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Book review – The Art of Quiet Influence

Book title – The Art of Quiet Influence

Author – Jocelyn Davis

Format – Hardcover

In The art of quiet influence, author Jocelyn Davis weaves together the timeless wisdom of Eastern thinkers-from Confucius to the Buddha, from Rumi to Gandhi-with research and insights from modern-day experts, revealing what’s wrong with the Western view of influence as short-term persuasion and showing instead how to create trust-based collaborations with lasting impact. Drawing on the enduring wisdom of these great influences, The Art of Quiet Influence shows anyone, not just bosses, how to use influence without authority, a key mindfulness principle, to get things done at work and in life. Through the classic wisdom of 12 Eastern sages, relevant insights from influence research, and anecdotes and advice from 25 contemporary experts, Davis lays out a path for becoming a “mainspring,” the unobtrusive yet powerful influencer first introduced in her book The Greats on Leadership. Organized around three core influence practices: Invite Participation, Share Power, and Aid Progress, readers will learn how to take mindfulness practice “out of the gym and onto the field,” while gaining the confidence and practical know-how to be influential in whatever role they occupy.

This is not a quick read, if you really want to get the good out of it. Though it is written on a level accessible to laypeople and is not especially dense, it is a substantive and deep book. Drawing from research, life experience, and the religious/philosophical traditions of the East, the author describes 12 practices of ‘quiet influence,’ and also contrasts them with the ‘Western pitfalls’ of each. It is great for anyone who manages people and/or projects. Whether you have functional authority or not, the best way to get things done is not ‘because I said so.’ Through this book, you will find practical tips and strategies for making allies and leading effectively without coercion or an undue risk of alienating people. Get it, and give yourself a month or read it slowly and thoughtfully.

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