March 26, 2009

Become a Person of Influence by Gordon MacFarlane

BOOK #: 22

CHALLENGES: Triple 999, Spiritually Speaking Challenge

RATING: So-So (2 stars)

MacFarlane, a Human Behavior Specialist, aims to help the reader to know and understand who they are in order to understand others and begin making a difference in your social, business, or family life. MacFarlane believes the best way to understand yourself is the D.I.S.C. Model of Human Behavior. D.I.S.C. was invented in the 1920s by Dr. William Marston. D.I.S.C. is an acronym that stands for four major patterns of behavior that are present in everyone to some degree: Dominant, Influencing, Supportive, and Cautious. Basically, it is like Carl Jung’s personality theory, except for one important difference: D.I.S.C. doesn’t work. At least it didn’t for me. I was not one of the personality types that the D.I.S.C. model provided.

Well, I chalked that up to the fact that there will always be people who don’t fit into a personality “type” or “mold”. So I continued reading looking for something that would help me reach the book’s goal. The rest of the book is filled with great information, but, like even MacFarlane admits, it isn’t anything you haven’t already heard. His purpose outside of the D.I.S.C. model was to put the information he gathered into an easy-to-understand format. He did succeed at this. Classic communication skills and self-efficacy techniques are simplified so that anybody can understand them and learn how to implement them.

I did not learn anything new while reading this book, but if you would like a crash course in these communication skills and techniques than you may find this short self-help book useful. MacFarlane does include some great “nuggets” that are good to keep in mind during your daily interactions. The few that I personally decided to take away as reminders were:

-“Always try to bring out the best in people and you will be welcomed wherever you go.” (Norman Vincent Peale quote)

-The way in which you say something will always impact someone more than what you say.

-It is not the situation, but the way we respond to the situation that’s important.

-Don’t follow anyone who’s not going anywhere.

-Listen twice as much as you speak.


  1. I like the nuggets of wisdom that you pulled out. I relate far too well to the one about the "tone" rather than the "content." That causes more domestic disagreements here than anything else!

    And by the way, I gave you an award here:

  2. i also liked the tidbits of wisdom. listen twice as much as you speak is really true...i hear so much more when i really listen--instead of planning what i'm going to say in response to what the other person is saying. :)


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