The views expressed in this article are strictly those of Max Wideman.
The contents of the book under review are the copyright property of the author.
Published here August 2018

Introduction | Book Structure | What We Liked
Downside | Summary

What We Liked

This book is well written in a clear and understandable light and easy style. Of course, that's the way it should be considering that the foundation of influence is communication. Indeed, the author observes that: "To enhance your influence, you need to evaluate your communication based on facts, not feelings."[7] The key to the book is the following Influence Model diagram, Figure 1.

Figure 1: The Influence Model
Figure 1: The Influence Model

Author Stacey Hanke first sets out to demolish three myths of Influence:

  • Myth #1: I feel influential, therefore I am.    Reality: Influence is evidenced by results.
  • Myth #2: Influence is situational.    Reality: Influence is all the time, in every situation.
  • Myth #3: Title = Influence.    Reality: Anyone has the capacity to be influential if they are willing to do the work.

Each of these is described in some detail and then she goes on to focus specifically on Technology. As she says: "Technology has made it easier for us to communicate, yet much more difficult for us to influence others."[8] In short: "Business has stopped talking and started texting."[9] But do you have people's attention, because if you don't have people's attention, you cannot influence them.[10]

At this point we cannot help ourselves but to comment on the use of texting by the current President of the USA. The President early discovered that for getting his message out the use of texting is ideal for circumvent the otherwise need to rely on an antagonistic public media. Of course, the media is outraged by being bypassed and so the more he tweets the madder the media gets and responds in further outrage. This way he garners even more public attention. That is easy, cheap and effective for reaching large numbers of people. The only constraint is that with a limit of 140 characters, you must choose your words very carefully.

Meantime, our author Stacey goes on to provide her advice on reaching a state of Influence by working her way up the ladder of her Influence Model. To this end, she provides a brief explanation of each lower level as follows.[11]

"• Self-awareness. How we perceive ourselves is usually quite different from how others perceive us. When it comes to our communication, we don't know what we don't know. We are often unaware of what our listeners and readers actually hear, see and interpret. Self-awareness is the first step to influence because without it, we can't make improvements.

• Consistency. To be influential at the highest level, we must be consistent in two key areas. First, our message and our delivery must be in sync. Second, our communication must be consistent Monday to Monday®, meaning that we communicate with influence every day, in every interactions.

• Reputation. We can't have influence without a consistently honorable reputation. Reputation represents not only how we define ourselves, but also what others can expect from us. Our reputation precedes us, affecting our influence (either positively or negatively) before we utter or write a single word.

• Adaptability. A key element of influence is being able to adapt our message and communication style on the fly not meet our listeners' and readers' expectations, needs and objectives.

• Impact. When we connect with our listeners and readers on an emotional level, we give our message momentum. Momentum allows us to make an impact even when we are not physically present.

Each element, starting with self-awareness, builds on the ones before it. Leave one out, and it will be difficult to develop influence. When we embrace all elements of influence, we are no longer merely good communicators, we become influential leaders, able to inspire people to action long after the interaction is over."

By the way, Stacey offers some useful complimentary "Feedback" download material and check lists on her web site[12]

Book Structure  Book Structure

7. Ibid, p120
8. Ibid, p16
9. Ibid, p17
10. Ibid, p20
11. Ibid, pp55-56
12. Ibid, p120
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