Customer Reviews: Instant Influence: How to Get Anyone to Do Anything--Fast
Automotive Deals HPCC Amazon Fashion Learn more nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc Pink Floyd Fire TV Stick Subscribe & Save Handmade school supplies Shop-by-Room Amazon Cash Back Offer CafeSociety CafeSociety CafeSociety  Amazon Echo  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 All-New Kindle Oasis AutoRip in CDs & Vinyl Water Sports

Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on October 28, 2011
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. In my experience, these small "conversations" can bring about a lifetime of satisfaction if used ethically and with the greater good in mind. As with all influence literature, these techniques can be used for good or evil, and as I went through the book, I kept thinking about ways someone might be able to manipulate others with the material. It is possible, so beware: others might use these techniques on you without your awareness. Their simplicity gives them subtle power to slid under your mental radar. Read the book if only to prepare yourself against unwanted persuasion by friends, family, bosses, and others.

The six steps (questions) of the system:

1. Ask, "Why would you change?"
2. Ask, "On a scale from 1 to 10, how ready are you to change?"
3. Ask "Why didn't you choose a LOWER number?"
4. Ask, "When you picture the change already having occurred, what do you see?"
5. Ask, "Why is that important to you?"
6. Ask, "What is the next step, if any?"

I hesitated in sharing the 6 steps because I fear some readers might balk at such simple questions, saying there is no way such questions could produce change so quickly. In response, I would agree that they seem simplistic, and that is what gives them their power. I should also note that the approach, tone, body language of the influencer (the one asking the questions) matters immensely, too. Done correctly, this system can really work wonders in your life both personally and professionally. I highly recommend it.


Christopher Kokoski, author of Past Lives
22 comments| 31 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon May 20, 2011
"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.
0Comment| 24 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 31, 2011
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. When was an author of such a book so confident (that you wouldn't put the book back on the shelf without buying it) as to give you the answer in the INTRO? When, I put it to you, that author knew what I now aspire to know every day of the rest of my life - that true change comes from looking inward with the kindness and insight of a therapist and the clarity of a surgeon. He knew that if you were ready to discuss the remote possibility of examining the science and art of change for yourself and for your loved ones, that you would not put the book back on the shelf after reading the intro.

I am a better doctor for reading and using the principles that Dr. Pantalon has so adroitly put forth - I can see it it the eyes of the parents when I have used this method on their children. Being a better parent and a husband will take more time, but what matters is that I am excited to be better. If you feel there is a time now, or in the future, where you might be excited to be better or to help someone else be better, buy the book. Then read the
0Comment| 23 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 9, 2013
So far I've used this book to kickstart my job search and really do the tasks; help my mother-in-law articulate her real reasons for moving from her big house to an apartment (they aren't what we thought); and help a client organize his office. Now he's using the same technique to help his law clients discover their true motives for settling out of court, staying married, being civil to each other, etc. In my teaching days I could have used this to draw from students their own reasons why they wanted to learn, instead of telling them why they'd better--it would have saved me work and they'd have learned more.

Some reviewers question the repetition. I found it invaluable. Instant Influence may sound simple, but doing it effectively is NOT simple, at first. The author's true-life examples show you surprising venues where this works, and useful ways to customize it. The phrasing of the questions, the importance of WHY, the need to reflect back your client's words in positive ways--these aren't intuitive. You'll want practice.

And don't let the straightforward tone and cheesy cover fool you: we're talking profound human psychology here. Helping others help themselves change--which is what this lets you do--is bound to improve your character. If you crave recognition--if you're human--using this method will force you to suppress that ego so your "influencees" can hear their own motives to change. If you're in sales or consulting, the ego boost will come from your colleagues or boss--you don't have to be a saint. I suppose this method could be abused. (Do drug dealers read self-help books?) But so can water or air. Used in good faith, Instant Influence is a powerful tool for constructive change. Michael Pantalon deserves enormous credit for making his life's work so accessible to the rest of us.
0Comment| 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 1, 2012
I heard this Author on a 6 AM Sunday Public Service segment that the FCC requires on Broadcasters. Normally those Public Service Segments are sleepers and a total waste of time. HOWEVER, this was the exception and immediately was compelled to find and buy this book. I am currently re-reading it again. From the first read, I have learned more about myself and how I have screwed up opportunities to influence someone else that needed to change, but failed to be the one to be the catalyst. The common sense approach and the documentation the author provides throughout this book has had an enormous impact on me. My skepticism has dissolved. I am semi-retired and can plainly envision situations where the skills and insight I have acquired will produce more positive results. At least I hope so. If you are an "old dog" like me, you can learn new tricks and I am thankful that this author's path and mine have crossed. Whether or not this book will work for you is purely up to you.
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon March 16, 2012
Dr. Pantalon has written a very powerful and very useful book for anyone interested in influencing behavior. Pantalon prescribes a six-step process, which he created while working in an e.r. and he needed to get drunk drivers and others to change their behavior. The six steps are 1) Ask why might you change; 2) Ask how ready, on a scale of 1-10, are you to change; 3)Ask why you did not pick a lower number; 4) Ask the subject to imagine they've changed, what would the positive outcomes be; 5) ask why those outcomes are important; and 6) Ask what the next steps are. These questions all preserve the influencee's autonomy, which is the key to the method's success. Any form of judgment, coercion or sense that the person needs to adopt or accept the influencer's choices, agenda, etc. will backfire. The key is to get the influencee to on their own identify reasons to change that are important to them. The questions are sequenced in such a way that they help to uncover the perhaps unknown motivations step by step, sometimes revealing a profound personal reason for why the influence might change. Also, it is important to stick with "might" change rather than "must", "should" or "need' to because these words will trigger resistance and negate the influencee's autonomy. The system is also flexible and Dr. Pantalon provides lots of examples on how the influencer can respond flexibly when the subject answers in a variety of ways. For example, if an influencer says they are at "1" on a scale of readiness the influencer can ask what it would take to get to a "2" or can adjust the goal to something smaller. I used this approach with one of my lids to great effect and avoided the usual cajoling and threats.
0Comment| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 29, 2012
Instant Influence's straightforward approach to obtaining desired results in people through a simple motivational technique does clarify and explain its mission well. Pantalon starts by defining what Instant Influence is and how it can be used in virtually any situation. Honoring one's autonomy and focusing only on the positive reasons for why a person would want to change all while tacitly controlling the situation so as not to overwhelm someone are what this approach is about. Achieving your goal in seven minutes or less may be a bit of a stretch and although the author steps you through how to handle those situations that may take longer, the title of the book may trivialize serious life experiences and behaviors. Also, there seems to be some creative license takes with the term "scientifically proven" which is something of a catchall phrase these days, often lacking in real science.

The only real way to assess this process is to try it on your own. Although I have not yet put Instant Influence to the test, I am confident that even if this process falls short or does not work to the level put forth by Pantalon, there are nuggets of wisdom and useful information that anyone can take away and use to improve their lives. The psychological basis for human behavior and its understanding are indeed part of using this process effectively however; any reasonably motivated person could most likely figure out the hallmarks of Instant Influence on their own, without this book, and without an advanced educational degree.

The author's style is succinct and easy to decipher with clearly marked sections outlining the various steps to be taken. Pantalon does have a tendency toward repetiveness however its context is warranted as a way to reinforce these lessons. The book does read as sort of a training session although without the excitement such sessions build in to retain attention. Chapter 10 deals with what to do if this process fails which basically means that the person did not want to change in the first place. Chapter 10 entitled "Moving On" reinforces that this approach is not a magic bullet and that change is completely up to the influencee, not the influencer. Since this approach can be used by anyone in virtually any situation, the book would be appropriate for anyone who has ever tried to incite change in another person.

It is a quick and easy read and even if you do not plan to use the approach as it is dictated, there is again plenty of good information to take away, the least of which is are reminders of how we are wired as humans beings, what it takes to incite change, and how much we value our independence as free thinkers.
0Comment| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 19, 2013
This video will give you a few examples out of my life (1 in particular) where instant influence changed my life and my friends life all in one night. I tried for a year to get him to do something that was good for him and he just wouldn't do it but after using the steps in this book he changed the very next day. I was as shocked as you probably are :O GET THIS BOOK! It could change your life :)
11 comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 16, 2011
After examining this book, I have no doubt that the author will inspire some people to have more effective communication techniques. This book is NOT MI, even though it contains versions of that communication model. What it IS - is an excellent book designed to get someone STARTED down the road of behavior change.

At first, I was shocked to see so many references to Motivational Interviwing and it's techniques diluted down to 7 minute conversations. People are much more than "what they do" and it certainly takes longer than 7 minutes to get to the crux of a person's behavioral issue. It takes even longer to guide them toward a potentially successful outcome. I am not a licensed counselor and I am not in the "treatment" business. However, I am a change agent who is very familiar with Motivational Interviewing and use it daily in my line of work.

However, in many business models, we don't always have time for lengthy conversations. This book contains some excellent suggestions regarding how to make the most of conversations in the shortest period of time. Think of it as learning how to "plant a seed" for behavior change.
0Comment| 27 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 25, 2012
I am an Executive Coach. My entire career has been focused on helping people to actually do what they say they want to do.

This book has laid out an elegant and simple process to move from "No." to "Go!". I have used this process in the week since I've read it , 4 times. I had been concerned that it would come off as unnatural and manipulative. However, I took the author's advice and focused on the other person's WHY. It turns out that when you are focused on their reasons, they really don't notice that you are using a process to guide them. Cool.

I loved the explanation of resistance (shoulds) and how to reinforce autonomy. That opens the door for the other person to seriously onsider why they might want to make a change.. That is the Instant part, in my estimation.

I have little patience for whiners (even if it is me!). I think whiners are focused on HOW and don't have clarity on WHY.

My life's maxim has been, "Where there is a will, there is a way.". The Instant Influence Process strengthens the will.
Where else can you learn how to do that for the price of a book?

Buy this book. Read it. Try it. Reread it. Memorize the 6 questions.
You can help change someone's life for the better! It could be your life!

Warmest Regards, Ellen
0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.