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Real Influence: Persuade Without Pushing and Gain Without Giving In (Your Coach in a Box) Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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"[Real Influence] offers a full course banquet of fresh ideas for the price of a modest dinner." --Inland Empire Business Journal--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
People won’t put up with being “sold” anymore. If they sense they are being pushed, their guard goes up—and even if they do comply, lingering resentment undermines the relationship...maybe forever.
Yet, most books on influence still portray it as something you “do to” someone else to get your way. That out-of-date approach invites resistance or cynicism from those who recognize the techniques. Manipulative tactics might occasionally wear down a colleague’s or client’s resistance, but they fail to produce the mutual trust that sustains successful relationships. In short, they just won’t work in our sophisticated, post-selling world.
In this groundbreaking book, authors Mark Goulston and John Ullmen reveal a new model for authentic influence—the kind that creates a strong initial connection and survives long after agreement has been reached. Based on listening, genuine engagement and commitment to win-win outcomes, Real Influence provides a powerful four-step method you can use to:
• Examine your priorities
• Learn about the key players and what they need
• Earn their attention and motivate them to hear more
• Add value with your questions and actions
Complete with examples of the steps in action and insights from real-world “power influencers,” this one-of-a-kind guide shows that being straight with everyone means winning for all.
www.getrealinfluence.com--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Throughout the book the authors talk about a "their there" mindset. "You're dangerous when you're blinded by your own point of view. When you practice disconnected influence, you're stuck in what we call your here... But to connect with the people you're trying to influence, you need to communicate from a perspective we call their there."
An important section of the book is about effective listening. "In the sort of listening we're talking about--we call it listen to learn--there is an energetic, determined humility. Listening to learn implies we don't know already. It implies there is work to do in order to connect with people on their own terms, with as little distortion as possible from our own biases. It involves not surrendering our judgment, but suspending it. When we master this type of listening, we draw others in and invite genuine buy-in... Listen not just for the words being said, but for how the words are said, and (very important) for what's not being said."
The authors write, "To influence, be influenceable... Being influenceable isn't about giving in... What being influenceable does mean is that you go into every conversation being willing to believe that you may be partially or totally wrong; that the other person may be partially or completely right; and that even if the other person isn't right, you will learn something valuable from your interaction... If you aren't seen as influenceable when different points of view arise, you lose credibility and connection."
When I was reading this book, an analogy came to mind. Disconnected influence is like the political talk shows where rivals shout their talking points, but the conversation never advances. In contrast, the connected influence model is about genuine listening, and working toward an agreeable, productive outcome.
When I first bought this book on CD I had high expectations. Having read numerous books on influence specifically and literally hundreds on leadership in general, I hoped for the best.
I was hooked early on when the authors spoke to what I already knew. Most resources on influence take a tactical or transactional approach to the topic with little regard to the lasting impact of these techniques. The challenge with this approach is that the transactional approach leads to resentment and mistrust over time. It comes back to the definition of insanity for me: doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. If your efforts to influence are transactional or as the authors state "disconnected" you will inevitably struggle to create lasting impact and sustainable change.
If you are someone studying leadership this book would be one of my recommendations as a starting point to understand what effective leadership is truly about. There are others I would recommend to compliment it of course as this book deals with the most challenging, difficult and crucial skill of leadership.
If you are just starting your leadership journey, read some of the great resources and include this book in your reading plan, apply its lessons and you will inevitably accelerate your leadership journey. (other recommendations: Warren Bennis On Becoming a Leader, Kevin Cashman Leadership from the Inside Out, Kouses and Posner The Leadership Challenge and Ron Heifitz Leadership Without Easy Answers)
If you are a seasoned manager who "thinks" they are a good leader, I dare you to read and apply the lessons of this book. If you do I have no doubt that you will realize a significant leap in your effectiveness.
If you are a casual reader looking for the next great book... You found it now how about executing the concepts and significantly improving your ability to influence others and create lasting meaningful change.