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How To Get Through To Anyone – The Art Of Persuasion

At some point in time we have all experienced a person we just can’t seem to get through no matter what we do. The conclusion we derive about these types of people is probably not fit to print but one thing we do know is they exist. Mark Goulston M.D believes it is possible to get through to absolutely everyone; you just have to have the right set of skills. His book Just Listen – Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone has very practical and applicable rules you can use to not only get through one of these individuals but to turn them into your allies.



Mark Goulston, M.D.

Mark Goulston, M.D.  has an impressive resume including more than 20 years of professorship at UCLA’s Neuropsychiatric Institute, FBI/police hostage negotiation trainer and a renowned psychiatrist. A small list of the companies he has consulted, trained and provided executive coaches include Goldman Sachs, IBM, Deutsche Bank, Merrill Lynch, GE, FBI, Accenture, Xerox and Astra Zenica. Currently he is the vice chairman of Steele Partners a strategic advisory and management firm as well as chairman and co-founder of Xtraordinary Outcomes.



The key to fully understanding anything is finding out how it works and in this case it is the human brain. Granted this is still a work in progress but we seem to have a rudimentary understanding of how it operates. Goulston says and he has science backing him up on this, we have three layers of our functioning brain which is the result of millions of years of evolution. They are the primitive reptilian layer, the more evolved mammal layer and the primate layer. Understanding how your brain processes information through these different layers will help you when you are dealing with an impenetrable wall of resistance.


  • The reptilian layer – the fight or flight part of your brain where thought is not much of a consideration
  • The mammal layer – is where strong emotions such as love, anger and jealousy come from
  • The primate layer – this is where logic resides, information from the lower two layers is gathered, assessed and decisions that make sense are made

Knowing which layer is controlling a person or yourself can help you come up with a plan of action to persuade them to change their position.


Cycle Of Persuasion

If you think about it almost everything you do is to try and persuade people to get buy-in from them. Whether you are trying to get funding for your startup, sell your product, get a better deal from a vendor or asking for a date. Your goal is to persuade them. According to Goulston you have to work through the five cycle of persuasion to have them go from:


  • Resisting to listening
  • Listening to considering
  • Considering to willing to do
  • Willing to do to doing
  • Doing to glad they did and continue doing

This is just one of the many rules available in this book. It also includes The Nine Core Rules for Getting Through to Anyone, The Twelve Ways to Achieve Buy-In and Fast Fixes for Seven Challenging Situations. Each rule is explained in detail to help you understand, practice and use these principles not only in your business dealings but your personal life.



If you have an understanding of how people are made up and you are equipped with the tools to deal with the different personalities you will meet through out your day and life, you are one step ahead.


Photo Credits

David Castillo Dominici /
Dream Designs /


Author : Frank Griffin

Frank has been a soldier, a social worker and an insurance agent. Currently he spends his time volunteering and working for NGOs in third world countries, specifically Ethiopia. Writing lets his brain exercise and he loves tackling any subject. Frank enjoys visiting indigenous groups around the world and his goal is to visit as many of them as possible before they end up being tourist attractions.

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