Category Archives: Book Review

Words That Change Minds: The 14 Patterns for Mastering the Language of Influence

I love to read but I’m strictly a “read for entertainment” kind of person. Typically, I struggle to finish any kind of development books, because I get bored halfway through – I’m still trying to “find time” to finish a book on JavaScript that I bought a couple of years ago. I mention this to say that it took me literally HOURS to pick a book to read for this review because I knew that it had to be something that would interest me and hold my attention until the end. I’m pleased to say that this book totally delivered!

In Words That Change Minds, Ms. Charvet explains how to use the LAB (Language and Behavior) Profile to learn peoples’ thinking and motivation patterns which, in turn, allows us to “speak their language” with just the right amount of influence. The LAB Profile is a series of questions that you can ask during normal conversation. The goal is to pay attention to how someone talks when they answer instead of what they actually say. Ms Charvet says a person’s pattern will be evident in how they answer (or don’t) the question. When you learn the LAB Profile, you will know:

  • How to identify the patterns for a person (or group)
  • What language to use for maximum influence
  • How to apply the profile in any given context

The LAB Profile consists of 6 patterns that motivate people and 8 working traits. The motivation triggers tell you what people need to get excited about something and the working traits will tell you how someone deals with information (i.e. how they process information, tasks and environments that motivate them and how they are convinced) in a given context.


Motivation Triggers

  1. Level: Proactive vs. Reactive
  2. Criteria: Hot Buttons
  3. Direction: Toward vs. Away From
  4. Source: Internal vs. External
  5. Reason: Options vs. Procedures
  6. Decision Factors: reaction to and frequency of change


Working Traits

  1. Scope: Specific vs. General
  2. Attention Direction: Self vs. Others
  3. Stress Response: Feelings vs. Thinking
  4. Style: Independent, Proximity or Cooperative
  5. Organization: Person vs. Thing
  6. Rule Structure: who do you have rules for?
  7.    Convincer Channel: See, Hear, Do, Read
  8. Convincer Mode: Automatic, Consistent, Examples, Time


Ms. Charvet goes into great detail about each pattern and shares the appropriate influencing language (phrases and/or words) to use for each category. I enjoyed recognizing co-workers, friends, and even myself in many of the patterns. As you might imagine, it’s a good idea to learn your own motivation triggers and working traits because if you understand how you communicate, you will have an easier time determining others patterns and adapting your language to influence them. She details tons of ways to use these in everyday life, just a few examples from the book are to: resolve conflicts, tailor job descriptions to attract the “right” candidates, diagnose (and change, if necessary) corporate culture, build a high-performance team, negotiating and bargaining, and market research and teaching, just to name a few!

If you’re like me, right about now you’re thinking… what if I want to influence someone I don’t know (a potential client) and I don’t have an opportunity to ask any questions? Fear not, there’s a chapter on “Defaults Profiles” or what you can assume about people in certain situations. As a default, Ms. Charvet suggests assuming that any person (or group) you don’t know makes decisions based on their own internal standards (Source: Internal), are motivated to solve problems (Direction: Away From) and are never completely convinced (Convincer Mode: Consistent). This will allow you to use words that establish your credibility, to help them keep an open mind and to pay attention to any signs of disagreement or confusion so you can respond immediately.

We’ve all met someone that we had trouble communicating with – no matter what you said or how you said it, it was like talking to a wall, right? On the other hand, we’ve also met those with whom we just “clicked” – communication seemed effortless. This is because people respond immediately when you use “their language”. When I began, I was hoping I would learn how to influence people and communicate more effectively at work with clients. Now, I see endless possibilities – better communication with my kids, friends, family, co-workers, bosses, clients and more. There are so many areas in which this information will prove beneficial! I am super excited to start putting what I learned in this book into practice both at work and home – my goal is to get my kids to do all the dishes!

I’ll leave you with my first attempt at using influencing language: Only you can decide if Words That Change Minds will benefit you. You know your needs better than I do and once you start reading, I’m sure you’ll realize how much you can learn from this book!


NDP Book Shelf: Check Out Our Summer Reading List!

Do you plan to have your nose in a book this summer?

We asked our team to tell us their favorite professional (and not so professional) books for a summer reading round-up! So as you hit the beach (or wherever you go this summer) we hope you enjoy these reads as much as we did!


Carrie Edwards

Professional: Words that Change Minds: The 14 Patterns for Mastering the Language of Influence, by Shelle Rose Charvet

This is definitely my favorite professional development book – I love reading about the different patterns and figuring out which ones the people I know and work with fall into. In addition, I am learning what kind of language to use to influence each person – I’m looking forward to influencing my daughter to clean her room! Caveat: When I say this is my favorite, you need to know it’s my favorite in the same way that my father tells people I’m his favorite daughter… I’m his only daughter! 😉

Personal: The Host, by Stephanie Meyer

I love this book so much that I keep re-reading it. It’s about a post-apocalyptic world that has been taken over by a parasitic alien race, known as Souls, and follows one Soul’s journey when her human host’s consciousness refuses to allow the takeover of her body.  For me, this book checks all the boxes – Supernatural aspect, romance, plot twist and something new (i.e. not another vampire book). It’s an easy read and perfect for a day on the beach!

Catriona MacLachlan

Professional: Notorious RBG – The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon

I’m drawn to books written by women, about women, encouraging women! Faced with obstacles, personal and professional, Ruth Bader Ginsburg was fearless in her pursuit for gender equality. If you’re looking to be inspired and motivated, this is an incredible book about the life and legacy of RBG.

Personal: A Convenient Hatred: The History of Antisemitism, by Phyllis Goldstein

The book reviews the struggles of the Jewish people through history in being recognized and accepted in various countries, not ostracized. I believe it’s important in the current climate of our world, to understand where some of this hatred has developed in order to change our attitudes. The book was eye opening and gave me a deeper understanding of what’s it’s like to walk in their shoes. It’s informative, power, and enlightening!

Christy Ratcliff 

Professional: Radical Candor, by Kim Scott

I actually did a whole book review of this one HERE.  This book about the benefits of direct communication continues to help me in both personal and professional life. Read my full review and get this one pronto!

Personal: A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy), by Deborah Harkness

I am not a sci-fi and fantasy book type of girl, but after a recent surgery a friend of mine handed me this book for my recovery down time and I couldn’t put it down. The main character, Diana Bishop, is from a strong line of powerful witches, but she doesn’t want to be and for years has suppressed her powers. During a chance encounter she discovers her powers can’t be suppressed and her journey to understand her powers and the history of her kind is made more dangerous (and exciting) with the help of a powerful vampire, Matthew Clairmont. Maybe it’s that she thinks being a witch is silly too, or maybe it’s the romance and action – I’m not sure why, but this one hooked me. This would be the perfect vacation read – whether on the beach or in the mountains!

Dawn Trinidad

Professional: Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time, by Brian Tracy 

This bestseller challenges readers to address difficult tasks at work rather than passing the day with simple tasks. Tracy makes the case that work can only become easier and more productive once you’ve figuratively ‘eaten that frog’ on your schedule.   

Personal: The Right Side of History: How Reason and Moral Purpose Made the West Great, by Ben Shapiro

This was a book my husband Scott and I read together (he is a big fan of Shapiro), but I have a very nostalgic personality and tend to look fondly at the past. I am also very aware of how our everyday lives transform quickly… It seems like every facet of life is contentious for someone else. This book will inspire you to look at yourself and answer the question, “Am I contributing to a better tomorrow, or the reason why ‘the good old days’ are long gone, never to return?”

Collin Griffith

Professional: How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie 

I liked this book because I was fascinated how it was written in 1937, and still can be used for professional development to this very day.  I thought this book was great because it teaches you how to express ideas and inspire people on an everyday basis that you meet throughout your career and personal life.

Personal: The Big Rich: The Rise and Fall of the Greatest Texas Oil Fortunes, by Bryan Burrough

I’m a big fan of history, and when you incorporate local ties to the story – I’m hooked.  This book is one of my favorites because the author writes in great detail how some of the greatest oil families from our past were built from nothing and would then rise to the point of influencing politics in Washington.  This book paints a detailed picture of the lives and histories of some of the families that made a name for themselves through the oil industry and how they influenced our local economies to this day.  This is an easy read and a one that you can put down and pick back up without really skipping a beat.

NDP Book Shelf: Radical Candor

Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing your Humanity by Kim Scott Book review by Christy Ratcliff , CPA, CVA I’ll start this by saying I am not a “self-help” book kind of a girl.  I’m not against self-improvement, but generally find that most self help books tell me recycled ideas I have heard […]

NDP Book Shelf: Who Moved My Cheese?

Who Moved my Cheese?: An A-mazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life by Spencer Johnson Book review by Dawn Whitehurst, MBA, LVN I know too well that as young professionals enter the workforce, they are eager to take on the challenges of a new work environment and hope to […]