Key skills can make you a more effective leader
360 Degrees of Influence
By Harrison Monarth
It's with a sense of trepid- ation that readers frequently approach books such as Harrison Monarth's, which pledges to "get everyone to follow your lead on the way to the top".
The reaction is understandable, because for every good book on subjects such as this -- influencing people -- there are volumes of nonsense that rely on pseudoscience and mumbo jumbo to pretend they are relaying real insight.
But at least Mr Monarth's book does much more than this. Yes, he promises to help readers develop their skills in terms of successfully influencing others, but he does so by following his own advice -- he's provided copious scientific evidence to back up his thesis and uses it to illustrate how it can be adopted and applied to becoming an influencer.
Ultimately, much of this comes down to a psychoanalytical understanding of why people behave and react the way they do. We are, after all, incredibly complex and odd creatures.
Our behaviour very frequently fails to follow any path that could conceivably be considered rational.
Mr Monarth attempts to help the reader understand just why people resist change, why we develop irrational excuses to excuse irrational behaviour, and how to bring people around to your way of thinking.
But he also points out that being an effective influencer is dependent -- however uncomfortable it might be -- in having a true understanding of how others view you.
"Having an unbiased view of how others perceive you is an absolute must in any quest for leadership," he says.
There is some well-trodden terrain in Mr Monarth's book too -- how and why people naturally resist change is hardly new, but there's plenty to keep readers occupied.
He advises that readers should learn key skills if they want to become effective leaders, such as honing speaking skills, understanding technology, having a basic knowledge of economics, and so on.
But understanding people, and what makes them tick, is also key.
"We need to know what people really care about on an individual basis," he argues, before they can be successfully influenced.
Mr Monarth's book -- as with any of these types of publications -- won't sit well with every reader. But the nuggets mined from scientific research and his own interviews with behavioural scientists are probably worth it in themselves.
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