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5.0 out of 5 stars A valuable book on an important topic, very easy to understand and use., 26 July 2014
By 
Francesca (LONDON England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Say It and Solve It: Get the results you want from the business conversations that count (Paperback)
This is a really useful book. Two reasons: first, it tackles a really important topic and contains information that will make a real difference to all its readers. Second, it does so in a way that is very, very easy to understand. Difficult concepts are explained in a manner that makes them accessible. In fact, the book is more than easy to read; it is enjoyable to read. People who don't like reading business books – which is to say, almost everyone – are likely to rattle through this in a relaxed way.

It's a very practical book. There is almost no theory in it. Where occasionally there is, it is presented in a way that makes it feel very relevant and digestible. In essence this book focuses on developing real and concrete skills and using tools that are easy to pick up and put into practice right away. The book is full of concrete examples that make its toolkit very straightforward to use.

There is a lot in the book. It's worth buying because readers are likely to go back to it more than once. I don't think anyone could become fully familiar with the content after one reading, and yet everything in it is worth that familiarity. Fortunately one of the many strengths of Karl James's writing is his pithy summaries at the end of each chapter. These make it even easier to remember his suggestions and use them in practice.

I highly recommend this book. I think it's a very good way to learn some really important tools that can make a real difference to performance and results.

Just to balance the review, I'll mention the book's flaws. There are two: firstly I think it's too business focused (and in particular too focused on the concerns of small businesses; I'm not sure that some employees of large multinationals would recognise many of his scenarios). These tools are useful far beyond business conversations, and many people's concerns will focus as much on their personal life as their professional life. The book would have benefited from treating this directly and giving more insight into how the tools can be used more generally. Second, it ends abruptly; an afterword would have been useful. But the book thoroughly earns its five-star rating.

(Full disclosure: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for a full and frank review. At no time was it ever suggested that this should be a good one.)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Had I read this book first then I would never have made such a stupid statement and would have taken away from the week ..., 21 Aug 2014
This review is from: Say It and Solve It: Get the results you want from the business conversations that count (Paperback)
I first met Karl when a mutual friend paid for me to attend a week long series of round table discussions on the subject of “Dialogue” … I think I shocked everyone when I announced that Dialogue was something I didn’t really believe in! Had I read this book first then I would never have made such a stupid statement and would have taken away from the week even more than I eventually did.
Karl’s quiet way of pointing out little things that enable people to understand each other better lies at the heart of this book. His pointing out that many of us, when discussing something, are forming our replies before the other person has stopped speaking … in other words we have stopped listening … was an eye (ear?) opener for me. I try very hard not to do it anymore!
For anyone entering the world of business meetings (at any level) then this is well worth a read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A lovely reminder of some useful stuff!, 4 Aug 2014
This review is from: Say It and Solve It: Get the results you want from the business conversations that count (Paperback)
I am very familiar with Karl's work as I delivered his Conversation workshop whilst I was in a previous role. This book consolidates the concepts and examples which he previously coached me on. I have always felt that these skills have a further reach than just the workplace so, perhaps, some more general examples may have been helpful.

That said, I still refer to Karl's teachings to this day and this book has helped me re-visit some of those ideas and I know they will help me Navigate future conversations.

Though Karl's language is uncomplicated and practical, his passion is evident throughout the book and, reading it, I am taken back to those days when I used to sit and listen to that booming voice in the name of work. The example used of the Italian waitress Describing olive oil brought back some lovely memories :)
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4.0 out of 5 stars Reading this book is like having a conversation with the author!, 5 Aug 2014
By 
K. M. Riches "Kate R" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Say It and Solve It: Get the results you want from the business conversations that count (Paperback)
As I was reading this book I could almost hear the author and I having a conversation. The book has a very chatty nature but balances this with being focused on the topic.

The book is split into two sections - the first introducing the different skills that can be used in a conversation; the second, more uniquely, shows how these skills can be used in different scenarios - all of which I can relate to in my working life! While the first half provides a great refresher on things I should already know (but that I do not always use), it is this second scenario section that I will use as a reference point when I am facing future difficult situations.

Finally I loved the comments written in brackets - these always made me smile and at the same time provided a true insight into the author's thinking.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A book that positively re-wires how we think about communication, 22 Aug 2014
This review is from: Say It and Solve It: Get the results you want from the business conversations that count (Paperback)
The ideas and terminology in this book have become effortlessly incorporated into how I communicate - in both my work and my social/family life. Karl James writes from a fund of practical experience and authority. His prose is clear and direct. His concepts hit the mark in so many situations - not just business. I have found myself referring to this book before I've engaged in difficult conversations - discovering a more conscious approach to listening and checking and balancing. I would like to think that I have achieved more out of my day-to-day interactions because of this book. The articulation of listening for/with/to/through/from is inspired and really helpful.

This is a practical gift of a book. Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ready for better business conversations? This is the book for you., 13 Sep 2014
This review is from: Say It and Solve It: Get the results you want from the business conversations that count (Paperback)
The two big take outs from this superb book are firstly that authentic, productive conversations require forethought, time and a willingness to be honest; secondly, by honing the simple but powerful techniques in this book your conversations have the potential to create incredible and invaluable energy shifts and improved results. I love how warm, practical and accessible it is - much like a conversation with Karl himself! I love that it deals with work conversations discretely, as they are generally quite different to conversations with close family and friends. Reading this will definitely enrich your confidence and conviction to have, and feel empowered within, the conversations that matter most at work. Highly recommended.
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