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Wednesday, January 16, 2013


The Influence Matrix by Joan Wood - Book review

The Influence Matrix

Strategies for Engaging Others to Get Results

By: Joan Wood

Published: November 15, 2012
Format: Paperback, 138 pages
ISBN-10: 1604948418
ISBN-13: 978-1604948417
Publisher: Wheatmark

"As organizations have become flatter through mergers, acquisitions, restructuring, and downsizing, people are being asked to do more with less - and with less power. Everyone is expected to lead within his or her sphere of influence, regardless of job title", writes speaker, consultant, and founder of Leadership Edge, Joan Wood, in her strategy based and very hands on book The Influence Matrix: Strategies for Engaging Others to Get Results. The author describes how leaders at all levels must establish their own matrix of reality through their personal stories and beliefs, in order to engage or disengage with others and their matrix, to influence positive outcomes.

Joan Wood understands that the old command and control management model is no longer effective in today's rapidly changing and globalized business environment. With this complete transformation of the external world, the author presents the necessity of changing one's internal world as well. To cope with these rapid changes, people must look within themselves and discover their inner creativity and power, in order to influence others, Joan Wood offers the concept of shifting one's internal world to work more effectively with the changing and uncertain external world. The author shares the strategy of developing stories that define one's personal beliefs and what is truth and what is predictable to establish a personal matrix of reality to form a base for self awareness.

Joan Wood (photo left) recognizes that understanding one's own matrix of reality, when compared with that of another person, is the spot where complexity and ambiguity can arise. It's at this point where communication efforts can break down and influence is decreased as a result. The ability to understand these frictions and complexities, and move them to a productive level, is what Joan Wood refers to as influence. An individual, who has achieved personal self awareness, establishes engagement with others, and who conducts themselves professionally in every way, is well on the way to becoming a master influencer.

Joan Wood shares her proven strategies for achieving the skills that are essential to becoming and acting as a master influencer. The author provides the following ten strategies for achieving master influencer status:

* Know thyself and be accountable for how you influence others
* Say what you mean
* Be visionary and observe your thoughts
* Take strategic action
* Demonstrate authentic power
* Move through resistance
* Relinquish control
* Create alignment
* Connect spiritually
* Keep it simple

For me, the power of the book is how Joan Wood combines a complete strategic plan for developing a personal influence matrix, with the practical techniques and practices to put it into action. The author provides a very practical guide, that doubles as a workbook, to support the reader as they develop their own self awareness and influence matrix. Joan Wood offers useful work sheets in every chapter to help with the self assessment and learning process. One of the key elements of the book is the section of questions that accompanies the strategy, to help the reader establish their own personal stories and influence matrix.

The chapters include practice strategies that enhance the ability to influence through practical applications. They also increase clarity of vision to provide for clear and meaningful dialogues with others, regardless of their personal influence matrix. The exercises ensure that the influencer achieves a positive engagement with others that develops and strengthens the level of trust.

I highly recommend the very useful and idea packed book The Influence Matrix: Strategies for Engaging Others to Get Results by Joan Wood, to anyone seeking a fresh and readily applicable approach to engagement and influence. In the ever evolving business climate of today, these concepts provide clarity and predictability that are essential to becoming a master influencer.


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