Shell and Moussa, both on the Wharton School faculty, aim to help readers get attention and sell their ideas through strategic relationship-based persuasion, or "woo"-or "winning others over." The authors consider wooing to be one of the most important skills in a manager's repertoire; while the concept may seem simple, mastering it is an art. The challenge is in striking a balance between what the authors identify as the "self-oriented" perspective-where focus is on the persuader's credibility and point of view-and the "other-oriented" perspective, which focuses on the audience's needs, perceptions and feelings. Drawing on their experience in teaching executives to negotiate, the authors examine the most important moments of influence and provide a four-step process to achieving goals: survey your situation, confront the five barriers, make your pitch and secure your commitments. They offer a practical guide to improving one's wooing skills, highlighting successes and failures from history and the present day. An entertaining and useful guide to acquiring the power of woo, this book will help readers beyond the professional realm. (Oct.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Shell and Moussa (codirectors, Strategic Persuasion Workshop, Wharton Sch., Univ. of Pennsylvania) collaborate here to teach the art of persuading people in a way that is mutually beneficial, accomplished with the use of rhetoric and an understanding of the other person's problems. WOO is an acronym for "Winning Others Over." The title is a reference to (and play on) Sun Tzu's The Art of War, which takes a very different position: people are adversaries and a position of superiority is required to negotiate a favorable outcome. The Art of WOOis one of many books written to aid businesspeople in being more persuasive. Dale Carnegie's classic How To Win Friends & Influence Peopleremains a standard for salespeople to this day. Alan Kelly's recent The Elements of Influencelikewise has the tone of a war strategist who understands modern media as an aid in selling ideas. This book is gentler and more cerebral, and of course relevant in ways that Carnegie's 70-year-old book cannot be. Students of rhetoric, language arts, and marketing would all benefit from this book, so libraries of all sizes should consider purchasing.
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