Compelling People: The Hidden Qualities That Make Us Influential

Compelling People: The Hidden Qualities That Make Us Influential

by John Neffinger, Matthew Kohut


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Required reading at Harvard Business School and Columbia Business School.
Everyone wants to be more appealing and effective, but few believe we can manage the personal magnetism of a Bill Clinton or an Oprah Winfrey. John Neffinger and Matthew Kohut trace the path to influence through a balance of strength (the root of respect) and warmth (the root of affection). Each seems simple, but only a few of us figure out the tricky task of projecting both at once.
Drawing on cutting-edge social science research as well as their own work with Fortune 500 executives, members of Congress, TED speakers, and Nobel Prize winners, Neffinger and Kohut reveal how we size each other up—and how we can learn to  win the admiration, respect, and affection we desire.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780142181027
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/27/2014
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 471,062
Product dimensions: 7.80(w) x 5.20(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

John Neffinger and Matthew Kohut are partners in KNP Communications, a firm specializing in presentation coaching and communications strategy for corporate and political clients. They also lecture regularly at Harvard Business School, Columbia Business School, MIT, Bennington College, and the Naval War College.

Table of Contents

How to Use this Book vii

Preface ix

The Big Idea 1

Strength 1

Warmth 7

Strength vs. Warmth 10

Strength + Warmth 18

The Hand You Are Dealt 27

Quick and Dirty Judgment 27

Gender 28

Ethnicity 43

Age 52

A Closer Look at Looks 54

Body Type 66

Sexual Orientation and Identity 68

Disability 70

Playing the Hand 75

The Choice Is Yours 75

Nonverbal Communication 76

Space 78

Face 99

Voice 111

Mirroring 120

Style 122

Words 136

Verbal Strength 136

Verbal Warmth: The Circle 142

Strength + Warmth, Word by Word 160

Making It Happen 168

Strength and Warmth in the World 183

Into the Wild 183

At Work 184

Words at Work 201

Leadership 206

Public Speaking 209

Politics 222

Online 226

In Love 230

Epilogue 249

Acknowledgments 255

Notes 257

Index 277

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Not only does this book tell you why people react to you as they do, it also provides specific suggestions for managing your image.  This book is a must-read for all leaders who want to maximize their influence on others.”
—Art Markman, University of Texas Professor and author of Smart Thinking and Habits of Leadership
“This is not just another pop-psych book: it's the first book to capture and share the insights from all the recent groundbreaking research on how we judge and persuade each other. And it translates that into simple, practical terms anyone can use to build more effective relationships at the office or at home. I'm glad they wrote it so I didn't have to.”
—Amy Cuddy, Harvard Business School Associate Professor
“Human psychology is never more fascinating than in this book. It is both serious and engaging. Kohut and Neffinger will help you to lead — and succeed — in everything from public speaking to love. This is a wonderful read.”
—Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Harvard University Professor and author of The Powers to Lead
“Neffinger and Kohut will blow your mind with their unified theory of everything that matters. Compelling People goes deep with an idea that will have you reexamining your instincts and opinions about everyone from co-workers and dates to politicians and celebrities.”
—Amy Argetsinger, Washington Post "Reliable Source" Columnist
“Thanks to John Neffinger and Matt Kohut, I now have a much greater understanding of how to better influence and connect with all the people I encounter every day. Compelling People is a fascinating, beguiling read with the potential to change your life.”
—Lynne Olson, author of Those Angry Days and Citizens of London
“Neffinger and Kohut brilliantly illuminate how successful people negotiate possibilities and pitfalls to find success and avoid failure.”
—Liz Coleman, Bennington College President
“Compelling People, offers a wealth of practical approaches for understanding and improving how each of us presents ourselves to the world.”
—Cheryl Strauss Einhorn, Columbia Business School Adjunct Professor

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Compelling People: The Hidden Qualities That Make Us Influential 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
jmcgarry More than 1 year ago
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for this review. I struggle with the issues in this book. The authors talk about strength and warmth as 2 competing things everyone needs to master. The book describes what they mean by strength and warmth, then goes into detailed examples of how these work in real life. We all have elements of each. The trick is to balance them out. Too much strength without warmth can leave people behind, while too much warmth without strength can leave people vulnerable. One area the authors discuss is public speaking, and how it can be difficult to practice. One thing they didn't mention was Toastmasters, an organization that allows people to practice public speaking in a controlled environment. I realize now why this book is required reading at Harvard. They also mention the 1988 presidential debate where Michael Dukakis answered a question about his wife's rape and murder as though he'd been asked the time of day. The problem isn't reading about this, the problem is putting this into practice. That's the part I struggle with. Overall, a good book.
CENY More than 1 year ago
This book is one in a million; it tells you how different aspects of how you come across are viewed by others, and it tells you what to do to come across differently. It also gives the consequences of coming across one way or the other. It's a must-read for anyone who works, although it also covers dating, parenting, etc. The authors are Democratic activists, which would have been nice to know (as perhaps Republicans view one's ideal presence differently).