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4.4 out of 5 stars42
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 20 November 2002
Avoiding communication barriers, understanding different techniques of reflection and when to use them. How to be more assertive in ways that respect others and keep me healthy. I think I am very lucky to have found this book. It is improving the quality of my relationships and so changing my life.
I would like to find a video to present in groups I attend that would spark some interest in the comm skills described in this book. I so much want to open others' minds to what the book has to say.
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on 19 February 2000
Bolton's book has many things which interested me, but particularly important was his formula for three part assertion messages. I found this good to use in situations where I needed to be assertive - but in the past had not been. In framing the messages I was able to detect and weed out the (unhelpful) influences of my parents. As a parent I found it very useful in establishing good communications with my children.
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on 23 January 2009
Although "People Skills" was first published in 1986, I feel obliged to review it as the principles and lessons espoused by Robert Bolton are timeless. In fact it is probably one of the most used books in my collection (I even have the paperback version covered in plastic and it's never far from my desk).

"People Skills" is not a book that one sits down and reads from cover to cover. It's a book where you might read a chapter that relates to one of your underused skills (such as assertion) for your own development, or when you are faced with a difficult situation (such as managing a critical conflict). "People Skills" covers all the essential communication skills such as reflective listening, assertion and conflict management. Not only does Bolton provide the theory behind these skills, but he also gives short scenarios and great practical examples of how each can be applied.

Described by the publisher as a "communication skills handbook", "People Skills" should be essential reading for every manager. In fact it should be the standard text for all "Management 101" courses and would add tremendously to the skill set of our younger generation by being used as a standard high school text. Don't be put off by this textbook description as it is highly readable and a must for all practising managers. Make sure you have a copy to refer to when next you are faced with that difficult "people" issue.

Bob Selden,
Author, What To Do When You Become The Boss: How New Managers Become Successful Managers
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on 24 August 2001
I regularly coach groups on interpersonal communication and have to admit that this book, for me, was a real gem of a find. I have read many books on interpersonal communication ... and have generally been disappointed on the coverage of reflective listening and communication barriers ... Bolton's book ... was simple, easy to understand, easy to learn and follow ... and yet dealt with fundamental communication skills that you generally only see expert coaches or counsellors use. Wonderful!
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VINE VOICEon 12 February 2011
I got this book for myself when as a Nurse manager in the NHS, I had enrolled on yet another course from which I hoped to find something to inspire me in the profession. The course it has to said did nothing to enthuse me. However in contrast the book opened my eyes to something I had suspected was lurking in my unconscious waiting to be discovered, inspired and ignited. In short this book inspired me to resign my post as manager and seek a position as a deputy manager with less responsibility and a little more time to study. The study was to be a professional qualification in Counselling. I was on fire and totally focussed on completely redesigning my life, turning it into a work of my own design. Some twenty plus years later I am working as a successful counsellor, coach and educator. I have my own business and work part time for a major educational institution helping to train the next generation of counsellors.
I make no apology for the potted history of my recent life; it was necessary to try and convey the truth about this small easily read book. It gives simple yet powerful information to those who seek to learn about spoken communication in a user friendly form. As other reviewers have intimated, this book really will improve your spoken communication and in addition the written word will improve as well.
This book may not inspire a life changing decision in your life as it did in mine, but it will in my opinion improve your life.
Good luck!
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on 31 March 2010
I am disabled through mental ill health. I have paranoia and depression. However so much of this was due to not having friends. I always thought that this was just an elusive skill I did not have and never would. The isolation would lead to my mind playing tricks on me and eventually to sectioning under the mental health act.

This book gives a simple recipe for removing the barriers we put between ourselves and others to protect ourselves when bullied in childhood and never removed. The most important thing I feel other people need to like you are paraphrasing content, reflecting feeling and not lapsing into playing psychiatrist with others no matter how tempting it is. These amongst many other methods are taught in the book.

I have spent my life learning engineering and software coding skills. What a delight it is to find a straight forward book on an effective syntax of communication with fellow humans instead of machines. It is so much more enjoyable and ultimately employable as well.

Thank you.
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on 2 September 2009
I really was looking for a book to help me deal better with social situations as I am very shy. The first part of this book seemed to be aimed at people training to be counsellors as it was all about how to listen to people when they have a problem. Having said that I tried some of the techniques and people did open up to me a bit more to me. However, generally speaking I made a bad choice and this was not the book for me.
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on 10 January 2001
This book is simple to understand, truthful and full of good communication skills. I have read many books on dealing with people but this is the best. If the Bible is THE book for the religous then this is the Bible for people who seek better relationships. You will never regret this purchase!
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on 14 June 1999
Dr. Bolton has done a terrific job of developing a practical guide to interpersonal interactions. It is organized into logical categories and full of practical situations and useful examples.
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on 2 August 2010
I first read this book on my university course in 1995. The main part I liked about the book was the perceptive description of Road Blockers to communication that we all knowingly or unwittingly use. Even though the book was written in the mid 80's, the barriers to communication that Bolton highlights are still relevant today and are a useful reference when compiling training in Interpersonal skills. A must read for anyone wishing to improve their ability to communicate more effectively with those around them. An ageless gem.
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