on 19 December 1998
I feel a need to write a review of this book for two simple reasons: Number one is that it has had a profound effect on my life regarding my self-image and effectiveness in dealing with others, and number two, it will do the same for you. The bonus is that just by learning the information presented by Dr. Swets, it will also have a tremendously positive impact on those you love as well.
The title gives a hint (yet can't possibly do justice) to the actual wisdom and teachings contained in the book. Obviously, most people, because they are talking, feel as though they are also communicating. But that's not so. Just hearing you or me talk does not necessarily mean that the other person is "listening." And unless they are listening, what you and I say will not have much impact. A key to personal success is talking so that the other person not only will listen, but be inclined to take your point of view as well. This is true regardless of whether one is dealing with spouse, small and teenage children, friends, neighbors, employees, employers, customers, prospects, or that person you may meet just one time in your life.
I love what Dr. Swets says on page four: Communication that wins a positive response from others can provide you with a new way of life. Nothing is more essential to success in any area of your life than the ability to communicate well. Nothing can compare to the joy of communicating love, of being heard and understood completely, of discovering some profound insight from another's mind . . . Self-concepts are enhanced, attitudes broadened, beliefs depended, perspectives clarified, hopes restored, frustrations dissolved, hurt feeling healed.
Although much of what Dr. Swets teaches will show you how to live life with a minimum of personal 'hassles' with others (in other words, 'prevention'), he also includes a brilliant chapter dealing with "Conflict Resolution" for those occasions when conflicts do occur, as they inevitably will. The fact is, there are times when conflict and misunderstandings will take place. When that happens, there needs to be a positive, win-win solution. Dr. Swets provides this in a simple-to-understand- and-apply fashion. Reading that one chapter will ensure that you'll never again have to feel as though a conflict with anyone in your life cannot be worked out. It is simply magnificent information, and worth many, many times the price of the book itself.
I feel I could write volumes just on what I learned from this book, however, I'd rather you purchase the book yourself and learn from it first hand. Let's put it this way: The venerable Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, in a very complimentary Forward to this book, put it wonderfully well when he wrote, .. . a book that outlines procedures of communication with the completeness of Dr. Swets' study becomes a working manual that can be invaluable. And I do not know of a book that more comprehensively covers the entire subject of communication. Moreover the author himself communicates in a clear and understandable manner . . . He knows how to write so people will understand, how to talk so people will listen . . .
And may I add one more note? In all the classics dealing with communication and people skills (and The Art Of Talking So That People Will Listen ranks right up there with the classics) such as How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, How To Have Confidence And Power In Dealing With People by Les Giblin, as well as those on general success such as Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, the great authors all teach in terms of "universal principles", natural laws that have stood the test of time and will transfer from situation to unique situation. Yes, techniques change from time to time, but principles never do. The principles taught by Dr. Swets will work for you, your children, your grandchildren, etc. I could not personally give this book a higher recommendation.
Bob Burg, author of WINNING WITHOUT INTIMIDATION and ENDLESS REFERRALS.