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Influencer: The Power to Change Anything

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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.

288 pages, Hardcover

First published September 13, 2007

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About the author

Kerry Patterson

48 books316 followers
Kerry is a prolific writer who has coauthored numerous articles and award-winning training programs. Kerry taught at Brigham Young University’s Marriott School of Management and then cofounded Interact Performance Systems, where he worked for ten years as vice president of research and development. Kerry is coauthor of the New York Times bestsellers Change Anything, Crucial Conversations, Crucial Confrontations, and Influencer. Kerry has completed doctoral work at Stanford University. He is a recipient of the Mentor of the Year Award and the 2004 William G. Dyer Distinguished Alumni Award from Brigham Young University.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 677 reviews
Profile Image for Doc.
Author 4 books27 followers
May 4, 2009
The authors of Crucial Conversations and Crucial Confrontations do it again in their third book. Focused on the question "How do I influence people to change their behavior?" this book breaks it down into six categories of action.

Consistent with their earlier works, it is clear and articulate, provides many real-life examples, and draws upon the work and research of others, as well as their own work. The examples are particularly poignant, addressing such diverse topics as the eradication of a particularly painful parasite and the correction of problems in business.

The concepts presented are applicable to any situation - parenthood, leadership, teamwork, volunteering, politics, business - in which one group or individual has the need to influence others to change their behavior.

This is now one of the indispensable components of my personal and professional toolbox.
Profile Image for Avid Series Reader.
1,253 reviews1 follower
March 3, 2013
Influencer by Kerry Patterson was mentioned by upper management this year as a reference for an upcoming change to corporate culture. I was curious to read about it, and understand what to expect in the coming year.

I could not get much out of it, beyond one point: making a real and lasting change requires identifying and changing vital behavior. I carried it with me and forced myself to read it whenever waiting for appointments, for example, but I gave up somewhere between 50-100 dull pages. The authors repeat over and over how they saved a primitive African village from disease by teaching the residents to strain their drinking water. That is a commendable accomplishment, but hardly applies directly to corporate culture in a high-tech firm. They also crow about a case of auto workers who learned the Japanese assembly line is faster than the American one. I think anyone could predict that, due to the significant differences in national cultures.

I see in other reviews that other readers felt the first 50 pages were slow, too. Due to the repetition of the African water anecdote, I did not believe the authors had much real "meat" to convey, so I abandoned the book. I don't plan to retry.
Profile Image for Robert.
94 reviews9 followers
April 9, 2010
If you enjoyed Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point but found yourself wishing it were more applicable to your work, I bet you'll enjoy Influencer as much as I did. Now Patterson, et al., don't tell a story the way Gladwell does, so this book isn't as much fun as one of Gladwell's. But it more than makes up for it in applicability and usefulness ... and the book is filled with enough good anecdotes and humor to make it an enjoyable listen. I hated chapter 1, which was a hard sell of the book's worth for the business audience. But from chapter 2 on, I was enthralled. The authors draw heavily from scientific research to support the general principles they argue for, and they use astounding, real world case studies to illustrate those principles in action. The authors make a strong case that changing supposedly intractable human behavior is actually not impossible; however, it requires a lot of work and careful, diligent, simultaneous application of multiple strategies that are well supported by research. It's daunting, yet encouraging. It makes it clear why most of our own attempts at influence fail, and it lays out what it will take for them to succeed.
Profile Image for Toni Daugherty.
187 reviews3 followers
March 7, 2013
Every CEO, CFO, COO, parent, teacher, administrator and leader of any kind, should read this book. It has valueable practical information and it is very clearly stated, so you won't be saying, "Wait, what did he say about discipline and rewards beforehand?" Nearly every study in this book has been brought to my attention in another book which makes me think that I read too much in this area, or these studies are old and many authors are drawing conclusions from all the same results. This makes me think we need more studies, because if one of them is wrong, a lot of these books are obsolete.
Nonetheless, it has information to use in everyday situations and I've already enlightened my husband of them, for his work, in addition to using them on my children.

What I LOVE about this book, is that it suggest we don't need a great deal of money nor a bunch of political rhetorica for real, serious, long-term, big, change. What we need, are influencers and there are certain folks with those skills. Finding them is easy. Getting them on ur side? Well, you need to learn to be an influencer yourself. The solutions are usually simple and giant government or corporate programs are simply a waste of money.
Profile Image for Daniel Taylor.
Author 4 books81 followers
May 20, 2013
The five-author team who wrote Influencer believe that any problems – any at all – caused by human behaviour can be changed.

The first part of the book puts forth the idea that leadership is influence, and that those who influence are those who create rapid, profound and sustainable behaviour change.

To make changes in behaviour you need to have a clear target you’re working toward and you need to identify the vital behaviours that will create the needed change.

The second part of the book covers the six sources leaders must engage to achieve their goal. For lasting changing, leaders need to address all six areas.
The ideas the authors put forth work. You know they will for three reasons. First, their findings are grounded in science. Second, the illustrate their lessons with plenty of case studies – real world examples of people facing impossible problems. Third, their ideas are based in the universal principles (or laws) that govern human behaviour.

Because it is principles that are under discussion, they can be taken and applied to any situation, whereas practices are only useful in certain situations.
If you’re responsible for leading change, this book is invaluable – clear, well-researched and practical.
Profile Image for Kenny Tang.
46 reviews2 followers
August 7, 2011
Boring, lame, boring, and lame... The message it was trying to deliver was positive enough such as use emotional stories, social pressure, focus on specific behaviors, make incentives, and remove obstacles to help influence change. The stories sucked. The flow sucked. This book that emphasizes telling good stories sucked at telling stories!!! There was no use of humor or anything interesting or emotional while using the same stories as other best selling books but made them boring and confusing. HOW THE HELL DID YOU MAKE AWESOME STORIES SUCK??? It just became a monotonous unimaginative mess and the lousy flow made it difficult to extract any worthwhile lessons while confusing back and forth stories had a really incohesive thought pattern. It was like trying to follow a schizo. They also loved using retarded terms like "create vicarious experiences" instead of just saying "tell the whole story". WTF???!!!! What a bunch of jackasses that came up with that BS... AWFUL!! Just awful. Don't do it...
Profile Image for Jenn.
609 reviews
March 16, 2015
I struggled with the first 30 pages of this book as the authors laid some foundational ideas but weren't ready to jump in to the theory of how to become an Influencer. I honestly worried if I was smart enough to read this book, but I had no trouble understanding and relating to the principles once the authors started to break things down.

I took pages of notes and had several ideas for personal applications, but ultimately I felt like I always do at the end of every book I read to help me improve my life- overwhelmed by the number of ideas and amount of work, discouraged by my lack of knowledge and energy, and unsure about how to practice and really make the principles work in my life. According to the authors, it takes DELIBERATE PRACTICE- a concept I love, but simply struggle to achieve.

This is my third book in 2015 with amazing ideas that I'm not sure how to use well. Perhaps, somehow, that is where I need to start. :)
Profile Image for Kim.
295 reviews12 followers
February 21, 2010
Useful framework for thinking about effecting change, organized into 3 levels (personal, social, and structural), with two elements at each (motivation and ability).
I was particularly intrigued by the four processes/strategies that "allow individuals to act in ways that are clearly disconnected from their moral compass...: moral justification, dehumanization, minimizing, and displacing responsibility," as I think those are endemic in our institutionalized public school system.
The other point I found particularly noteworthy was "Interdependence calls for individuals to share ideas, provide materials, lend a hand, subordinate one's personal needs to the needs of the group, and otherwise willingly and ably collaborate." And that requires training and the development of skills.
A fun story was the origin of the order wheel at restaurants - I had no idea!
Profile Image for Manik Sukoco.
251 reviews30 followers
August 31, 2016
Influencer is a book not to be taken lightly. I wasn't sure what to expect when I opened this book, and I was surprised to find an in depth study of what causes people to truly change their behaviors. Inside the unassuming cover is a through, step by step process for changing behaviors. The text is peppered with real life examples of ordinary individuals who made differences on a large scale, from villages in Africa to banks in India.
The book begins by showing the reader how to find what behaviors to change, how to change them by selecting key "vital behaviors". From there it shows how to use vicarious experiences, moral appeals, stories about individuals, peer pressure, rewards, and more to influence behavior. True to the techniques it describes, this book itself makes all its methods for influencing seem easy and simple, providing plenty of examples. It also describes techniques which will not work, such as the all too popular oral persuasion, which is typically what passes for "motivation" in most modern situations.
As helpful as it is, this book isn't for everyone. While I found it engrossing, the book is written by a handful of academic authors, and therefore requires a certain intellectual capacity to understand. A few college courses in psychology and/or sociology would certainly be helpful, but not required. I personally was impressed by the level of supporting research in this book, while others might find it boring and tedious, wanting to cherry pick "the tricks" without actually understanding how it worked.
If you're serious about making a difference in the lives of those around you and ready to commit some thought to what you are reading, read Influencer. If you're just curious or want a quick way to get the guy next door to stop blowing his leaves in your yard, read "How to Win Friends and Influence People" instead.
Profile Image for Simon Cleveland, PhD, EdD.
Author 4 books93 followers
June 9, 2009
As part of a group that's implementing process changes in my current employer, I was excited about the opportunity to get my hands on this book. Having read it, I am slightly disappointed by its message (what can I say, I guess my expectations were different).

For one, I wanted to find some valuable business examples in it that I could apply to my situation. Don't get me wrong, on a conceptual basis the book provided me with a good framework to follow as I instigate change, but when it came down to the part where theory ties with practice I found the work dry and filled with inadequate examples (After all I couldn't compare the book's micro loan success story in India with my current US municipal government initiative).

I found some good answers to questions such as:
-What can I do to change certain behaviors? (The book talks about methods of changing people's behaviors)
-Who should I approach first in my organization in order to get better results with my change initiative? (The books talks about identifying Opinion Leaders vs. Innovators)
-What are the most promising ways of implementing change? (The book explains ways to Reward vs. Punish)
- How can social networks help me with the change initiative? (The book talks about how to integrate social networks and find ways to tie in social responsibility to change)

In the end, I consider this book beneficial only for its methodology. If I have to recommend a couple of other books that were more entertaining and educational for me, I'd suggest:

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Michael Gladwell


How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Profile Image for Sunny.
716 reviews33 followers
November 19, 2015
Has got to be one of the if not the best change book I have read in a lot time. Some of the examples of people and groups of individuals in the book (delancey street foundation especially) are incredible and very very inspiring. I’m working on a change project at the moment on Artificial Intelligence and have incorporated some of the thinking around opinion leaders into the book. Other interesting parts of the book talked about: vital behaviours, changing the way your mind works, making the undesirable desirable, surpassing your limits, harnessing peer pressure, finding strength in numbers, designing rewards and demanding accountability, changing the environment and becoming an influencer.
Profile Image for Margery.
51 reviews2 followers
March 10, 2012
I saw Patty gave this 5 stars, so I checked it out. So far it is helping me to motivate myself. Next, the world! Ha ha.
Profile Image for Bryan Tanner.
512 reviews209 followers
April 15, 2022
(Image source)

5 stars! This is easily my favorite book of 2013. I use the ideas in this book constantly. I read the book after having read Crucial Conversations and Crucial Confrontations by VitalSmarts. Those books helped me stay present/involved in emotionally-charged conversations (instead of fleeing or freezing). This book illuminated for me the hidden world of forces on my behaviors and attitudes. Until I was exposed to this 6-forces model, I thought I was just weak-willed when I acted against my own beliefs/values. And despite knowing the truth, I sometimes still clung to that false belief.

In 2014, Joseph Grenny presented a lecture on Influencer at the Provo City library that finally and fully changed my antiquated approach to self-mastery and influencing others. He used an analogy about a team of horses that I'll never forget. His main message had three parts:
1) People think there is only one factor that drives change, and that is personal motivation or desire (top left section of the matrix).
2) However, in reality, there are six horses/influences. Therefore, even if we direct our personal motivation horse in the direction we want, we may still have 5 of our horses tugging us in the opposite direction, actively working against the desired change.
3) If change is our goal, our task must be to get all the horses running in the right direction.

Now, whenever I notice a lack of desired change in myself or others, I draw a 2x3 matrix and outline all the influences on the change I'm trying to make. When I do it right, I change every time and I become an Influencer.
Profile Image for Jessi.
363 reviews1 follower
January 11, 2022
Ugh! My therapist REALLY, REALLY wanted me to read this book. I didn’t think it was worth the hype. I got a few good notes out of it but, all in all, it was kinda annoying.
For one thing, the use of the phrase, “we (the authors),” was used WAY too much. Every time I saw that cursed phrase, my eyes automatically rolled and I had a hell of a time attempting to suppress a hefty sigh. It came across as presumptuous and arrogant to me. “We (the authors) met with blah, blah, blah…” Shut up! Enough already! Just stop!
Another thing that annoyed me was that the book seemed to be written by two of the “we (the authors).” Some of the chapters used that phrase all the time and the other chapters didn’t use it at all. The chapters that used the phrase seemed to be told in more of a story sort of format whereas, the other chapters, presented the points/ideas of the chapter and then gave in depth explanations. I liked those chapters better.
Lastly, when it came to real world examples of what they were talking about, some of the examples were extremely vague to the point where I’m not sure if they even occurred. In one example, a U.S. company flew some of it’s underperforming employees to Japan so they could observe how their better performing competitors worked. The US employees believed that the Japanese competitors were putting on a show for their observation, so they decided to come back later for an unannounced observation in order to see if they really worked that hard. Yeah, okay.
Other examples were told in bits and pieces throughout the book. It would’ve been better to present each example’s story in one chapter and then another example in another chapter. I just didn’t like how the examples were broken up and told throughout the book.
I seriously doubt that I’m gonna read anymore books by “we (the authors).” Sorry y’all.
Profile Image for David Mullens.
42 reviews13 followers
March 23, 2015
The authors cover three keys to influence; Focus and measure, find vital behaviors, and engage the six sources of influence. The bulk of the book, however, focuses on the six sources of influence. They split three areas of influence, personal, social, and structural, into motivation and ability. You end up with six sources of influence; personal motivation, personal ability, social motivation, social ability, structural motivation, and structural ability.

All six sources operate in our organizations, families, and our lives. For example, someone may be motivated to do the right (or vital) behavior, but may not have the ability to perform the behavior. Or, the individual may have social pressure, or social motivation that works against the vital behavior. This is also true of the structure, such as the reward system, or how functional the space is.

For a personal example they used someone trying to lose weight. They may be motivated (personal), but their family (social) may be detrimental to their success by purchasing snacks and having them (structural) around the house for easy access. By discovering and structuring all six sources of influence, there is a much greater chance of success.

The authors use quite a few examples and illustrations to explain their concepts which is extremely helpful. The book was quite readable and I recommend it to whomever has the task of creating change in an organization, family, or even one's self.
Profile Image for Peter Krol.
Author 4 books46 followers
November 6, 2011
This was a fascinating book on how to change behaviors in a group of people. There were plenty of great ideas here, such as 1) make sure you identify the right behaviors to change, 2) identify current barriers to the desired behaviors, and 3) figure out how to make it both easy and worth it for people to do the right thing.

Although the book focused on "behaviors," it was very clear that the authors had much more in mind. They're not simply seeking to manipulate people into acting a certain way despite their own desires or values. Rather, it is clear that the objective is to change people's hearts and help set them up for a healthy life.

That said, as a Christian, I still found that many details needed to be sifted and evaluated in light of the Bible. Also, I found the stories to be a bit tedious. The book began with tremendously engaging stories. But it got pretty old when they came back to the same ones over and over again to make their points. I would have appreciated the book more if it was about half as long as it was. That's why I only gave it 3 stars.
Profile Image for Bjoern Rochel.
359 reviews66 followers
August 27, 2017
I've read the German translation of this book. I'm not sure whether I would recommend this book. There are surely some valuable insights in this book, though they don't seem to stand out as much as the could. Their decision to build the book around stories of successful influencers (probably with the idea of delegate experience in mind) and explain their different influence strategies intermingled with them is probably one of the reasons for that.

Having read 'How to change the world' from Jürgen Appello before that, a book that is only a third of the size of this one, 'Influencer' felt in comparison a lot less hands on, more meta and more repetitive to me.

Other change management models seem to be used, but aren't explicitly mentioned. For example, in one part of the book the negative impact of innovators is mentioned on change attempts, but Rogers 'Innovation Adoption Curve' is never mentioned.
Profile Image for Cassandra Kay Silva.
704 reviews277 followers
April 25, 2018
The anecdotes in this book can be found in multiple other works. I think Malcom Gladwell is a bettet author in this genre but the overall sentiment regarding influence is persuasive and helpful. Given that the anecdotes in this work are better described elsewhere, I think that the conclusions and wrap up of this work could have been accomplished in a much more precise anf shorter format.
Profile Image for Hetal.
728 reviews93 followers
July 15, 2020
I'm trying to be fair and rate this book on the material it taught, not how much I didn't want to read it. I'm also giving it high praise because it's the firs non-fiction book I've ever read (and finished) since i was about 15. It wasn't for school. It wasn't because I was forced to.

My manager gave me this book when I started out in the field of quality improvement. I now see so much of what she has taught me comes from this book which her own mentor gave to her first. I respect her greatly, so decided to give it a go for my own personally career growth.

Influencer teaches by example and the he strategies discussed seem like common sense, but implementing them is easier said than done. The most interesting examples in the book (to me at least) were the guinea worm eradication and the Delancy Street project.

One area I would definitely like to know more on is opinion/thought leaders. They seem to play a heavy role in getting people on board with the correct behaviors, but it still feels somewhat unclear how to correctly identify these respected people who provide such an influential impact.
Profile Image for Nir Altmark.
28 reviews5 followers
June 27, 2020
I have tried to read this book in the past 10 years and I have failed over and over again. Something in this book just not get me going, more over it slow me down.
I dont feel like this book share a lot of data but rather a 5-10 stories which are truly inspiring but I find them hard to practice in the management world. I feel that the purpose of the book is to let you know you can influence anyone and anything, and describe the methods and practices to apply but it is lack of more organizations stories. How to apply it for example on a well organized company and how to make your organization better.
I'm not sure why the authors decided to focus especially on those stories as there are million of other storied around the world.
For example, the book Sleeping with your smartphone is quite similar while I find it much better because the story is much easier to relate to.
Profile Image for Katherine Coble.
56 reviews
September 19, 2020
GREAT book that gave me a ton of ideas for change management in my own firm but also for clients who are attempting major corporate changes. So much of successful change boils down to connecting with people, understanding them, and speaking in their language to help them find motivation and ability. This books speaks to the six sources of influence, which include three motivations and three abilities. I highly recommend this book. It wasn't academic but it was based in data. It was well written and entertaining in its education!
Profile Image for Lukasz Nalepa.
130 reviews13 followers
July 4, 2022
The read was pleasant, and nicely illustrated with a couple of examples that were used all around the book. The book is well structured but I lacked a little bit, something more tangible, some actionable summaries, or something similar. In there there are some parts that one could call actionable, but it was too little for me. Overall, the read was good, though I did not find any "wow" effect.
Profile Image for Tariq Mahmood.
Author 2 books1,023 followers
May 24, 2021
The book is a game changer, it provides concrete and palpable steps to the hazy quest for behavioural change. The methods outlined in the book are empowering not only for individuals but also for the whole cultures.
Profile Image for Bart Breen.
209 reviews16 followers
May 23, 2012
Easy Reading Introduction to the Science of Influence

With so much popular literature in the Business and Personal Development fields, one would imagine that there is little need for yet another book that promotes itself on the "magic" of how to influence people.

What this book brings to the table, however, is less based upon the power of personality and trite formulas presented by someone with name recognition, and more based upon a growing field of knowledge in the Science of Organizational Leadership. Here is the science of correlative studies that seeks to analyze and demonstrate a tie between specific actions with predictable results.

While many technical journals and academic tomes exist to meet this need, the patience and expertise needed to sort through and glean the key information is not something that most people possess or are willing to exert the time and effort needed.

No matter. Here is a book, written in a reasonably conversational tone within the grasp of most laymen to begin the journey into this field and begin to benefit from the many studies out there that offer much in how exactly influence is exerted upon others in a manner that these studies would predict to have a strong probability of success.

Here you'll find the answers to questions such as what qualities have been present and identified as highly likely to produce similar results in most settings where they are applied. Answers such as what behaviors specifically will lead to change within a group? How can you overcome the natural resistence to change found in most groups and people and so capture their hearts and imaginations that change becomes inevitable and infectuous? How can you harnesspPeer pressure to work for your leadership and goals instead of against it?

What might have been a dry, dusty academic discourse of the major studies in this field, is transformed into an easy, reading series of stories that tell a story of the studies and the settings where the change took place. The people involved become real.

That said, the informed and careful reader will want to carry with them some cautions as they read.

In an effort to make the communication and techniques clear, the authors present this material, necessarily perhaps, in a much simpler manner than is the case with the original studies. Where in an academic, scientific setting there would be some caution in arguing too strongly for the inevitability of change in any setting, here, for the sake of impact and appeal, the presentation would very much lead the less discerning reader to believe that these are hard and fast principles that lift and apply everywhere. The truth is, that there are elements such as culture, group size, gender, age, etc. that can all come into play. Also, many of the studies rely heavily upon very complex correlation type statistical techniques that are easily skewed, misread or misinterpreted and which require further follow-up studies to clarify. Here, the focus is upon the orginal studies and their findings are more than presented; they are sold to the reader.

That understood, it is still a very effective book and well worth the read.

The only element that this reader found a little disappointing was the use of the 12 Step Serenity Prayer's first line, as a negative illustration of how most people approach change in their lives.

The entire Serenity Prayer, is:

God, Grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The Courage to change the things I can,
and the Wisdom to know the difference.

In this book, only the first line is quoted and it is used negatively to try and illustrate how many people are passive and accepting of so much and don't take the step and use the tools available to make a difference. While this is clearly true, it is a misrepresentation of the wisdom of the Serenity Prayer that is known and loved by many who recognize it's power not only to practice acceptance, but also to recognize the balance of Courage to change things where they can be.

Rather than promote this by emphasizing the latter part of the prayer, the reader is left with the impression that that element is not present and therefore the entire approach unhealthy. A few other elements of the book seem to pick up on this theme and this reader was left with the impression that another subtle agenda was at work on the part of one, some or all of the authors or the editor that really wasn't necessary.

Groups that utilize and include the Serenity Prayer in their programs to help change lives and destructive addictive patterns know that the success rates in groups that address all elements of a person are more successful than those that are practised solely in cold, clinical settings.

That said, this reviewer can still recommend the book to those seeking to expand their knowledge in this field. There is much here to learn from and build a foundation to learn more in this continually growing field of study.
Profile Image for Martti.
560 reviews
March 6, 2020
1) make sure you identify the right behaviors to change
2) identify current barriers to the desired behaviors, and
3) figure out how to make it both easy and worth it for people to do the right thing.

The first thing the authors do is question the Serenity Prayer's premise that we have to accept the things we cannot change. Instead, they say we need to learn how to change situations that are intolerable. They suggest we don't need a great deal of money nor a bunch of political rhetorica for real, serious, long-term, big, change. What we need, are influencers and there are certain folks with those skills.

Probably the most clear point I found in this book was about verbal persuasion. That it can't solve all the world's problems, especially when you're trying to convince someone to change their behavior. Book suggests to instead tell stories to help listeners to think with you, instead of thinking you're attacking their view > meaning you're attacking them. I'm thinking of all the times I've tried to be clever by summarizing the core of the movie/book/whatever to a person and there has been no effect, which always had puzzled me. But of course it makes sense to ignore the chewed-through product and wanting to actually experience the chewing by themselves.

Also the same recommendation goes with the frustration of trying to explain something critical and self-evident to you to somebody with totally different mindset. Like explaining/disputing vaccines or evolution or flat earth or gun control or scientific mindset to a avid fake news reader. This little book of calm gives hope that it's a learnable skill.

"Since our ineffectiveness at influencing others stems from a simple inability rather than a character flaw or lack of motivation, the solution lies in continued learning;. We can become powerful influencers. We don't have to wait for everyone else to miraculously change. We won't have to constantly seek serenity."

And now below a bit of a summary using Omar Halabieh's great review also here on Goodreads:

"CHANGING MINDS...People will attempt to change their behavior if (1) they believe it will be worth it, and (2) they can do what is required. Instill these two views, and individuals will at least try to enact a new behavior nr perhaps stop an old one. To change one or both of these views, most people rely on verbal persuasion. Talk is easy, and it works a great deal of the time. However, with persistent and resistant problems, talk has very likely failed in the past. and it's time to help individuals experience for themselves the and it's time to help individuals experience for themselves the benefits of the proposed behavior. It's time for a field trip. When it's impossible to create an actual experience, it's best to create a vicarious experience. For most of us, that means we'll make use of a well-told story. Stories provide every person, no matter how limited his or her resources, with an influence tool that is both immediately accessible and enormously powerful. Poignant narratives help is being spoken and into the experience itself Because they create vivid images and provide concrete detail, stories are more understandable than terse lectures. Because they focus on the simple reality of an actual event, stories are often more credible than simple statements of fact. Finally, as listeners dive into the narrative and suspend disbelief, stories create an empathic reaction that feels just as real as enacting the behavior themselves. Tell the whole story. Make sure that the narrative you're employing contains a clear link between the current behaviors and existing (or possibly future) negative results. Also make sure that the story includes positive replacement behaviors that yield new and better results. Remember, stories need to deal with both "Will it be worth it?" and "Can I do it?" When it comes to changing behavior, nothing else matters."

"With the new question, Miller discovered that the best way to help individuals reconnect their existing unhealthy behaviors to their long-term values was to stop trying to control their thoughts and behaviors. You must replace judgment with empathy, and lectures with questions. If you do so, you gain influence. The instant you stop trying to impose your agenda on others, you eliminate the fight for control. You sidestep irrelevant battles over whose view of the world is correct."

"INTRINSIC SATISFACTION: Helping people extract intrinsic satisfaction from the right behavior or feel displeasure with the wrong behavior often calls for several influence strategies. With individuals who believe that the required behaviors won't be pleasurable, simply immerse them in the activity...As you experiment with new actions, focus on the sense of accomplishment associated with the result. Revel in achieving for the sake of achieving. Tap into people's sense of pride and competition. And when it comes to long-term achievement. link into people's view of who they want to be...When dealing with activities that are rarely satisfying or unhealthy activities that are very satisfying, take the focus off the activity itself and reconnect the vital behavior to the person's sense of values. Don't be afraid to talk openly about the long-term values individuals are currently either supporting or violating...As people slip further into inappropriate behavior—even causing severe damage to themselves or others—help them reconnect their actions to their sense of morality by fighting moral disengagement. Don't let people minimize or justify their behavior by transforming humans into statistics. Finally, when facing highly resistant people. don't try to gain control over them by wowing them with logic and argument. Instead, talk with them about what they want. Allow them to discover on their own the links between their current behavior and what they really want."

"PERSONAL ABILITY: Demand more from yourself than the achievement levels you reach after minimal effort. Instead, set aside time to study and practice new and more vital behaviors. Devote attention to clear, specific, and repeatable actions. Ensure that the actions you're pursuing are both recognizable and replicable. Then seek outside help. Insist on immediate feedback against clear standards. Break tasks into discrete actions, set goals for each, practice within a low-risk environment, and buffed in recovery strategies. Finally, make sure that you apply the same deliberate practice tactics to physical, intellectual, and even complex social skills. Many of the vital behaviors required to solve profound and persistent problems demand advanced interpersonal problem-solving skills that can be mastered only through well-researched, deliberate practice. With instinctive demands and quick emotional reactions. don't let the "go" system take control from your "know" system unless you're facing a legitimate risk to life and limb. To regain emotional control over your genetically wired responses, take the focus off your instinctive objective by carefully attending to distraction activities. Where possible, completely avoid the battle to delay gratification by making the difficult easy, the averse pleasant, and the boring interesting. When strong emotions take over because you've drawn harsh, negative conclusions about others, reappraise the situation by asking yourself complex questions that force your frontal lobe to wrest control away from the amygdala."

"SOCIAL SUPPORT: People who are respected and connected can exert an enormous amount of influence over any change effort. Under stressful and ambiguous circumstances, the mere glance from what appears to be a respected official can be enough to propel people to act in ways that are hard to imagine. Learn how to identify and co-opt these important people. Ignore opinion leaders at your own peril. Sometimes change efforts call for changes in widely shared norms. Almost everyone in a community has to talk openly about a proposed change in behavior before it can be safely embraced by anyone. This calls for public discourse. Detractors will often suggest that it's inappropriate to hold such an open discourse, and they may even go so far as to suggest that the topic is undiscussable. Ignore those who seek silence instead of healthy dialogue. Make it safe to talk about high-stakes and controversial topics."

"SOCIAL ABILITY: In an interdependent, turbulent world, our biggest opponents—the mortal enemy of all families, companies, and communities—may well be our inability to work in concert. Since rarely does any one of us have all that's required to succeed with the complex tasks we face every day, we desperately need to build social capital...Savvy influencers know better than to turn their backs on social capital. They're quick to consider what help, authority. consent, or cooperation individuals may need when facing risky or daunting new behaviors. Then they develop an influence strategy that offers the social capital required to help make change inevitable."

"REWARDS: Administering rewards and punishments can be a tricky business. Consequently, when you look at the extrinsic motivators you're using to encourage or discourage behavior, take care to adhere to a few helpful principles. First, rely on personal and social motivators as your first line of attack. Let the value of the behavior itself, along with social motivators, carry the bulk of the motivational load. When you do choose to employ extrinsic rewards, make sure that they are immediately linked to vital behaviors. Take care to link rewards to the specific actions you want to see repeated. When choosing rewards, don't be afraid to draw on small, heartfelt tokens of appreciation. Remember, when it comes to extrinsic rewards, less is often more. Do your best to reward behaviors and not merely outcomes. Sometimes outcomes hide inappropriate behaviors. Finally, if you end up having to administer punishment, first take a shot across the bow. Let people know what's coming before you drop the hammer."

"CHANGE THE ENVIRONMENT: When it comes to developing a change strategy, we just don't think about things as our first line of influence. Given that things are far easier to change than people, and that these things can then have a permanent impact on how people behave, so add the power of the environment to our influence repertoire."
10 reviews
August 3, 2022
Interesting read with some insights on how to become more effective at influencing the change you'd like to see in your personal and business lives
Profile Image for Colby McKenzie Clifford.
186 reviews4 followers
April 18, 2021
MUCH better organizationally that Crucial Conversations.
Layout with annotations copied from Google doc:

PART 1 The New Science of Leading Change

Chapter 1: Leadership is Influence
*A Common Thread
Success relies on the capacity to systematically create rapid, profound, and sustainable changes in a handful of key behaviors. p.6
*A Dearth of Influence
Learning how to motivate and enable others to change their actions may be the most important skill you'll ever acquire. P.8
*Finding Influencers

B.Chapter 2: The Three Keys to Influence
*Find vital behaviors. Influencers focus on high-leverage behaviors that drive results. More specifically, they focus on the two or three vital actions that produce the greatest amount of change.
*Engage all six sources of influence. Influencers break from the pack by overdetermining change.
Key 1. Focus and Measure
Influencers are crystal clear about the results they are trying to achieve and are zealous about measuring it.
Unsuccessful agents of change make one of three early mistakes that undermine their influence:
..i. Fuzzy, uncompelling goals.
Research reveals that a clear, compelling, and challenging goal causes the blood to pump more rapidly, the brain to fire, and the muscles to engage. P.18
..ii. Infrequent or no measures.
...aa. If you want a measure to influence behavior, it must be refreshed frequently.
...bb. Measurement is an integral part of the change effort, and done correctly, informs and drives behavior
iii. Bad measures.
2. Key Two. Find Vital Behaviors
In order to create profound change, you don't have to change 50 behaviors. You usually have to change only a couple of them.
3. Key Three. Engage All Six Sources of Influence
Source 1: Personal Motivation (do they enjoy it?)
Source 2: Personal Ability (can they do it?)

Source 3: Social Motivation (what is the behavioral norm)
Source 4: Social Ability (do they have help? do others enable them?)

Source 5: Structural Motivation (incentives-do rewards/sanctions encourage?)
Source 6: Structural Ability (environments-does their environment enable them?)

C. Chapter 3: Find Vital Behaviors
Limit scope of influence by identifying only a couple vital behaviors. P.42
Stay Focused
Identify the behaviors that are most vital to the result he was trying to achieve. P.45
Find the Vital Behaviors
Search strategy 1. Notice the obvious.
i. Recognize behaviors that are obvious (or at least obvious to experts) but underused.
ii. In college, if you want to make it past that first tremulous year: attend class, complete assignments, and make friends!
Search strategy 2. Look for crucial moments.
Find times when behavior puts success at risk.
Search strategy 3. Learn from positive deviants.
i. Distinguish behaviors that set apart positive deviants-those who live in the same world but somehow produce better results.
ii. Ask teachers themselves to observe others are who gaining better results.
Search strategy 4. Spot culture busters.
i. Find behaviors that reverse stubborn cultural norms and taboos.
ii. One of the most potent behaviors for driving change in influencing people to speak up about a previously emotionally or politically risky issue. p.58
5. Test Your Results
After using strategies and determining Vital Behaviors, track both vital behaviors and the results you care about to see if an increase in behavior lead to an increase in the result. (Lag and Lead)
In education: The best teachers reward positive performance far more frequently than their counterparts. They also rapidly alternate between teaching and testing to make immediate corrections.

II. PART 2 Engage Six Sources

A. Chapter 4: Help Them Love What They Hate
(do they enjoy it? is it worth it?)
If you don't deal with personal motivation, your influence plan will fail.
Good behaviors feel bad while bad behaviors feel good.
Can you help others want to do something that they currently don't want to do? How to help others learn to love what they presently do not.
allow for choice
i. Replace judgment with empathy, and lectures with questions. If you do so, you gain influence.
ii. Motivational interviewing: When you ask thought-provoking questions and then listen while others talk, they discover on their own what they must do. Then, propelled by their own aspirations and beliefs, they make necessary changes.
create direct experiences
Humans tend to overvalue what they're losing while undervaluing what they gain.
tell meaningful stories
i. "Over the years I have become convinced that we learn best-and change-from hearing stories that strike a chord within us. Those in leadership positions who do not grasp or use the power of stories risk failure for their companies and for themselves." John Kotter
ii. Leaders operate on the confidence that people are not morally defective, but morally asleep. When called for, they create vicarious experiences through telling compelling stories.
make it a game
Almost any activity can be made engaging if it involves reasonably challenging goals and clear, frequent feedback.

B. Chapter 5: Help Them Do What They Can’t
(can they do it?)
They may need training to enhance personal ability.
Learners Mindset - learn how to learn
Specific, learnable techniques that keep attention off what would be merely short-term gratification and on their long-term goals of earning [the second marshmallow]. p.120
Enhance skills through deliberate practice. (Olympic hopefuls work harder than amateurs.)
Deliberate practice v. time in field. P.126
Break mastery into mini-goals: short-term, specific, easy, low-stakes goals.
Prepare for setbacks as guides: "I just discovered what doesn't work!"
What does it take to help people survive immediate temptation in order to achieve long-term benefits? Can you turn aversive wait time into something like a game?
5. Cognitive Reappraisal: asking brain to work out a question that requires more brain power than they amygdala can muster. This mental probe can help kick in the "know system" and restore normal thought.
distance yourself from thought by labeling (spending $ is bad).
Debate with yourself about it by introducing compelling thoughts or goals. (What I really want is to save $.)
Distract yourself (conjure up future thoughts of being more financially secure. Or delay. The go system can be outwaited. Within 15 minutes different choices become easier.

C. Chapter 6: Provide Encouragement
(what is the behavioral norm)
Where/who is the message coming from?
Ensure that people feel praised, emotionally supported, and otherwise encouraged by those around them. One variable more than any other affects how people behave: the presence of one more person.
To harness the immense power of social support, sometimes all you need to do is to find-or better yet, BE-the one respected individual who flies in the face of what everyone else has done or is doing-and model the new and healthier vital behavior. P.152
n order to encourage others to change, you have to generate clear, unambiguous evidence that they can believe you. P.157
The very advance of civilization relies on citizens letting go of old, inefficient ways and embracing new, efficient ones. p.164 But innovators cast suspision!
Create a new sense of normal...first TALK about new norms.
Old norms begin to fall when influencers bring the hidden costs of bad habits into the bright light of public discourse-for the first time. New norms take hold the instant people begin to defend them. When a critical mass of people practice 200 percent accountability, change is all but assured. p.182

D. Chapter 7: Provide Assistance
(do they have help? do others enable them?)
Social capital is the profound enabling power of an essential network of relationships.
Groups are remarkably more intelligent than the smartest people in them. P.194
Teach people how to hold high-stakes conversations about project problems. Talk to others in a way that creates genuine dialogue rather than resistance and recrimination. Turn the ME problem into a WE problem. P.201
Interdependence calls for individuals to share ideas, provide materials, lend a hand, subordinate one's personal needs to the needs of the group. Work in teams, think in teams, meet every single week and brainstorm in teams-synergy through forced interaction. P.203
Successful people not only refuse to see themselves as islands but they also carefully reduce their personal vulnerability by ensuring that they're valued members of hyperconnected networks. P.208
Turn more experienced [students] into coaches/helpers. Real-time feedback beats solo practice any day.

E. Chapter 8: Change Their Economy
(incentives-do rewards and sanctions encourage them?)
Formal reward system.
Reward behaviors that support valued processes.

F. Chapter 9: Change Their Space
(environments-does their environment enable them?)
Tools available/structure of environment.
They're focused and deliberate about the data they share. Understand the only reason for gathering or publishing any data is to reinforce vital behaviors.
Bring together under the same roof, frequently, or his plan would never work.
Most of us really don't turn to the power of propinquity or the data stream or any other physical factor as a means of supporting our influence efforts. p.285
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