Category Archives: Randy’s blog entries

Entries by Randy Mayeux

Passive Learning vs Active, fully engaged Learning – maybe a greater challenge than ever during the great Global Pandemic of 2020

Philip: “Do you understand what you are reading?”

The Ethiopian Eunuch:  “How can I, unless someone explains it to me?”
(from Acts 8)

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Let’s be honest.  We forget so, so much of what we take in.

Recently, my wife and I were watching a Midsomer Murders episode that we were both sure we had never seen.  About half-way through, we realized; yep, we’ve already seen this one.

I watch Columbo occasionally.  I pretty much have a handful of episodes memorized.  But others, I watch, and I think I saw them years ago, but, I’m not sure. I can’t remember.

I’ve downloaded sample pages of books I have already read, and start reading, and realize – I’ve already read this.  That is so embarrassing.

It takes work to be an engaged viewer, reader, learner.

I can pretty much quote about two TED Talks.  But I’ve seen dozens.  I can tell you practically nothing from many — ok; most — of the ones I’ve seen.

Now, if it’s a tv mystery, it does not matter that I have forgotten them.  After, all, I was first watching Columbo nearly 50 years ago.  That is a long, long time ago.

But, If I go to the trouble of reading a book, especially a nonfiction book that I want to learn from, I need to up my engagement game.  A smart man with great life observations, who also happens to be an actor, that I follow on twitter (@jamespmorrison), observed that there is a difference between reading and studying.  Reading is one thing.  Studying is quite another thing.

How do you read as a student; as a learner?  That’s the challenge.

There are a lot of book summary services and products out there.  I’m sure that all of them are good.  But, if you just watch, or just listen, or just skim – sometimes, to be honest, while “multitasking” – you really won’t remember much, retain much,…learn much.

To learn, you have to engage.  You have to debate, argue, discuss, with an open mind. You probably have to go through the material more than once.  You have to work at it.

I am biased here, but I think that this is the unique value of the book synopses I present. Though one can just listen, I provide deeper engagement options.  In the old days, long ago when we had live gatherings (three months ago was our last before the shutdown), I would give every participant a physical synopsis handout for each book I present.  People would follow along; I would call attention to item after item on page after page.  Those who “learned” how to actively participate would have their pens out, marking key passages in the handouts, writing in the margins.  I have been told by many that they go back over the handouts later, re-reading them, re-absorbing and re-pondering them.

In other words, they actually study the handouts.

{Note:  in this remote era, I provide the pdfs of the synopses handouts before the event, and people print out their own copies at home.  And, as I look at the small images through Zoom, I see plenty of folks following along, pens in hand, just like the good old days…  But, I think that such full attentiveness may be an even greater challenge in this remote era}.

I can assure you of this:  I cannot prepare a synopsis without studying the book carefully.  I highlight hundreds of passages.  I reduce those to a smaller number (almost nearly a hundred) for my handouts.  I work diligently to capture the best lessons, and then to arrive at my lessons and takeaways.  Every time I present a book, it is almost like I am reading it four times

1st – I read the book
2nd – I prepare the handout, re-reading every highlight I made
3rd – I read over my handout carefully before I present the synopsis, marking up my notes with many underlinings, circling of key phrases, notes in the margin to myself
4th – I present the synopsis, and as I do, I am reminding myself again of the key lessons and takeaways

So, of course, I get the most out of the synopses.  Teachers learn

(Teachers learn, and then teach as well as they can. Remember the old adage:  if you really want to learn something, teach it to someone else. Here’s one version: “If you want to learn something, read about it. If you want to understand something, write about it. If you want to master something, teach it.” — Yogi Bhajan).

And then, those who are engaged, present, and attentive, tell me they get a great deal out of the presentations.

So… the question for you is this:  Are you simply a “passive learner?”  Just receiving what comes your way.  Or, do you prepare yourself to put aside all distractions, and engage fully in every learning opportunity you decide to pursue?

An engaged, active, attentive learner actually learns more than one who is unengaged, passive; not fully present.

How are you doing?

So, what are you doing with your time during the Great Pandemic of 2020? – You could be reading these 17+ books

there is always the right book to read next

there is always the right book to read next

So, what are you doing with your time during the Great Pandemic of 2020?

A lot of people are still hard at work.  But, many are not.  And, many have had their work greatly reduced; cancelled contracts, lost customers; opportunities that vanished.

There have been plenty of people who have not been able to get much done.  They are…dispirited.  They are low in energy.  They do the bare minimum, if that. And some of the things they need to work on have fallen by the wayside.

So, back to the question:  what are you doing with your time during the Great Pandemic of 2020?  What are you working on, when you can find the energy to work?

One area you could work on is personal development.  This is a perfect time to learn, to grow, to think. To strategize.  Yes, I realize – we all realize – that it is so very hard to think about getting fully back at it effectively when the pandemic lifts.  For one thing, we have no idea when that will truly happen.

But, let’s say that it does lift.  Let’s say that there is life after the pandemic.  Let’s even say that life will resemble the old normal life once a vaccine is developed and distributed.

Think about how you will feel then; think about what you will wish you had done with these months then; after the pandemic lifts.

Here’s my thinking.  Take advantage of every learning opportunity, even if the learning is not all that applicable to the situtaion today.  If it does open back up fully, what will you need to know then?

Pretend that you had done a serious inventory of your skills and capabilities before the pandemic hit.  If you had, you might have found a weak spot, or three…

  • are you the leader you wish you could be?
  • do you understand: measuring progress; marketing; networking; sales; personal productivity: time management , energy management?

The list is long, isn’t it?  Look at yourself carefully. Where are your weaknesses?  What can you do to improve in those areas?

I have presented synopses of good books on pretty much every conceivable challenge facing you in your professional life and development.  Here’s just a partial list:

Getting Things Done on time management.
The Power of Full Engagement on energy management
The E-Myth Revisited on business basics
Measure What Matters on…well, measuring what matters.  And on OKRs
The Catalyst on persuasion
To Sell is Human on sales
Contagious on marketing.
Many, many books by Jocko Willink, Phil Jackson, John Wooden, and others, on Leadership.
Managing Transitions on…managing transitions
Switch on change
Digital Transformation on…digital transformation
The Rise of the Robots on the spread of, and threat of, automation
Lean In, on women in business (and a bunch of others)
Willful Blindness, on the ethical dark holes of too many
Range, and Outliers, and Peak, on personal development, and being a generalist, and the 10,000 hour rule
You Can Do Anything on the surprising power of a liberal arts education

And so many more…

Do you get the idea;  there is a good book on practically every conceivable “weakness” that you need to tackle.

I generated that list of books just from the top of my head; from my quick, retrievable memory.  If I went carefully thorough the list of hundreds of books we have presented at the First Friday Book Synopsis, I would come up with many more… They are all good, helpful books.

Yes indeed, one thing you could definitely do with your time during the Great Pandemic of 2020 is read books that would help you be ready for a new chapter of success when the pandemic lifts.

I encourage you to read like your future depends on it.  It just might, after all.

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Yes, I have presented synopses of all of these books, and many more.  My synopses are available for purchase.  Each synopsis comes with my comprehensive, multi-page synopses handout, plus the audio recording of my presentation.  Go to the buy synopses tab at the top of this page, and do a search by title  Click here for our newest additions.

Is the Upper Limit of your mind lower than it used to be? – Why you may not be Reading, or Understanding, Books – Insight from David Brooks

A personal note:  this could be significant.  Please read it carefully…

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Let’s just start with the excerpt from David Brooks.  It is important. Here it is: 

My worry is that, especially now that you’re out of college, you won’t put enough really excellent stuff into your brain. I’m talking about what you might call the “theory of maximum taste.” This theory is based on the idea that exposure to genius has the power to expand your consciousness. If you spend a lot of time with genius, your mind will end up bigger and broader than if you spend your time only with run-of-the-mill stuff.
The theory of maximum taste says that each person’s mind is defined by its upper limit—the best that it habitually consumes and is capable of consuming.
A few years ago, I was teaching students at a highly competitive college. Simultaneously, I was leading seminars for 30- and 40-somethings, many of whom had gone to that same college. I assigned the same essay to both groups, an essay on Tolstoy by the political philosopher Isaiah Berlin. The college students found it easy to read; it’s not that hard of an essay to grasp. The 30- and 40-somethings really struggled. Their reading-comprehension ability had declined in the decades since college, and so had their ability to play with ideas. The upper limit of their mind was lower than it used to be.
David Brooks, A Commencement Address Too Honest to Deliver in Person—The Atlantic, May 13, 2020

If you search out the statistics, you will discover that people kind of quit reading “serious” books after their college years.  Not all people.  But many people; too many.  Especially men.

Yes, I know the argument in favor of good novels.  But, I am mainly speaking about serious nonfiction books, and substantive essays here.  Books that take you on a learning journey; that teach you things that it would help you to know; or, maybe, even simply teaching you how to think about ideas.

I have long believed that there are book readers, and non-book readers. The comments from David Brooks maybe helps me understand the why behind this.

When you are in college, you pretty much have to read the assigned readings.  Books; essays; academic journals.  I know that I never read as much in as short a period of time as I did when I was doing graduate work at the University of Southern California.  It was a whole other level of reading.  Hundreds, thousands of pages assigned. I read, and read and read…

I remember when I first started my graduate program, it was a new field to me:  Communication: Rhetoric and Public Address.  I did not understand what I was reading.  One of my professors, a great professor, told me to just keep reading, and it would slowly begin to sink in.  He said it could take about six months, and then, I would understand as I read.  He was right.  I got acclimated to the vocabulary, to the ways of thinking.  I understood what I was reading.

I am lucky, in a sense.  I have found a way to make my living professionally by doing a fair amount of serious reading. I read books and present synopses of the books I read – somewhere around 40-50 book synopses a year. (I read more books than I present).  Business books, mainly.  But also books on social justice.  Some of the books are “popular.’’ Some are more academic.  But, my work requires me to take a deep dive into the books I present.

What David Brooks is saying is this:  use it, or you will lose it.  If you don’t keep reading, and discussing what you read, you will lose the ability to read with deep focus and understanding. And the result is that you will, in his phrase, drop down in the “theory of maximum taste” path: The upper limit of your mind will be lower than it used to be.

It’s a really alarming, and sad, insight, isn’t it?!

If he is right – and I think he is – then a whole bunch of folks need to get back to doing more serious reading.

When I present my synopses, I prepare multi-page, comprehensive synopsis handouts.  I make sure that every audience member has a copy, and I encourage them to follow along with pen in hand.  I read a significant portion of my handout aloud.  And the first section of the handout includes the best of my highlighted passages from the book.  I am, in a sense, helping my audience members read enough that it feels like something of a direct encounter with the book; with the author’s own words and ideas.

I add my own lessons and takeaways.  But, my audience members are active participants.  They are not simply watching slides, or passively listening; they are engaged with my synopsis of the text.  They are…learning.

So, what about you.  What are you doing to keep learning?  Would you be able to read a serious text, now, and discuss it intelligently?  Or is the upper limit of your mind lower than it used to be; lower than you want it to be?

Of course it would be better to read the book for yourself.  But, this is not nothing.  Maybe this could be a start to help one get back on the higher portions of “the theory of maximum taste” path.

Maybe it’s time to get back at it!

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Try one of my synopses.  Each comes with my comprehensive handout, plus the audio recording of my presentation.  You can purchase them at the buy synopses tab at the top of this page. Click here for our newest additions.

Maybe we need distraction – with content

Call this a personal reflection.

I can barely handle another news broadcast.  It is just too…difficult… And, yes, I am aware that my difficulty in watching is nothing compared to the difficulty faced by those on the front lines. —  But, yes I will keep watching.

In the midst of the news, I am so appreciative of every time -consuming activity that gets my mind off of the difficulties.

My wife and I have a watched so many different kinds of programs.  Some we’ve liked; some we’ve sort of liked.  Some we’ve abandoned, pretty quickly.

I so welcome any program that takes my mind elsewhere. Because, whenever a program is over, we are back to the unwelcome reality.

Now, to work thoughts:  my impression is that people seek content on-line.  Content that takes their mind off of the difficulites; content that can linger in their minds, give them thoughts about being and staying productive, and moving forward, in whatever ways they can.

Finding such content is.not.easy.

I think that maybe my book synopses, delivered remotely, give a touch of such content to some.  I know that when I present the synopses, my mind is off of the difficulties.  And I am happy about that; grateful for that.

And, lately, I’ve been giving more and more of these to different audiences.  Maybe others are finding them especially useful during these difficult times.

So, if you are looking for “escape, with content,” mark your calendar for June 5, and join us for our next Remote First Friday Book Synopsis.  Two good books — distraction; with content.  What could be better, and more needed, at this moment?

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Click here for details about the June 5 session: The Hard Thing about Hard Things, and; Think Like a Rocket Scientist – Coming for the June 5 First Friday Book Synopsis (on Zoom).

(I will post, on this blog, the link for downloading handouts, and the Zoom log-in link, a day of two before the June 5 event).

 

What are you doing for the next 13 weeks? – You could learn the key content of these books…

Book Titles copy

I can also provide “live/Remote” sessions for your team

My suggestion – try a book synopsis a week during the duration
Click on the buy synopses tab at the top, or
Click here for our newest additions

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OK – it’s time to admit the truth about this present moment.  It is not going away by this afternoon.

We are stuck.  We may be stuck until there is a vaccine.  Maybe it will take more than one vaccine.

So, in the article The reason why your brain’s so foggy right now, according to a neurologist, we read this:

There’s also something to be said about starting something new in quarantine that you may not have gotten to otherwise. There’s a “fresh start energy” in the air right now. And as psychologist Laurie Santos, PhD, host of The Happiness Lab podcast and professor of Yale’s viral happiness course, recently said a Facebook live, “Wonderful research by Katie Milken and others shows that these new situations and these new moments of fresh starts allow us to form habits better.”

Now, you can be really ambitious:
Learn Japanese, or Spanish, or Arabic.
Take some math courses.
Learn to write computer code.
Learn to paint.

But here is a simple idea that could pay rich dividends. Something practical, and “easy.”

You can learn the key content of books that you have been intending to read.  
You can do this by listening to my synopses of some of the very best business books.

here is the cover sheet for the Lean In synopsis handout

here is the cover sheet for the Lean In synopsis handout

My synopses are just over 20 minutes.  You can listen to the audio, while following along with my comprehensive, multi-page handout.  Print out the handout, get your pen in hand, turn on the audio, and listen as you underline key thoughts and write notes to yourself in the margin.

Now:  why is Randy Mayeux qualified to present these synopses?  He has presented synopses of business books every month to a live audience in Dallas since April, 1998; 22+ years.  (The last two months have been live over Zoom).  One guy, reading and sharing.

Twenty minutes a week.  After ten weeks, you’ve learned the key content of ten books.

Is it better for you to fully read the books for yourself?  Of course.  But, you haven’t by now.  And this is more than enough to get your thoughts brewing. You will learn transferable principles, you will learn lessons to put to work, and you will become more literate.

This is the last page of the Steve Jobs handout, with my takeaways ("lessons") - click on image for full view

This is the last page of the Steve Jobs handout, with my takeaways (“lessons”) – click on image for full view

These are much more than book reviews.  These are quick, deeper dives into the key content of these books than you might imagine.

Here are thirteen titles to get you stated (Three months worth; one book a week for thirteen weeks).  This is just a recommendation.  I have many other titles to choose from.  But this list includes four books on the current New York Times list of best-selling business books, one book that was the Financial Times Business Book of the Year, two selections that were my own choices for the business book of the year, and one book that is the most important book I have ever read (Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning).

All of these are available in the buy synopses tab above — go to the search-by-title feature:Rise of the Robots

Getting Things Done by David Allen.
Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg.
Drive by Daniel Pink.
The Rise of the Robots by Martin Ford.
Digital Transformation by Thomas Siebel.*
Radical Candor by Kim Scott.
Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin.
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl.
Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell.
Atomic Habits by James Clear.
Great by Choice by Jim Collins.
Range by David Epsein.
Dare to Lead by Brené Brown.

These thirteen would provide a pretty good thirteen week “crash course” on business books.  And, there are many, many more to choose from.

Each synopsis is $4.99.  Or, you can purchase a subscription, and get all synopses available

Give it a try.  If nothing else, it might help you be better prepared for when things return to some other kind of normal,


* Note the full title of Digital Transformation by Siebel — Digital Transformation: Survive and Thrive in an Era of Mass Extinction. Pretty graphic descriptive; maybe especially pertinent to this moment.

(Note: in the first many years, Randy was joined by his colleague Karl Krayer; each of them presenting one book a month.  Due to health difficulties, Karl had to drop out of the collaboration a few years ago.  So, some of the synopses from earlier years available on the web site were presented by Karl).

The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone’s Mind by Jonah Berger – Here are my seven lessons and takeaways

The Catalyst, BergerOne definition of persuasion:
Changing someone’s mind, attitude, or behavior.

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Have you ever changed your mind?
Have you ever shifted your thinking?  A little?  Or a whole lot?
Have you ever been persuaded to buy a product or service?  Maybe a product or service you did not even know that you needed?

From the earliest days of any thoughts about communication, we have been interested in how to persuade others.  One wording for the definition of rhetoric, from the classical genius Aristotle, was “rhetoric is the art of finding the available means of persuasion.”  And, he recommended three primary means of persuasion:

  • logos – the logical appeal – your message makes sense; is logical
  • pathos – the emotional appeal – your appeal stirs the emotions of your audience, pointing in the direction of your message. And, you demonstrate emotion in the delivery of your message.
  • ethos – the ethical appeal – you come across as credible; you know your stuff; you are trustworthy; and you come across as trustworthy. You do not seek to mislead.

Though we do not know the source of this, there is also a fourth appeal (some near-contemporary of Aristotle), a fourth means of persuasion:

  • mythos – the narrative appeal. Your use of stories, you inclusion of the audience into the ongoing story, can be a very persuasive tool.

And, this is critical:  no one of the four is likely to get the job done.   A combination of the four is likely what is needed.

All of this is ancient wisdom.  And yet people do not change their minds very often.  And a whole lot of experts, with their very best efforts, do not succeed at persuading others as often as they would like.

Here is one reason;  I am fully convinced that persuasion is not something that I do to you or you do to me; persuasion is something that I do to myself; and you do to yourself.

In other words, all persuasion is self-persuasion.

That idea – that all persuasion is really self-persuasion – is an idea worth keeping top of mind.  And if it is true, how does one persuade others.  Maybe we don’t.  Maybe we simply act as a good catalyst for that other person, to help them persuade himself/herself.

This role of catalyst to help others persuade themselves is pretty much the much the heart of the excellent book by Jonah Berhger:  The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone’s Mind.  I presented my synopsis of this book for the May First Friday Book Synopsis (delivered on ZoomYou can watch my presentation by clicking here).

As with practically all for the books I present, I fully recommend this book.  If you are in sales; if you are seeking to gain agreement with team memebrs, of a client, or…anybody..this book would be worth a careful reading.

The book is filled with good, truly illustrative stories; to many to mention in this post.  But here are some of the elements of my synopsis (I included these in pretty much all of my presentations):

  • What is the point?
  • Use all the strategies you can, but understand this:  all persuasion is self-persuasion.  Your job is to be the catalyst to help enable self-change.
  • Why is this book worth our time?

#1 – This book explains why persuasion is so very difficult.
#2 – This book explains why so many messages attempted messages of persuasion have practically no chance of working.
#3 – This book provides some strategies that make persuasion possible; while demonstrating that all persuasion is self-persuasion.

• Some Quotes and Excerpts from the book – the “best of” Randy’s highlighted Passages:
• Everyone has something they want to change.  But change is hard.
• People have a need for freedom and autonomy.  …Consequently, people are loath to give up agency.
• Before people will change, they have to be willing to listen. They have to trust the person they’re communicating with. And until that happens, no amount of persuasion is going to work.
• Change is hard, because people tend to overvalue what they have.
Everyone is worried about the risk of doing something new. …they tend to spend less time thinking about something equally important: The risks of doing nothing.
• When the status quo is terrible, it’s easy to get people to switch. They’re willing to change because inertia isn’t a viable option. But when things aren’t terrible, or are just okay but not great, it’s harder to get people to budge. …Terrible things get replaced, but mediocre things stick around.
• If we just share more evidence, list more reasons, or put together the right deck, people will switch. But just as often this blows up in our faces. Rather than shifting perspectives, people dig in their heels.
• Venture capitalists often refer to products and services as vitamins or painkillers. Nice-to-haves (e.g., vitamins) that can be put off until later, or need-to-haves (e.g., painkillers) that people can’t live without.
• Give people a choice between a certain, good thing and an uncertain but potentially better thing and see what they pick. You probably said you would pick the sure thing. … Why? Because people are risk averse. They like knowing what they are getting, and as long as what they are getting is positive, they prefer sure things to risky ones.
• New things almost always involve uncertainty, so if it’s not clear how much better something new will be, might as well play it safe and stick with the status quo.
• The one that explained the most variance in the studies he (Rogers) reviewed, was a concept he called “trialability.” Simply put, trialability is how easy it is to try something. The ease with which something can be tested or experimented with on a limited basis.
• The easier it is to try something, the more people will use it, and the faster it catches on.

Here are some of the key points I pulled from the book:

  • Get this — this is the whole ball game:
  • all persuasion is self-persuasion.To lower this barrier, catalysts encourage people to persuade themselves.
  • the “persuader” is simply a “catalyst” for self-persuasion
  • Pushing harder does not workWhether trying to change company culture or get the kids to eat their vegetables, the assumption is that pushing harder will do the trick.
  • The problems; the enemies of persuasion
  • the power of inertia – Just like moons and comets, people and organizations are guided by conservation of momentum. Inertia. They tend to do what they’ve always done. 
  • The Five Principles — Reactance, Endowment, Distance, Uncertainty, and Corroborating Evidence can be called the five horsemen of inertia. Five key roadblocks that hinder or inhibit change.
  • These five ways to be a catalyst can be organized into an acronym. Catalysts reduce Reactance, ease Endowment, shrink Distance, alleviate Uncertainty, and find Corroborating Evidence. Taken together, that forms an acronym, REDUCE. Which is exactly what great catalysts do. They REDUCE roadblocks. They change minds and incite action by reducing barriers to change. 
  • Principle 1 – Reactance — Restriction generates a psychological phenomenon called reactance. An unpleasant state that occurs when people feel their freedom is lost or threatened.
  • When pushed, people push back — people have an innate anti-persuasion system.
  • telling people not to do something has the opposite effect: it makes them more likely to do it.
  • To reduce reactance, catalysts allow for agency. Four key ways to do that are: (1) Provide a menu, (2) ask, don’t tell, (3) highlight a gap, and (4) start with understanding. 
  • Principle 2: Endowment
  • People are wedded to what they’re already doing. And unless what they’re doing is terrible, they don’t want to switch.
  • The status quo bias is everywhere.
  • So how do we ease endowment? Two key ways are to (1) surface the cost of inaction, and (2) burn the ships.
  • Principle 3: Distance
  • Another barrier is distance. If new information is within people’s zone of acceptance, they’re willing to listen. But if it is too far away, in the region of rejection, everything flips.
  • the zone of acceptance and the region of rejection — Different people not only have different positions on the field, their zones of acceptance and regions of rejection vary as well.
  • people have “confirmation bias” – they believe what confirms what they already believe…
  • How do catalysts avoid the region of rejection and encourage people to actually consider what they have to say? (1) find the movable middle, (2) ask for less, and (3) switch the field to find an unsticking point.
  • When trying to change those who are further away, we need to start by asking for less, – Start with a place of agreement and pivot from there to switch the field.
  • Principle 4: Uncertainty
  • reducing risk by letting people experience things for themselves.
  • the birth of Zappos (Shoesite.com), and the idea of uncertainty – consider free shipping; and free and easy returns…
  • the one that explained the most variance in the studies he reviewed, was a concept he called “trialability.” Simply put, trialability is how easy it is to try something. The ease with which something can be tested or experimented with on a limited basis. (Everett Rogers, Diffusion of Innovationsauthor)
  • The question, then, is how to reduce uncertainty by lowering the barrier to trial.
  • (1) harness freemium, (2) reduce up-front costs, (3) drive discovery, and (4) make it reversible.
  • Principle 5: Corroborating Evidence
  • Some things just need more proof. More evidence to overcome the translation problem and drive change.
  • The “translation problem” – and, who, in your mind, has credibility (Aristotle: ethos)
  • repeat ideas; pretty quickly — Trying to change the boss’s mind? After stopping by her office, catalysts encourage colleagues to make a similar suggestion right away. Concentration increases impact.
  • is it a pebble, or a boulder – The more expensive, time-consuming, risky, or controversial something is, the less likely it is to be a pebble and the more likely it is to be a boulder. 

And here are my lessons and takeaways:

#1 – I’m not sure I’m going to be able to actually learn – i.e., implement; put into practice – these lessons.
#2 – People do not like to change. Much of anything.  We have to recognize this reality.
#3 – Big asks/big changes are much more unlikely than small asks/small changes.
#4 – Make your “next step” request easy; convenient; tolerable. – “Free,” trialability, returnability/refundability/reversibility helps.
#5 — Get really good at asking questions; and then listen to the responses. – Learn to pause, in order to listen!
#6 – The most obvious lesson is this – persuading others requires a strategy to assume the catalyst role, in order to make self-persuasion possible, and more likely.
#7 – AND…you could be wrong about something.  Where, about what, do you need to persuade yourself to change?

We are all, pretty much always, in the persuasion business.  We start by persuading our ourselves.  Then our family members, and our colleagues, and customers, and…pretty much everybody.

So, have you become a good catalyst for persuasion.  It not, this book is worth studying carefully.

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My synopsis, with my comprehensive, multi-page handout, and the audio recording of my presentation ,will be available soon from the buy synopses tab at the top of this page.  Click here for our newest additions.