Real Influence by Mark Goulston & John Ullmen - Book review

Real Influence

Persuade Without Pushing and Gain Without Giving In

By: Mark Goulston, MD, John Ullmen, Ph.D.

Published: January 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover, 272 pages
ISBN-10: 081442015X
ISBN-13: 978-0814420157
Publisher: AMACOM

"As executive coaches, we know that it's harder than ever to influence people because the old rules of persuasion no longer work", write organizational consultant, relationship counselor, hostage-negotiation trainer, and Chairman and Co-Founder of Heartfelt Leadership, Mark Goulston, MD; and speaker, executive coach, and faculty member at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, John Ullmen, Ph.D., in their engaging and practical technique filled book Real Influence: Persuade Without Pushing and Gain Without Giving In. The authors describe how books and business schools teach outdated manipulative persuasion techniques that create unsustainable disconnected influence, and offer the alternative or deep relationship building connected persuasion.

Mark Goulston (photo left) and John Ullmen recognize that the outmoded concept of disconnected influence did and continues to gain short term persuasion. While that tactic failed to develop or maintain any long term relationships, it did provide short term results, at the cost of a person's reputation. The authors present a complete shift in thinking and approach with the concept of connected influence.

Not only does connected influence create and enrich relationships, it also deepens those connections to form advocates for the persuader's cause. The premise of the book is that anyone can learn the skills and develop the personal mindset to positively influence anyone else.

John Ullmen (photo left) and Mark Goulston understand that persuasion is no longer a case of doing something to someone else to achieve your goals. The authors point out that persuasion in its true form goes far beyond what the persuader actually wants. Instead, the focus for effective persuasion must be on building relationships, giving to others first with no immediate requests for any return, and establishing mutually beneficial outcomes.

The authors share an engagement based concept of persuasion where empathy with others, and real and authentic communication form the basis for deep and lasting relationships. The methods outlined in the book can be utilized effectively by anyone to influence anyone else through a mutually beneficial win-win viewpoint. The authors outline their connective persuasion process in seven overall sections in the book. The sections are as follows:

* The problem: Why you are struggling to influence people
* Step one: Go for the great outcome
* Step two: Listen past your blind spot
* Step three: Engage them in their there
* Step 4: When you've done more
* Taking real influence to the next level
* Putting it all together

Foe me, the power of the book is how Mark Goulston and John Ullmen provide a comprehensive blueprint for establishing connected influence, and offer the practical skills and exercises to put the process into action. The authors go beyond the standard approach to influence where the purpose of persuasion is to get the other person to do something to advance only the agenda of the influencer. That influence model created what the authors call a disconnect between people, resulting in at best a short term relationship, and more likely long term damage to both parties and their reputations.

The authors turn the process upside down, creating the relationship first, from which the influence naturally follows. People do business with those who they know, like, trust, and have built a deep and lasting connection. The connected influence process takes that reality as its basis, while the disconnected system fails to understand or consider the human element involved in the relationship.

I highly recommend the pioneering and authentic approach based book Real Influence: Persuade Without Pushing and Gain Without Giving In by Mark Goulston and John Ullmen, to any business leaders, sales managers, non-profit organization executives, educators, public policy makers, speakers, and anyone interested in building relationships with others as the foundation for establishing influence and ideas. This book will transform your thinking and overall approach to influence and persuasion from one of manipulation to one of win-win collaboration.

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