Top critical review
33 people found this helpful
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.