Real Influence

Persuade Without Pushing and Gain Without Giving In

 Real Influence

Authors: Mark Goulston, Dr. John Ullmen
Pub Date: January 2013
Print Edition: $24.95
Print ISBN: 9780814420157
Page Count: 272
Format: Hardback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814420164

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Press Release


Persuade Without Pushing and Gain Without Giving In

It’s a common source of frustration for team leaders, project managers, sales professionals, volunteer coordinators, spouses, and parents. In our age of equal access to information and lack of hierarchies, all kinds of smart, caring, and creative people struggle with how to get others to see and do things their way. Everyone, from coworkers to prospective customers to teenagers, recognizes when they’re being bullied, wheedled, or manipulated. Even when such tactics win others’ compliance, the gain is usually fleeting and followed by resentment.

As executive coaches, Mark Goulston and John Ullmen have met people from diverse backgrounds and in a variety of fields who inspire others to embrace their ideas, support their goals, and champion their causes—without pushing or playing games. In REAL INFLUENCE: Persuade Without Pushing and Gain Without Giving In (AMACOM 2013), Goulston and Ullmen reveal what separates the wildly successful and greatly admired from all the frustrated smart, caring, and creative people who still view influence as something that you “do” to someone to get your own way. As the authors explain, becoming a “power influencer” takes a commitment to stop treating others like objects for self-serving gains and instead work to understand and inspire, collaborate and truly connect with them.

“It’s possible to influence without compromising your values, to reach people you thought were unreachable, to get results without trampling on others, and to achieve amazing outcomes,” Goulston and Ullmen write. In REAL INFLUENCE, they show how it’s done in real life.

Based on what works for influential people who keep their minds and hearts open to being influenced by others, REAL INFLUENCE presents a model for mastering connected influence, distilled into four steps. With success stories to guide them, readers will learn how to:

* Go for great outcomes. Inspire people by going “beyond the business case” and focusing on three fundamental “R”s: Results, Reputation, and Relationships.

* Listen. Listen past their own “blind spots” — so that one’s own point of view, sense of rightness, and good intentions don’t block opportunities to understand and connect. Go beyond listening over (avoidance), at (defensive), and to (problem-solving) others. Reach the peak of listening into (connective listening), feeling where others are coming from and understanding them in the fullest sense.

* Engage others. Move from your here to their there. Develop the ability to “get” others—through situational awareness (understand the challenges others are facing); personal awareness (understand other people’s strengths, weaknesses, needs, hopes, and fears); and solution awareness (identify a positive path for enabling others to make progress).

* Do more than others expect. Add value before, during, and after interactions. Continually over deliver to become unforgettable. Seek creative ways for other people to join great outcomes and want to do more too.

Along the way, readers will meet Giang Biscan, LA’s celebrated “Start-Up Angel”; David Canom, M.D., the cardiologist who Warren Bennis credits with saving his life five times; Marilyn Tam, former CEO of Aveda, who launched her career by saving Nike CEO Phil Knight from making a costly mistake; and many more models of connected influence. Filled with usable insights and concrete steps for change, REAL INFLUENCE leads the way to forging powerful connections with others for outstanding results that benefit everyone.


Mark Goulston, M.D., is a prominent psychiatrist, business advisor, and executive coach. He is the author of the bestselling Just Listen (AMACOM 2009) and subject of the PBS special “Just Listen with Dr. Goulston.” Featured in major media from Harvard Business Review to Oprah Radio, he also writes a Tribune syndicated career column and blogs for Fast Company, Huffington Post, and Psychology Today. John Ullmen, Ph.D., is an internationally acclaimed executive coach on influence. He is on faculty at the UCLA Anderson School of Management and oversees Both authors live in Los Angeles, California.

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