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15
3.8 out of 5 stars
How To Have A Beautiful Mind
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45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
De Bono defines the beautiful mind as one that can be appreciated by others and claims that the beauty of the mind increases with the wisdom and experience of age. In this book he leads the reader through a series of chapters on conversational techniques, providing a summary of the main points at the end of each chapter. Anyone can apply these, as the beauty of the mind is not dependent on a high IQ, voluminous knowledge of natural charm. Any discussion ought to be a genuine attempt to explore a subject rather than a battle of egos. The chapters include How To Agree, Disagree Differ, Be Interesting, Respond, Listen, How To Phrase Questions, plus Concepts, Alternatives, Emotions and Feelings, Values, Diversions, Opinion, Interruption and Attitude. Many techniques for creativity, imagination and empathy are provided. The book is really about simple conversational tactics based on common sense, good manners and is full of illuminating observations on various conversational situations.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on 16 August 2005
Although well-written and covering a reasonable amount of ground, this book doesn't really offer very much in the way of practical advice, preferring to state the obvious, albeit in a comprehensive and interesting way. Whereas his other work 'Teach Yourself To Think' gives a framework and ideas for how to approach tasks such as problem solving and creativity which can be applied to real situations, '...Beautiful Mind' instead focuses on a vague overview of how to be slightly more interesting in conversation.
Maybe a few readers will benefit from the small quantity of directly applicable tips, such as how to word objections to an argument without causing offence, but too often in this book the advice is either too obvious to be worth pointing out, or too vague to be applied by anyone that doesn't already know the fact.
This might be a good introductory book for anyone who feels that his other works are a bit too intellectual or who just wants a brief overview of the different aspects of conversation.
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106 of 111 people found the following review helpful
on 29 May 2004
Well, so asks the blurb on the back of the paperback edition. Well, Edward, yes indeed I do so I put my money down and started reading - wondering what new information you could provide to fulfil this promise.
Alas, such information didn't seem to exist. The ladies still resist my charms so you lose on star right there.
As for the book: well, it's not a bad read at all. I discovered the Mr De Bono has enjoyed ground coffee on his pasta and that he enjoyed it. The power of lateral thinking, indeed.
I've read many of De Bono's works and the real issue is that they each contain some good ideas but are so repetitious that one can quickly despair of finding anything new.
Hence, there are two clear ways to recommend this book:
1. If you've not read De Bono's other books then this is the single volume that contains most of his ideas. It's very light on specific techniques of creativity however so perhaps you'd want to add 'Serious Creativity' as the additional 'must have'.
2. if you've read many of De Bono's other books then this isn't going to add too much as this is typical De Bono - clear, succinct, important but ulitmately it's hardly information that people who have read his previous works (and therefore likely to pursue similar titles) aren't going to have come across elsewhere.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 11 March 2008
Yes, this book is not the best the genre has to offer..

But it does have a good side, a VERY good side...

I myself have Asperger's Syndrome, as such, I found this book, along with it's "long, useless lists" more useful then anything else I've found, instead of being my ususal boring self, I can now keep a listener interested in what I have to say.

I recommend this book to anyone with a social impairment!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 21 March 2005
I bought this book on the back of a magazine's review, unsure of what it was really about. Having finished it, I must say I am none the wiser. The author writes endless lists of common-sense comments, and it is hard to see who might benefit from his insights. Rather than to help you develop conversational skills, I find the book is just an enumeration of what makes up conversation (ie repeating, summarizing, agreeing, disagreeing), with little practical advice on how to make yours more sparking. Tony Buzan or Carol Stone have both written brilliant books that give tips one can start practising straight away.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 24 January 2013
Never judge a book by its cover, it is said, and that couldn't be more true for this work. The title of this review may be a more apt one.
Edward De Bono uses the theme of conversation as a vehicle for his ideas, some of which appear in his other books.
The regular aspects of conversing with others are looked at, eg Agreement/Disagreement, Topics, Listening, Questions, Starting a Conversation, and Boredom.
As several reviewers have already stated, some of the suggestions are common sense, eg to be polite when disagreeing, but there are also concepts that are unique to De Bono, like The Six Hats for looking at issues from different angles. There is also the Zulu Principle, in which you specialise in a 'far out' topic that not many know about to introduce into a chat.
The book is OK to a point, but goes into hard-to-define areas, such as; Values, Perceptions and Concepts.
For an alternative read, try The Power of Charm: How to Win Anyone Over in Any Situation, or 23 Steps to Success and Achievement: The dynamic plan that will change your life(which covers the topic very briefly, but succinctly).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
"To have a beautiful mind you must genuinely seek to find points of agreement with whom you are talking. Surprisingly this is the most difficult aspect of all"...

Not in my world - living within a family who all suffer with the righteousness gene - I am not surprised with the difficulty of having a beautiful mind...

I am grateful for Edward for pointing out a process that works wonders and helps quieten the shouting - it seems my family also "believe" that if we shout at each other louder than the other person - then we are communicating at an optimum level...

Just wish this was written a few decades earlier - and my mother and father had bought it...

Love the idea of continually actioning and practicing and sharing having a beautiful mind.

Great book and worth it's weight in gold...
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on 30 December 2013
This book was recommended to me and I was rather skeptical about it. However, I've read several chapters (the ones most relevant to me) and have gained an awful lot.
Perhaps some parts are common sense, but it is good to be reminded sometimes. Other parts have read almost like a bit of a lecture on how one should improve, probably not what the author intended, but useful nonetheless. Other bits have been new and interesting.
If all this sounds dull, be reassured the book isn't dull at all. It is very quick and easy to read an odd chapter here and there and then have a think about it. Then it is easy to look forward to reading more later.
The book may not be for everyone, and might be 'nothing new' for those who already have Beautiful Minds, but for me it has been perfect!
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on 6 April 2013
Difficult to give a full review before reading, but initial impressions look promising. Edward De Bono is a master of creative/lateral thinking.
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on 8 April 2015
Gives a different way of thinking and makes you re-evaluate what you thought was a normal way of doing things.
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