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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 2 October 2003
How could I possibly resist this book once I'd seen the title? It demanded that I at the very least opened the book to find out just what a Pink Elephant is! What I found was entertaining, provocative, simple, perhaps obvious in parts (but hindsight is wonderful), and most importantly something which immediately changed my behaviour. You would expect a book about "personal communication heaven" written by an expert in the field to be easy to read and understand - you will find that to be true (I nearly wrote "you will not be disappointed" - oops Pink Elephant!)
This book both fun and potentially life changing - Bill McFarlan writes near the end "I have experienced at first hand how these rules have enriched my life and the lives of others I've met" and then goes on to finish with significant examples. Can "rules" about communication work in this way? Having read this book and had my first taste of putting the ideas into practice, I am certain that he is right. Thank you Bill. I commend this book to everyone.
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on 14 June 2005
Having been assigned the presumed long and arduous task of reading Drop the Pink Elephant as part of my work experience working with a management consultant; I found the book an undemanding and entertaining read. In my opinion this is an amazing self help book in which the author provides an insight into the imperfections of our personal communication skills, and offers remedies to these weaknesses. The clear, comprehensible, well structured chapters each aim to develop the readers communication abilities through highlighting the solutions to possible problems. Using everyday examples Bill McFarlan places the reader in situations common to most, aiding in the understanding of the book. Filled with helpful, simple, and practical advice, coupled with a dose of humour, Drop the Pink Elephant is a very educational read.
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on 27 October 2009
My goodness, I can think of loads of people who would benefit from reading this book!

In today's society where everyone seems to be jumping on each other for saying anything out of place, we could all use a lesson in communication. Dropping the "Pink Elephant" ie, the negative words in our language, helps us to communicate what we want to say in a positive and non confrontational way.

Losing the sarcasm from our voices and responding to people in a positive way is always going to get you further than responding in a snappy and impatient tone.

A very good and educational read.
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I first read this book several years ago and it bears re-reading. Communication is not an exact science and anything we can do to make our communications easy to understand the more likely we are to get our message over to the people who need to hear it. Apart from the quirky title and the pink elephant cartoons and footprints throughout this book it does have some serious messages for everyone not just in the workplace.

How often do you say something and mean the opposite? How often have people interpreted what you've said in completely the wrong way? This book will show you how you can say things so that people will get the message that you want them to receive. It will also tell you how not to bore your listeners to tears by telling them at length about things in which they can have no possible interest.

The book is about listening as well as talking and about all forms of communication not just speech. Any form of instant communication can lead you into all sorts of problems if you don't think about what you've written before you press the send button. Read this book and think twice or three times before you send your tactless communications into cyberspace and alienate the people you're supposed to be getting on your side.
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on 14 September 2015
To be honest I was a little sceptical on purchasing this book from my "Amazon Recommendations" but I was fully engrossed from the minute I opened the book. Bill McFarlan tells how he has helped coach people to use the "Three R's" (Regret, Reason and Remedy). So here goes... It's with regret that this book is short. The reason is that it has little substance and ends without any concise conclusions or actions. The remedy? Borrow from someone, don't buy it - or get a cheap copy when Amazon has an offer on!
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on 15 April 2015
One of my favourite communication books of all time. Extremely effective in assisting communication whether written or spoken. We do not realise how powerful our language shows and promotes negativity or positivity and how it influences what people perceive. Very well done and very informative practical help on communication at all levels. From technical reports to making people feel valued. All wonderful. Highly Recommended and Essential Reading.
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VINE VOICEon 12 August 2012
In my work I have read many books covering many parts of self development, a team member suggested this one and so I approached it with no prior knowledge. Drop the Pink Elephant is written by Bill McFarlan who has extensive work experience and stories from the world of broadcasting and media. This has lead him to develop his thoughts on what works in communicating clearly with others.

Some of his thoughts are undoubtedly taken from others, this is not only referenced by the quotes, but also some of the facts he presents (e.g. around communication) without any credit given to the sources. This is probably because of the writing style chosen to engage with readers, however it disappointed me as I feel it would have enhanced the credibility of the thoughts further rather than appearing to pass off other's research as his own.

On the positive side, the lessons are really simple and some of the stories are excellent in enhancing and demonstrating the benefits in positive self-presentation. I have regularly interviewed people in my recent career and found myself strongly agreeing with his observations around the way candidates present them-self.

I can see this as a book that some will really like and benefit from, as the methods will make a different. I am slightly disappointed by the presentation of the book and that lost a star for me.
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on 19 July 2011
We talk and write so often that we rarely stop to think about whether we're making the best impression we could, still less how we could do so. Bill McFarlan's book does ask that question - and makes the reader ask it of him or herself - and answers it helpfully and succinctly.

As he says himself, a lot of it is common sense but reading it is still useful and helps to reinforce that knowledge. Besides, common sense and common habits can be two different things.

The book's easy to read, with a chapter devoted to one of fifteen aspects of communication. These are often quite short but packed full of useful information, anecdote, quotes and counter-examples (how not to do it, including the pink elephants of the title). These all go to paint the picture needed to explain the point. What's more, for what could be a dry subject, it's a lot of fun.

It is possible to read the book from start to finish (I did, more or less), but a reader will get just as much out of it by dipping into a chapter here and there, which really does add to its value as a manual.

All in all, very much recommended for anyone looking to improve not just their communication skills.
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on 5 December 2013
Mean what you say.
A really easy read. Really thought provoking. It changes the way you listen to people - especially politicians. Really good for helping to think through & phrase what you want to say.
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on 21 March 2014
Though I've not finished it, I am finding the book both useful and informative - certainly one of the key messages helped me get shot of a doorstep salesman the other day!
Maybe it's as a result of me picking at it that I would say that it appears to be a bit fragmented.
Overall a worthwhile purchase.
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