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on 7 May 2012
This book was recommended by someone who told me it was lifechanging, an opinion which could be bolstered if one believes the jacket blurb. I was disappointed. Having read similar books and attended a few courses of the popular psychology type, I didn't find this book particularly novel. Much of the advice could be summarised by saying 'listen to the other person', or else it gives common sense advice like 'don't get angry' or 'think before you speak'. Yes the book does have interesting nuggets of advice and it does suggest approaches which some people may find useful. All I can say is that it didn't do much for me.

The two most important things about this book are its extremely American tone and its emphasis on the business environment. My criticisms of the authors are perhaps as much a criticism of American culture as they are of the authors themselves. The amount of aggravation, competitiveness, unhappiness, frustration, even nastiness, reflected in these pages is surely not healthy. It is as if the backchat, argumentation and oneupmanship reflected in certain American films reflects actual reality. In a British context, it is as if we all act like television 'East Enders' characters.

The whole environment represented in this book is difficult for me to immerse myself in and I don't want to. In any case I suggest that the book may be of more use to people with problems in a business environment than to those who have communication problems in their personal lives. For such people I expect there are better books.
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on 3 March 2018
Life changing. Buy it.

I have ready few books that have truly changed the way I interact with the world. This is one of them. I read this book in the mists of a messy divorce and it really helped to clear things up. It showed me that I was going about conversations in completely the wrong way. I wish I had found this sooner in my life. It would have changed so much.

It will teach you how to interact with people when it matters most. Whether its partners, children, parents, manager, boss, strangers or friends you are most likely messing up your conversions and not even noticing it.

I can not recommend this book enough. I recommend it to everyone who asks me about books or if I think it can help them.
Its also available on audiable. I have both. However you get it, get it.

This book is paired amazingly with Chimp paradox. These 2 book are my killer combo recommendation.
Once you have finished it, take some time to reflect deeply. You'll be surprised what you discover with your new knowledge.
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on 29 April 2003
Wanna argue? Nope. Then you need Kerry Patterson and his co-writers, who describe techniques for effective negotiation and conflict resolution in the context of important, potentially life-changing conversations. Examples include talking yourself into a promotion, bringing up important information at meetings and working out problems with your spouse. Some tips will sound familiar, such as knowing what you really want and being open to alternatives. However, the book also highlights some themes that are often forgotten in negotiations, such as making it safe for others to express their true feelings and desires. The authors explain how to avoid getting forced into false either-or choices and tell you how to remain alert for unstated alternatives or possibilities. This lively book includes many examples drawn from business and personal relationships. We from getAbstract recommend it in particular to those are new to negotiations and conflict resolution, though it teaches solid skills that any manager - or any marriage partner, for that matter - could benefit from mastering.
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on 12 July 2013
I am still around chapter 8, but I find it extremely useful and I wanted to second others' recommendations for checking out this book. I never thought that I was an expert on conversations, but I had the impression about myself that I was at least "ok". So, I didn't experience it as an enjoyable reading (especially at first), because it reminded me of so many crucial conversations in my life where I did all the wrong things, injured relationships, and got exactly the opposite results of what I intended out of a conversation or for not having the conversation at all. So it was more of an emotionally painful but sobering reading, and with some hope at the end of the tunnel, as I continue to read. If nothing else, I am now more aware than before that my skills in this area are certainly in need for improvement.

And the authors' entire premise and set of techniques are described very simply and clearly, without all the heavy wordiness and theorizing that social scientists usually use in their books. It's very practical, short sweet and to the point, which I personally appreciate very much. I understood better through this little book what Kaheman tried to bring across in his large book "Thinking Fast and Slow" regarding the interaction of System 1 and System 2, even if the authors did not use these terms at all.

I am not promising that we won't be struggling with improving our crucial conversations for as long as we live even after reading the book, but even if we are able to remember even a couple of the tips and implement them during our next high-stakes conversation, it might make a big difference to an important relationship in our lives. And there lies my hope.
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on 26 August 2015
The book is helpful to a degree but the examples are sexist. E.g. couple arguing because he wants more sex than she does, woman erroneously feeling man at work is stealing her ideas, parents concerned daughter is dressing inappropriately.

I also found the tips and tricks unnecessarily verbose. But it was helpful in encouraging me to think more strategically about conversations.
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on 5 June 2013
This book was given to me by a friend, which is why I read it. I'll be honest, some of the self-help language (pools or meaning etc) and American self-help style was a little off-putting at first. I reached a point after about page three, where I realised I could just roll my eyes the whole time, or actually allow the book to teach me a thing or two. I'm so glad I persevered as I have learnt a lot and fear I will probably have to re-read this book several times in the course of my life for some of that wisdom to actually stick.
I felt particularly outed by some of the power-games mentioned that I often turn to in arguments, and am working on avoiding these in future conversations.
So, whether you tend to flight or fight when it comes to handling interactions that really matter, this is a great book to add to your tool kit.
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on 10 August 2014
Utterly terrific - i read a lot of books on communication and am rarely to be found scribbling furiously in the margins. More than that i actually began to practice the tools immediately after reading. this book will help you if you sometimes say things in the wrong way or find that your tone stops you being heard. it has already made a huge difference for me in my personal and professional lives. In both contexts i have meant well but not conveyed that - this book will teach you how. wonderfully written, practical and elegant i am a big fan.
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on 18 September 2017
We may think we're skilful negotiators and attentive listeners, but even a quick scan through this book will show you that you almost certainly have much to learn. Highly recommended. You owe it to yourself to read it cover to cover. Valuable life skills contained therein.
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on 8 December 2017
Get a woman to re-write your example scenarios. I cringed too hard to finish the book.

Shame, too, because the information was good.

2017 is not a good year to alienate half your potential readers.
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on 21 June 2017
Read this book and change your style and life. It is not hype, this is a really good book if you have to run meetings, conferences etc. What you learn also transfers to personal encounters and relationships.
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