Get Anyone To Do Anything

From a book called "Instant Influence" I extracted the following six questions:

  1. Why might you change?  (for yourself why might I change?)

  2. How ready are you to change  – on a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 means "not ready at all" and 10 meands "totally ready."

  3. Why didn't you pick a lower number?  If one was picked, ask question 2 for a smaller change or ask "what would it take to for 1 to turn to 2.

  4. Imagine you've changed.  What would the positive outcome be?

  5. Why are those outcomes important to you?  

  6. What's the next step, if any?

The key is tapping into the person's readiness.  Also they come up with the ideas, not you.  This leads to action.

I remember when I first learned about readiness and learning people only do what they are ready to do.  I then decided on my next proposal to take that into account.  I had no idea how to proceed.  

Clearly the questions above point out the other person must indicate their readiness.

Another time I had a great idea for a client for a strategic planning process and completely misread their readiness.  

Tuning in to the other person's readiness is a great skill and one that we need continually work on.  

Adler. a famous psychologist, said he could detect the client issue on the first visit and it could take many sesssions for the client to discover the issue.   What patience!  If only, I could shut up and listen. 

The whole key to the steps above is listening, listening and listening.


  1. Graham Reply

    Have you seen the movie INCEPTION? It is all about planting. An idea for change into someone’s head while they are dreaming. It is very difficult to do.

  2. Jim Hayward Reply

    I think with practice these questions can be done very informally and with great sensitivity.
    The clue is to listen to the responses with curiosity as opposed to having your own agenda. You will be surprised what you learn about the other’s perspective on things.

  3. Stephen Hayward Reply

    Really good perspective on our lives as well as on how we can create breakthrough with our clients.
    A core component of Rapid Results is being able to align to objectives, value and shared vision. Often formally or informally we are having this very discussion.

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