Customer Review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something for everyone., 2 Aug 2012
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This review is from: Water Off a Duck's Back: How to Deal with Frustrating Situations, Awkward, Exasperating and Manipulative People and... Keep Smiling! (Paperback)
I stumbled across this book while looking for another on an unrelated subject. For many years I have dealt with people from all walks of life in my work, the majority pleasant enough, but a major part of what I do involves getting to the bottom of matters where people are actively deceiving, defrauding and up to all manner of nefarious activity. As you can imagine, not only do I have to do the Sherlock bit to get to the truth but also deal with people and institutions that are less than happy with my interest who will often hinder and endeavour to gain what they want in no uncertain terms; afterall, they have much to lose. As a manager I also have to interact with staff with all manner of issues, which can be interesting to say the least. So, you say, what would I gain from this book, difficult people and situations are my bread and butter, it could only serve to tell me grass is green surely? Well, I didn't need the book from the point of view that I needed advice in dealing with awkward people and situations, but as someone who is always looking for ways to up my game and curious as to how others deal with the same situations as I.

Mostly for myself it's a breathe of fresh air, using tried and trusted methods with a different approach, which makes life that bit less dull. Some methods may work better than those I employ, others may not be for me, I've yet to find out but consider the more options available the better. There are also real life scenarios and anecdotes that are all-too familiar and had me chuckling away. On a lighter note, I have a few more spiels I can try on telesales callers for when I'm in the mood to actually answer the phone and have a bit of a parle.

I dipped in and out and just read the chapters that particularly appealed and this book is written in such a way that it's easy to do. There are no quick fixes here, these are complicated issues that deal with human nature so don't expect to be told 2 + 2 = 4. Don't read the book too quickly either would be my advice. It's natural with material like this to want to read the whole thing in one sitting and be equipped with your new found skills immediately. I learned a thing or two, and used the book as consolidation for some old faithfuls. As with anything in life, we become blinkered and after a period of time do not use things to their full potential. Books like this serve as a little wake up call. I took one newly acquired tip at a time and applied it just to see how it served me. Walk before you can run.

On a final note I would say that as someone reading this book who is familiar with the practices and approaches, it rings true. Jon Lavelle is not some hack jumping on a bandwagon to make a quick buck, as unfortunately is the case with all too many How To books.
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Location: Sussex, England

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