Top positive review
2 people found this helpful
on 23 September 2013
I suspect that it's rather a sad thing that we need books like this to help us to communicate with others. Perhaps the unpalatable truth is that the art of inter-personal communication is one that is fading fast. There is thus a paradox between the technology that we have in our pockets, or on our desks that allows us to `communicate' with just about anyone; is in my view degrading and devaluing such essential skills. Teenagers are for instance happy to communicate with someone online, often in quite an intimate way, yet not be aware of whom they are connected to. At the other end of the spectrum, savvy and wealthy investors are often persuaded to part with vast sums to `invest' in companies they have never heard of by a chap on the telephone!
Moreover, humans are not a very happy bunch. Modern technology encourages us to have our shopping delivered, drink a few beers from a can at home or enjoy the surround sound cinema experience from our armchairs. Surely this is not a problem? But I can tell you that there are a lot of lonely people out there who would love to have someone to talk to or to go to the pictures with. So many of us, especially as we age, lead quiet, lonely lives with very little heart-warming interaction/discourse with others. This is a crying shame when our bodies are so well equipped to communicate on so many levels with so many wonderful nuances of human emotion that increasingly our modern existences are bypassing. In addition massive advertising spends encourage us to think of all the things that our lives do NOT contain rather than the absolutely wonderful things that it does encompass.
When I was six I learned a very powerful, but cruel lesson that has stayed with me, and I suspect millions of others, to this day. That one would be judged instantly and harshly on purely the first visual impression we may make on a third party. Thus we would be judged by our age, our sex, the colour of our skin, the accent from our lips, the shade of our hair and so on. Without saying a word we would be instantly categorised and cast into a stereotype by the person so making that judgement and for many years I was unable to discern how it could be overcome. It seemed at first that being quiet, withdrawn and having as little interaction with others as possible was the way forward. Mercifully I realised, ultimately, that the exact opposite strategy was the one that was required; and I now use my self-taught skills to interact with as many people as I can come across: for it strikes me that an effective and hopefully pleasurable line of communication is the most effective way of breaking down others' pre-conceived ideas. Perhaps it was a culmination of this work that saw me entering a profession where communication is 99% of what I do.
This book is an effective means of following such a strategy and it details quite nicely some of the thought processes that we need in ourselves and hopefully engender in others in order to bring this about. In truth I would have liked a little more passion from the author, though it does contain some nice examples, but be in no doubt that effective communication is just that: an uplifting and passionate process which of course is why so many will misconstrue it when communicating with the opposite sex - as a simple chat-up line, which is a shame.
Notwithstanding this, the book is a useful and helpful guide to all those who have, for whatever reason made that absolutely vital first step of wanting to engage and to communicate with just about everyone they meet, so much so, that the person who they have just finished communicating with will feel brighter, more buoyant or simply be very glad that they met them in that small interval of time. With many thanks.