offers pragmatic ways to lead people to self-influence. Anyone who needs to influence others will be astounded by the impact of these simple ideas."—Dave Ulrich, professor, Ross School of Business, and coauthor of The Why of Work

"When Michael Pantalon first asked me to read his manuscript, I agreed, with the comment that if the book delivered half of what the title promised, it would be totally worth my time. It delivers much more, firing away on all cylinders to deliver an amazingly empowering technique for your personal and professional life. Just open yourself to the possibilities. There is no praise too high for this book!"—Michael Donaldson, Esq., author of Fearless Negotiating and Negotiating for Dummies

"Based on the idea that you are the only person who can really convince you to change -- Instant Influence is a mind-bending foray into the motivation behind real behavioral change."—Marshall Goldsmith, New York Times bestselling author of MOJO and What Got You Here Won't Get You There

"Why might you want to get this book? How ready are you to learn the skills to have maximum influence on your loved ones, co-workers, and community in creating powerful, healthy relationships? What might your life look like then? Is it time to read Instant Influence? Absolutely!"—Thomas Crum, author The Magic of Conflict

"This is an impressive and important work filled with enlightening ideas and approach that can influence behavior. Although grounded in theory and braced by research, Dr. Pantalon's book gives the reader practical and useful information that can enrich his or her life."—Herb Cohen, author of You Can Negotiate Anything and Negotiate This!

"The days of professional managers who tell people what to do and expect them to do it are long gone. Success in business today is dependent upon influential leadership that gains commitment and engagement from others by tapping into their motivation. The Instant Influence technique provides a simple, common sense approach to do just that."—James P. Campbell, Fortune 500 Corporate Executive

"By Writing Instant Influence, Dr. Michael Pantalon has done all of us a great service. He will change lives for the better with his insightful and easily applied methods. It is a read that I will recommend to my children and grand children."—Jim Camp, author of Start With No and founder of J. Camp University

"As a lifelong student of how people change mindsets and behavior, I am thrilled to have Michael Pantalon's book at my side. He has made simple the complex business of fostering autonomy and self-motivation in others, tapping into our shared and deeply rooted drive to march to our own drummers."—Margaret Moore, CEO, Wellcoaches Corporation; Co-Director, Institute of Coaching, at McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School

About the Author

Michael V. Pantalon, Ph.D. is a motivational coach, consultant, therapist, and award-winning faculty member at Yale University School of Medicine. He has published numerous articles in publications such as the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association, among others, and has presented his work at national and international conferences. Dr. Pantalon lives in Hamden, Connecticut, with his wife, Marianne, and their sons.

More About the Author

Like you, motivation and addiction expert Dr. Michael Pantalon has heard of various motivational strategies over the years, especially ones meant to motivates teams and people with addictions. But what really works? Are bonuses and holding people accountable the best ways to go or is motivation all about clear expectations and good communication? Charisma? Ultimatums? Dramatic story-telling? Shorter work days? A killer smile? And how about when it comes to addictions? Do "Interventions" work? Do you confront unmotivated people head-on or delicately? Maybe the key to motivation is positive thinking? A "Just-Do-It" mentality? How do you motivate yourself? Is being motivational meant only for the chosen few at the top and those who can understand complex psychological theories?

Is motivation really this complicated? Absolutely NOT!

With over two decades of experience as a psychologist, motivation and addiction expert, researcher, leadership and health coach, consultant, trainer, speaker, and author of the business best-seller, "Instant Influence" (2011), Mike's view is radically different. Motivating people is not that hard and anyone can be a master motivator. As a coach and addiction therapist, he helps his clients appreciate that the most profound way to motivate yourself and others is to realize the following 3 simple yet deep truths: 1) No one absolutely has to change - we are all free to decide for ourselves, 2) Everyone (including you) already has enough motivation, and 3) Unlocking your inner motivation is not a lengthy and mysterious process. In fact, it can be done with a 7-minute method developed by Mike and based on over 3 decades of science. It has to do with asking 6 simple questions about WHY we want to change versus HOW we plan to do so. It's as simple as that and it will make you an effective motivator and influential leader.

Mike's promise is "Change made easy."

He is known for boiling-down very complex behavior change theories into simple techniques that anyone can use. This is the "translator" part of Mike, which is rooted in his childhood, during which he spent a lot of time literally translating for his immigrant parents. He has a reputation for being able to motivate some of the toughest, most resistant patients and clients, from the inner city of the Bronx, New York to the board rooms of corporate America. In fact, his first, though unwitting, foray into coaching involved convincing a hospital CFO to permit him to finish a study on his motivational method. She wanted to shut the study down because the method was working so well to keep patients out of the hospital that it was making the hospital lose money! Additionally, the doctors Mike has trained at Yale frequently say that whenever residents can't motivate a patient, they ask if they've "Pantalon-ed him."

Mike has worked with executives from Fortune 100 companies, as well as, small business owners and health professionals. This includes leaders and teams from GE, IBM, Nielsen, Bayer, Bristol-Myers, Squibb, Schering-Plough Corp., Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals and a variety of healthcare organizations. He works with CEOs & other high-level leaders to implement organizational change strategies (e.g., most recently coaching regional managers of the CT State Judicial Branch's Department of Probation through an overhaul of probation practices). He and his clients also address stress, health-risk behaviors, and addictions, as well as, promotion & work-life balance issues. Mike's coaching clients consistently say that he helped them find motivation where they thought there was none. Subsequently, not only did they crush their goals, but it was far easier than they anticipated and the motivation spread to other areas of their life. Because motivation works the same way for most change, it doesn't matter to Mike whether a leader wants to work on her health and wellness or on motivating high-potentials or on strategic business goals - they're all related to being the best leader you can be.

When he's not working in his private coaching and addiction practices, Mike conducts studies on the effectiveness of brief motivational interventions for ER patients using alcohol, opiates, tobacco and other substances. Mike loves to speak pro bono at nonprofits and healthcare organizations, and feels especially connected to the work he's done at homeless shelters. He keeps a watchful eye on nonprofits, as well, and is very impressed with the work of the Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services (IRIS) in New Haven, CT, which helps immigrants and refugees transition to the US. This cause is near and dear to him because of his own immigrant parents. He also greatly appreciates the good that the Connecticut Health Foundation is doing to improve health care access for disadvantaged communities and ethnic/racial minorities. Mike's personal passion is playing the guitar. He loves jazz music, especially jazz-funk. But be forewarned, if you start talking to him about jazz guitarists or guitarists in general, he won't stop until you make him.

Mike has been on the faculty at Yale School of Medicine since 1997. Currently, he is a Research Scientist in Department of Emergency Medicine, Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Lecturer at Yale University's Psychology Department. He is also a contributor to the Institute of Coaching at Harvard University and faculty member at Wellcoaches, Inc. Mike earned his B.A. in psychology from Binghamton University, his M.A. and Ph.D. in clinical & school psychology from Hofstra University and his M.S. in psychopharmacology from the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology. He received the Distinguished Faculty Award for Teaching from Yale School of Medicine's Department of Psychiatry in 2007. Mike lives in Hamden, Connecticut, with his wife, Marianne, and their sons, Matthew and Nicholas.

So, what's the bottom line? What Mike would most like for you to get from his coaching is the ability to use his straightforward process to unlock all the motivational power you will ever need to lead yourself and others because it's already inside of you. It is that simple.

Master your motivation - Get What You Want.

Customer Reviews

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Michael Pantalon's book "Instant Influence" outlines a 6-Step influence process that can be applied in a multitude of situations.
Susan Farwell
How you absorb the content, and how you apply to people. read the books 10 times, and u can get an excellent result. the point is , will u read it 10 times?
Michael provides such great information in this book that's not only easy to read, but also has practical applications that are easy to learn and implement.
Jeff W. Violette

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Kokoski on October 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I'm a bit surprised at some of the negative reviews for this book. Like others, I was a bit hesitant and suspicious of a book that claimed "instant influence." However, as a long-time persuasion practitioner, my personal experience with rapid change motivated me to approach the content with an open-mind. The 6-step system of questions seems a bit simple on the surface, but as you read (or as I did, listen to the audio version) you soon discover that each step is embedded in a firm foundation of research. In short, each step is strategically ordered to produce change fast.

Probably the biggest question of potential readers is, "Does the system actually work? Does it produce rapid change in people?" My answer is unequivocally yes. How do I know? Because I have used even parts of this system with great results. I was fascinated with how closely some of the content matched strategies that I was already using with success. These same techniques even worked with adults in recovery and prison reentry, so I'm sold that they can be effectively applied to nearly anyone, anywhere.

One of the things I loved about the book is that it broke down each "step" of the system, explained it, gave lots of practical examples, and emphasized autonomy (personal freedom and choice) over a "control, threat" approach. Although there are certainly other influence tactics that work just as well, or even better, this system is a simple, straightforward approach to changing minds, even your own!

It seems simple until you use it on others and yourself. Then, you get to witness first hand the power of helping others rearrange their thoughts and motivations to powerfully transform their actions.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Alla S. VINE VOICE on May 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover
"Instant Influence" by Michael Pantalon is divided into three parts: "Get anyone to do anything fast," "Expanding your influence," and "Making the most of your results." The topic itself is interesting enough to be fascinating, however I was initially concerned that the book itself might be compromised of textbook quality writing. Thankfully, the writing was actually pretty conversational and easy to understand.

The foundation of this book lies upon the fact that you can never preach someone your world views--you can only subtly influence them, while letting them keep their independence and make their own decisions. Pantalon notes that the key is figuring out why one might want to change (using his reasons, not yours) and then working with them. Pantalon refers to the process as "six steps to Instant Influence."

The second part of the book actually focuses on utilizing Pantalon's method in different situations. Chapters include "Influencing yourself," "Influencing people who want to change," "Influencing people who don't want to change," and "Influencing strangers." The last part of the book is focused on identifying change, making an action plan, and moving on.

Overall, I thought the book was pretty well written and based on an interesting idea. This is not based on a "get rich quick" scheme, that, unfortunately, many self-help books have taken to using. Instead, this book is based on working with personal psychology, and includes examples of different real-life situations (anything from the author using the technique on his father to get him to quit smoking, to getting a disgruntled customer to get his rewards from an airline company). I look forward to trying Pantalon's techniques.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Doctor Doug on May 31, 2011
Format: Hardcover
In becoming(and being) a health care provider, I've read tens of thousands of pages on how to improve the lives of my patients; Yet not until a decade or so ago did I start really paying attention to how I could improve my own life. Each time I read and try to internalize another version of how I can BE better, though, I am listening to another voice. Many times a very intelligent voice, some times even an inspired voice. But not my voice.

If you're taking the two minutes to read this review, you know that the recommendations in any such book can only transform a person if they want it to do so...And this can only happen if the person trying to change can find their own TRUE voice to do the work necessary for such a transformation.

"Instant Influence" taps into the elegantly logical conversation betweeen the motives and desires of one's self and of others as they pertain to positive, REAL change. Helping to change others for the better? Check. Helping your children to tap into their real wishes for their own success? ABSOLUTELY (I can't believe what an ineffective parent I've been to the children I so deeply love!)
And, helping yourself and your partner find their own inner motivation to change? A resounding YES.

My father said that change is "NOT EASY". I no longer ascribe to this. Inspired change is easy. It is the recognition of one's true motives for change while maintaining autonomy that can be the hard part - but Dr. Pantalon cuts through to the meat of this matter with confidence and skill, leaving the reader with a step-by step method and tons of great supporting evidence.

The "method", if you will, is simplified no later for the reader than in the introduction itself.
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