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How to Get People to Do Stuff: Master the art and science of persuasion and motivation Paperback – March 11, 2013
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About the Author
Susan Weinschenk has a Ph.D. in Psychology, and over 30 years of experience as a behavioral scientist. She is a consultant to Fortune 1000 companies, start-ups, educational institutions, non-profits, and US government agencies. Susan is the founder of the Weinschenk Institute, LLC. She is a speaker and teacher, and has written several books, including How To Get People To Do Stuff, 100 Things Every Presenter Needs To Know About People, 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People, and Neuro Web Design: What makes them click? Susan writes two popular blogs: the Brain Wise blog at Psychology Today, and her own blog at her website: theteamw.com/blog.
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Top Customer Reviews
I am a believer that exceptional leaders are masters of human behavior. When I teach leadership to professionals my mantra is "human behavior is not logical but it is predictable." When we study and understand this predictability we are able to successfully navigate our way to the achievement of goals both individual and organizational regardless of our official authority level.
A lot of what is in Ms. Weinschenk's book is not new and I have read and recommended some of her references for years. However, the book is EXCEPTIONAL BECAUSE IT PULLS TOGETHER A LOT OF GREAT INFORMATION FROM A VARIETY OF SOURCES IN A READABLE, ACTIONABLE MANNER. This book will now be the first book I recommend to my leadership class participants when it comes to human behavior.
To quote Ms. Weinschenk "The more you understand psychology, the better you'll be able to sync what you want people to do with what they want to do. Ultimately it's not about manipulation- it's about understanding."
Below are just 10 excerpts from the book that ring true with me... these may seem simple or obvious but the book provides powerful context associated with the statements below.
1. "When people feel they are working with others as a team to reach a goal, they are more motivated to achieve the goal, even without any extrinsic reward, than if they are working alone."
2. "...our brains react in a special way to people we know. People are more likely to do stuff if they know the person asking them, regardless of whether they have differences of opinion with the person."
3. "Research in psychology over the last 15 years has revealed that people process information unconsciously and make very quick (a second or less) unconscious decisions about people."
4. "People will listen to the leader and be more likely to do what the leader suggests. If you want to be the leader, and you want people to do stuff, make sure you speak first."
5. "No idea in this book is more powerful than the idea of using stories to affect behavior."
6. "People often confuse negative reinforcement with punishment, but they are not all the same thing. Negative reinforcement is powerful in changing behavior, and punishment is not as effective."
7. "One way you can get people to do stuff is to invoke a fear of loss. Our instincts are so alert and averse to loss of any kind that we are unconsciously more motivated to take action based on the fear of loss than the anticipation of gain."
8. "To get people to do stuff, you need to offer a few (three or four at most) clear choices so they feel in control."
9. "A good teacher knows how to take a body of knowledge or skill set and break it down into smaller chunks. A good teacher is a master of mastery. Knowing how to chunk skills and information into the right-size bites for a particular individual is what a good teacher does."
10. "When you can get people to ask themselves a question beginning with "Will I...," you're more likely to get them to act on the statement."
Human behavior for leaders is worthy of lifelong study and this book is an excellent resource for that study.
Dr. James T. Brown, PMP PE CSP
Author - The Handbook of Program Management
I've tried to read some other psychology books. However, those tries were not usually successful and I gave up after reading a couple of chapters at the beginning. The reasons would be their subjects are too focused on ones that did not quite resonate with me.
This book is all about 7 drivers for motivation and written in a very clear and simple way; the author explained each one in depth and later, provided some cases to demonstrate how to apply those drivers in real life situations.
I specially appreciate the strategy sections provided at the end of the detailed explanations. The couple of sentences in this strategy sections well summarized what I just read and reinforced my memories of what I've just learned. Also, all the strategies are listed in over the ending pages that will work effectively for me to refresh my memories and will be used as knowledge reference for helping me locate a specific information. I'd like to highly commend this psychologically designed content structure.
In general, I really like reading this book, appreciate the practical knowledge I've gained from this book, and highly recommend this book to others who are interested in how people's minds work.
After reviewing each of the 7 tools and processes in depth, the book then completes with some practical examples of using the tools in common scenarios (e.g. applying for a job, making a sale, getting a worker to adopt a process, getting kids to practice music etc).
A truly outstanding valuable, practical and worthwhile guide.