Extraordinary Influence Summary

BookSummaryClub Blog Extraordinary Influence Summary

Tim Irwin, in this book, has shed light on how you can be an effective leader that has a positive effect on your employees and those that look up to you. This book backs up its assumptions with scientific research and data.

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The lowdown

As a person in a position of authority, other people look up to you for leadership and direction, and your opinion matters to a lot to them. It can be the difference between them giving their best or withdrawing into their shell.

No doubt you prefer to see someone that compliments you and gives off good vibes instead of someone who makes a habit of criticizing your actions. It is no longer news that shouting and yelling is not the best method to motivate your children to reach their full potential.

But according to Barbara Fredrickson, a renowned social psychologist in her own right, even though this approach is proven to work in the short-term, it is not the best approach in the long run because they fail to develop close bonds with you or any figure of authority.

Extraordinary Influence: How Great Leaders Bring Out the Best in Others
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Extraordinary Influence: How Great Leaders Bring Out the Best in Others
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Dr. Tim Irwin (Author) – Walter Dixon (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 05/21/2018 (Publication Date) – Gildan Media (Publisher)

Reading this book, you’ll learn that –

  1. Affirmation is not synonymous with a compliment.
  2. Affirmation works best when it is appropriately directed.
  3. Positive leadership and affirmation make everything better.

Lesson One: Affirmation Is Not Synonymous with Compliment

Tim Irwin’s son was the captain of the football team in his school when they lost a crucial game. This was in spite of their best efforts.

The team was devasted with this loss, but when the coach of the opposing team told him that he felt honored to play against his side, it did enough to take away the sting of the defeat.

Who wouldn’t feel better, especially when you see that the compliment was not patronizing?

That is what an affirmation does.

The word “affirmation,” from where affirmation is derived means to strengthen or fortify.

Affirmation reduces stress and sharpens problem-solving skills.

Lesson Two: Affirmation Works Best When It Is Appropriately Directed

An affirmation feels deserved, as opposed to a passing compliment that does not go any further.

The differences between ordinary praise and affirmation are very subtle. Knowing about the person you are talking to certainly helps to make sure that your comments hit home.

I mean knowledge of their strength and the things they care about.

In an office, you will find four categories of people – the doer, the advocate, the idealist, and the challenger. The doer, being the willing worker will be better motivated when you praise him for a job well done. A challenger who is always looking to question the status quo and explore new ways would prefer to be commended for their outside the box thinking and the fresh perspective they bring to the team.

However, while you praise in public, reprimand should be kept private and constructive. Nobody likes to be criticized in public, and they never forget it in a hurry.

Lesson Three: Positive Leadership and Affirmation Makes Everything Better

When Eric Pillmore was named as a vice president at Tyco International in 2002, it was dark times.

The former CEO had embezzled over one hundred million dollars, and it was looking bleak for the company. Employees were worried about being associated with a dubious enterprise.

However, he started holding meetings with the company’s employees where they could learn about what was going on and voice their concerns. By helping them to feel that they mattered, he affirmed their importance to the company moving forward to them.

As of 2007, the same paper that rated them one and a half had them at a perfect score of ten for accountability. The proper leadership style made the difference.

My Personal Takeaway

Positive reinforcement, in my opinion, should be held in the same regard as the law of gravity or whatever else you think is an indisputable fact.

Reading this book opened my eyes to how you can achieve more by using the right words when passing compliments.

It also taught me that you don’t have to sugarcoat, look for their strengths and commend them for it.

I also saw that yelling and shouting is not the best approach to achieving a different result. More can actually be achieved by talking in hushed tones, ironically.

Did this summary excite you?

Book summaries are great, but I also really believe that you will not fully understand the book or the author without trying the real thing. Learn more about this subject by listening to the full book for free via Audible.

Put the book into Action

  1. Know your employees and subordinates.
  2. Praise in public.
  3. Reserve constructive feedbacks for behind closed doors.
  4. Learn to use the right words.

Anyone in a position of authority – parent, employer, manager, older sibling – stands to benefit from reading this book. Your opinion matters, so you have to learn to propagate the right message.

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Hey, I’m Erik… a Swedish university student, marketing professional, and life-long learner. Here at BookSummaryClub I summarize my favorite non-fiction books into easily digested posts. Hope you like what you’re reading!

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