Stories are THE most important way of influencing others. This book helps you get your own story straight, and use it to persuade others round to your way of thinking, for maximum impact in modern business.
If you are running a project, leading a team or trying to win a contract, think about the people you need to influence. What if you could get behind their scepticism or defences? What if they could see the world from your vantage, and enjoy the view? What if they could see just what was possible?
This book has a simple aim: to help you influence people by firing their imaginations. Don't argue with them. Don't proposition them. Let a well chosen story or stories smuggle in what you need them to know.
You don't need special skills or a silky smooth voice. You just need to take a few practical steps and soon the unlikeliest of people will be eating out of your hand. Inside you'll discover:
Iain Carruthers graduated from Wadham College, Oxford. He holds a Masters in Organisational Consulting from Ashridge. He is founder of The Encounter Business (www.encounterbusiness.com), a change agency specializing in making brands useful to business. Until 2003, Iain was a Director at Interbrand, having previously worked as a consultant and marketer in the UK and USA. He is a frequent conference speaker and business commentator, appearing on Radio 4 and CNN. He shares a home in London with three women, although two of them are under six.
What happens next?
Act 1 Your difference
In this first section, we concentrate on the importance of story structure as a way of understanding your life and purpose. We look at three protaganists form major US films - Erin Brokovitvh, American Beauty and The Shawshank Redemption - to understand the basics of being a protaganist. You are interesting to yourself and of interest of others only when you are prepared to risk and make choices in pursuit of a value bigger than you. Act 1 delivers a succession of insights and tools to help you articulate your `active value'
Protagonists in action Erin Brokovitch Justice
Lester Burnham Freedom
Andy Dufresne Survival
How stories work
How stories make sense of life
The basic structure of a story - plot, event, choice, consequence, truth
The protagonist You and your storyLiving your story The core elements
What's thickening your plot? The story work out
Act 2 What happens next?
In Act 2 we look at the way you create change through the use of story as a means of influence. We review a number of stories that help create and sustain influence, `set piece' stories that can help you in particular situations. We close with a reminder of the difference you want to make, closing with a reprise of the stories of great protaganists, and the essentially human qualities that make them what they are.
Stories you need A collection of examples and stories that work
Work outs The interview The proposal
The pitch The appraisal The negotiation
And? Getting a response
Curtain Making a difference