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on 17 March 2017
The topic of the book is just what I was looking for, as I sometimes feel my requests fall on deaf ears. I also feel that lack of assertiveness is holding me back with work issues.
This book goes some way in dealing with the aforementioned, but, as a previous reviewer stated, the salient points take some sifting out.
Also, the listening section is based on reflecting back to the speaker, but not all conversations flow like that. There was very little advice on, for example, concentrating on the main concepts, or reading between the lines .
Ok, but reading it became a chore around two thirds in.
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on 31 March 2017
Interesting book.
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on 11 May 2017
Excellent book.
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on 24 August 2001
I regularly coach groups on interpersonal communication and have to admit that this book, for me, was a real gem of a find. I have read many books on interpersonal communication ... and have generally been disappointed on the coverage of reflective listening and communication barriers ... Bolton's book ... was simple, easy to understand, easy to learn and follow ... and yet dealt with fundamental communication skills that you generally only see expert coaches or counsellors use. Wonderful!
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It's OK if you want to delve into the problems of communication and understanding your myriad faults but it's much too wordy and aimed primarily at an American audience ( American authors have an irritating way of phrasing things in my view ). It's not much use as a way of explaining how to relate to others on this side of the pond. It does contain sections that could be informative but it's a chore to sift the relevant pieces out from the dross and waffle. Not recommended unless you've got real issues and it's not an easy read and you're likely to give up before you've bothered to read it. It would have been much better if the salient points had not been hidden in a sea of irrelevance.
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VINE VOICEon 12 February 2011
I got this book for myself when as a Nurse manager in the NHS, I had enrolled on yet another course from which I hoped to find something to inspire me in the profession. The course it has to said did nothing to enthuse me. However in contrast the book opened my eyes to something I had suspected was lurking in my unconscious waiting to be discovered, inspired and ignited. In short this book inspired me to resign my post as manager and seek a position as a deputy manager with less responsibility and a little more time to study. The study was to be a professional qualification in Counselling. I was on fire and totally focussed on completely redesigning my life, turning it into a work of my own design. Some twenty plus years later I am working as a successful counsellor, coach and educator. I have my own business and work part time for a major educational institution helping to train the next generation of counsellors.
I make no apology for the potted history of my recent life; it was necessary to try and convey the truth about this small easily read book. It gives simple yet powerful information to those who seek to learn about spoken communication in a user friendly form. As other reviewers have intimated, this book really will improve your spoken communication and in addition the written word will improve as well.
This book may not inspire a life changing decision in your life as it did in mine, but it will in my opinion improve your life.
Good luck!
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on 23 January 2009
Although "People Skills" was first published in 1986, I feel obliged to review it as the principles and lessons espoused by Robert Bolton are timeless. In fact it is probably one of the most used books in my collection (I even have the paperback version covered in plastic and it's never far from my desk).

"People Skills" is not a book that one sits down and reads from cover to cover. It's a book where you might read a chapter that relates to one of your underused skills (such as assertion) for your own development, or when you are faced with a difficult situation (such as managing a critical conflict). "People Skills" covers all the essential communication skills such as reflective listening, assertion and conflict management. Not only does Bolton provide the theory behind these skills, but he also gives short scenarios and great practical examples of how each can be applied.

Described by the publisher as a "communication skills handbook", "People Skills" should be essential reading for every manager. In fact it should be the standard text for all "Management 101" courses and would add tremendously to the skill set of our younger generation by being used as a standard high school text. Don't be put off by this textbook description as it is highly readable and a must for all practising managers. Make sure you have a copy to refer to when next you are faced with that difficult "people" issue.

Bob Selden,
Author, What To Do When You Become The Boss: How New Managers Become Successful Managers
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on 19 February 2000
Bolton's book has many things which interested me, but particularly important was his formula for three part assertion messages. I found this good to use in situations where I needed to be assertive - but in the past had not been. In framing the messages I was able to detect and weed out the (unhelpful) influences of my parents. As a parent I found it very useful in establishing good communications with my children.
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on 20 November 2002
Avoiding communication barriers, understanding different techniques of reflection and when to use them. How to be more assertive in ways that respect others and keep me healthy. I think I am very lucky to have found this book. It is improving the quality of my relationships and so changing my life.
I would like to find a video to present in groups I attend that would spark some interest in the comm skills described in this book. I so much want to open others' minds to what the book has to say.
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