How to Get Anyone to Do Anything Fast
Author: Michael Pantalon
The sub title of this book almost put me off it, but I’m glad it didn’t because it is an excellent and very applicable book. The premise of influence is often debated and while this book sits in that questionable realm, it offers a perspective of influence that is not typical, and from learning and practicing it now, I agree this is much better approach to influence and useful every day. The main take is that influence is done most effectively by using questioning and discovery. I’ve always enjoyed using questions in coaching and finding influence but I’ve learned a lot of that through tough practice, not with a simple guided set of steps and actions, like are available in this book.
So, Pantalon outlines a series of steps in this book to have influence conversations. An all important element of the process of questioning and discovery is to ensure that autonomy remains with the person being influenced. That is key through the entire book and influence process. These steps are:
1. Why would you change something if you were willing to change?
Knowing why someone will do something is critical as it is meant to discover some internal motivator. Using probing questions here to dig into the real understanding of this one. A series of why questions can help you get to some meaningful and often emotional reason behind a change. That is important when influencing someone.
2. Rate your readiness to make that change from 1 to 10.
This helps drive the desire to change and can help to look at another perspective of what they might be scared of or worried about if they don’t change. It helps to reinforce the why they should change and gives them autonomy in knowing their own reasons and rating for readiness.
3. Ask why they didn’t pick a lower number?
Give back some autonomy, throw them off guard and ask why they wouldn’t use a lower number. If they are already at the lowest, a 1 out of 10, ask what it would take for it to be a 2? These questions help to understand the reasoning again and reinforce their own discovery of the reasons for a number or rating.
4. Visualize a positive outcome or benefit from that change if it were to happen
Again, the autonomy is reinforced with the addition of “if” it were to happen so you are strictly talking hypothetical. This keeps the conversation in a maybe without expectation to continue to discovery of the reasons why.
5. Ask why that outcome is important to them?
Probe a bit deeper to help understand and learn with them why something would matter to them. Here again, you can ask why several times when need to get to meaningful and personal reasons, instead of superficial ones.
6. Determine a next step, if any leading towards that change.
Here is the clincher and after all this hypothetical discussion, you can test if there is any motivation to change and at least take the first step, however small and if any at all. It provides that autonomy still yet is a way to make some action possible, even a small action, which is the power behind this process.
So overall the book uses this process multiple times with many scenarios, responses, situations and methods you will need in such conversations to stay on track with the process and to use it to its fullest. The examples are all useful to really learn the process and I think make it quite comfortable to use because of the wide variety of examples. I was able to use the process and continue to use it in conversations and it didn’t take any extra practice, preparation or concern after learning it from the book. Its a great teaching tool and if you are interested in influencing others, I highly recommend this book.
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