Talk Your Way to the Top: Communication Secrets to Change Your Life


Drawing from two decades of professional experience, Hogan reveals how to speak--and how to listen--in order to achieve personal and professional goals. Illustrations.
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Talk Your Way to the Top: Communication Secrets to Change Your Life

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Drawing from two decades of professional experience, Hogan reveals how to speak--and how to listen--in order to achieve personal and professional goals. Illustrations.
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Editorial Reviews

Marjory Raymer
This is a motivational speech spelled out in black and white that is as instructional as it is rousing. Even for the professional communicator, there is something to be learned from the insights offered by Hogan.
The necessity of this book is bluntly defined in the introduction by motivational speaker Richard Brodie: "Most of us just open our mouths or keep them shut out of habit, fear or any number of reasons that take us further from, not closer to, where we want to go in life."
Hogan guides readers toward self-improvement with well developed scenarios, personal examples and multiple workbook style sections. In "Drawing Your Own Roadmap," for instance, Hogan helps readers define personal goals and outline specific avenues to achieving them.
The book questions readers and asks them to question themselves. "How many times have you sabotaged your success in communicating by letting your thoughts bounce around in all of the negative situations?" Important points are highlighted in breakout boxes, such as "seventy-five percent of all people who were moved up the executive ladder in 1998 were being mentored on their way to the top."
Hogan defines some communication jargon, such as outcome-based thinking and rapport, which might not be thoroughly understood by some readers. He offers chapters specifically aimed at improving personal relationships and becoming a better salesman.
Readers sometimes need to stomach a few cliches and some of Hogan's personal politics. Also, the book sometimes wanders outside the professional realm and into the analysis of personality traits and the theory of intercommunication. Still, even well seasoned communicators can gain a few helpful pointers in this manual, such as how hand gestures can send the right and wrong signals to listeners or how to effectively avoid hostile discussions.
Of special interest to readers will be Hogan's extensive examples of how a simple conversation can be improved and leave associates or bosses happier. One of many possible examples is the different impression portrayed with "Let's look forward to a new start today," instead of, "Let's not make today another repeat of yesterday."
The pep-talk format of this book is sure to appeal to some readers, especially those truly struggling to communicate effectively. The clear and concise outline of the book as well as the multiple discussion topics will help in locating the best advice for any situation, making it a handy desktop personal adviser.
Foreword January
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781565544260
  • Publisher: Pelican Publishing Company, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/28/1999
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 455,726
  • Product dimensions: 6.05 (w) x 9.46 (h) x 1.04 (d)

Meet the Author

Kevin Hogan is a national public speaker and founder of Success Dynamics Foundation, a nonprofit organization that strives to teach schoolchildren about making correct choices about drug use. An expert on body language, he is sought after by the media and even has interepreted President Clinton's demeanor during a televised speech for the New York Post . He holds a doctorate of clinical hypnotherapy from American Institute of Hypnotherapy (Irvine, California) and a Ph.D. in metaphysics from the American Institute of Holistic Theology (Youngstown, Ohio). Dr. Hogan has a clinical hypnotherapy practice and sees clients daily. He resides in Eagan, Minnesota.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Talking Your Way to the Top

Communication is far more than what you say. It's how you say "it." Communication is about listening and talking and the act of mutually disclosing inner feelings and thoughts to others. As people become better communicators, they become great in everything from love relationships to business to selling.

    What is "the top" anyway? Being on top means being in charge of your own life. Being on top means being who you want to be and being with whom you want to be with. Being on top means being all that you can be. When you are on your way to the top, you become known for being a great listener. You also know how to develop great friendships and relationships with virtually anyone you wish. You will certainly begin to ascend the corporate and career ladder while building passionate and long-term interpersonal relationships outside of the office. Reaching the Top in our life experiences is attainable by anyone who understands and applies the secrets of communication.

    Being on Top also involves great intrapersonal communication, which means understanding yourself and participating in effective self communication. Being on top also means you are using the gifts and talents that you have been given.

    People on top are happier, and often live simpler and more fulfilling lives while earning more income. This happens because truly successful people know how to channel their energy for health, wealth, and happiness. This book is about communication, and communication is your vehicle to thetop!

    Communicating with the people you want to share your time with is a part of talking your way to the top. If you haven't found the people you want to share that time with yet, this book will show you how to pull the right strings to find these important people. If you have found these people, this book will show you how to really communicate with them and have incredibly intimate experiences with them. Implicit to talking is listening. We'll talk a lot about listening later in this book.

    For the last decade, I have spent many thousands of hours working with chronically ill people as a hypnotherapist. I have had the privilege of learning more about the inner workings of the mind and what people really think than almost anyone else in the world. My experience as a hypnotherapist has ranged from working with some of the wealthiest executives in the world to the everyday woman on the street. While helping people make gains in their health, I've become privy to the inner thoughts, fears, goals, and drives of all of these people. You will find no stories of these people in this book. What you will find are the many distinctions that come directly from my experience as a confidante to people who have had terrible relationships and those who have had wonderful long-term experiences with other people. You will learn how effective communication can change all the facets of your life.

    For the last two decades I have also studied, researched, and learned to understand communication as it happens in day-to-day life. Although my field of specialization is normally considered to be that of non-verbal communication (body language), I have also studied and learned a great deal about people in business, relationships, and what makes people excel in the areas they need to improve on in life.

    Pelican Publishing Company released my third book, The Psychology of Persuasion: How to Persuade Others to Your Way of Thinking, in 1996. The Psychology of Persuasion is a critically important book that takes you step by step through the process of influence. The Psychology of Persuasion was dedicated to helping people in persuasive, one-on-one communication. Influencing human behavior is critical to being truly a success in all aspects of life.

    In this book, I have a lofty goal for both of us. My goal in writing this book is to share with you how to completely change your life with the most important tool we all use to create long-term and permanent change: communication. My goal for you is to focus your energy on areas where you want to excel in your life. Whether you want to feel better about yourself, talk like a winner in business, or develop great long-term personal relationships, this book is for you. This book shows you how to take control of your life and your communication in business, in relationships, and with yourself.

    If you have been in business for any length of time, you know that networking is absolutely necessary for your long-term business success.

Did you know that in America's major corporations, 75 percent of all people who were moved up the executive ladder in 1998 were being mentored on their way to the top in their company?

    Do you have a personal mentor you listen to for advice in your corporation?

    Successful intimate relationships include those with people who communicate well with each other. The number one reason people stay together in good relationships is that they can talk and listen to each other. Being in good intrapersonal communication with your Self is our final stage of self mastery and success! The very idea of being able to be in touch with who you are is awe-inspiring. Everyone from the great success philosopher Napoleon Hill, to multimillionaire W. Clement Stone, to business and athletic leaders has had great intrapersonal communication. In other words, they have known how to listen successfully to that inner intuitive voice. They have known exactly what it takes to reprogram their mind to get what they want.

    Tony Robbins earns in excess of $100 million a year by teaching and coaching corporate America to develop great communication skills. This book will show you the secrets that took Tony to the top and will carry you there as well! Excellent self managers are in touch with themselves at all levels of experience. While we are here at the beginning, let's look at a couple of key ideas that will be using as guideposts throughout this book. Guideposts are like mile markers on a highway that let us know how far we have gone. Guideposts help us remember what is really important in life.

    After Napoleon Hill had interviewed Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and other great leaders of his time to determine the key principles that made these people great, he found there were seventeen keys to success. One of them was the ability to contact "infinite intelligence." Like the great psychologist Carl Jung and many scientists, the truly great leaders of this world seem to be in tune with something "higher than themselves." Indeed, they were and are. We will touch on this subject in this book.

Do You Listen when the Universe of Ideas Talks to You?

    All great men and women have been listeners. Bill Clinton is resilient because he has been an outstanding empathetic listener. Regardless of your views as they relate to his values and personal decisions, most people believe that he has had the best interests of the United States of America in his heart. Why did this belief permeate so? He always listened. He wanted to hear what the everyday Joe had to say about how the country could be better. The ability to truly listen is important, and we will go to some length in discussing specifically how to listen effectively to other people, with empathy.

    Listening goes beyond attentively waiting for other people to stop talking. It really means getting inside of their hearts and minds and experiencing life situations from their point of view. Taking this one step further, how can we be like the true greats? You probably already know that Paul McCartney would often awaken to the music or lyrics of some of his greatest music. What was he listening to? How was he communicating with "infinite intelligence?"

    Has it ever struck you (or were you even aware) that the telephone was in the process of being invented by more than one person at the same time? Did you know that the automobile, the radio, electricity, the light bulb, television, and the airplane were all being simultaneously invented (each in its own decade) by different individuals? The ideas for these world-changing inventions all were in more than one person's mind at the same time. More than being in the mind, they were all in the process of being developed at the same time. In most cases, the ideas came independently of knowledge of other people's work in the field. It would be easy to explain this fact by the evolution of industry, except that many of these inventions weren't logical or necessary next step inventions. When the airplane was being tested at Kitty Hawk by the Wright Brothers, almost no one owned automobiles. In fact, it was only a few years before the first flight that the automobile was invented.

    What this might all mean is that the universe is out there tickling our minds, if only we would listen. It also might mean that the universe has these ideas etched into the unified field, and if we tickle the universe we might be able to scratch off some life-changing thoughts and ideas. People who have discovered their life purpose and mission seem to be able to access ideas from a unified field of sorts. Some people "listen" to these ideas and they change the quality of life on our planet. History doesn't suggest that Edison, the Wright Brothers, Bell, Ford, and the like were profoundly religious people, but they seemed to be "in touch" with something that might be described as a pool of ideas or possibilities. I believe that you can be in touch with this source of ideas. At the end of this book, I will share with you the most likely way that you can listen to this source.

Great Communicators Are Living on Purpose.
Are You?

    Are you open to the possibility that you might be far more than a biological animal? Is it just possible that you may have a spiritual side, or that part of yourself that is here is having a physical experience? Is it possible that this physical experience is one that should be a proving ground for your journeys and successes? If you are here for a reason and a special purpose, what might that be? People who live their lives with positive intention and with purpose are those that truly make it to the top.

    Of course, most people never find their purpose or their reason for being here. Part of your purpose for being here is, of course, to experience happiness and joy. These experiences most often happen when we are in communication with other people. Sometimes they happen when we are alone in a contented state experiencing a peaceful state of mind.

    Living this life can be a tremendous chore or a great gift. You may just have the ability to live your dreams and make your life a gift to others! You have the ability to experience pleasure. How wonderful it is to hold someone's hand, to hug them, to hear their voices or see their smiles. The smell of an apple pie, the scent of the ocean on a walk on the beach are all incredible experiences that we far too often overlook and discard. Spend time with people who have an impairment in one of their senses and you quickly appreciate the senses that you have.

    Being "alive" is an extraordinary opportunity for learning and experiencing. The Dalai Lama has more than once spoken of a major purpose in life as being that of seeking happiness. He's right isn't he? Viktor Frankl, who experienced the concentration camps of World War II first hand, noted the importance of finding purpose and meaning in life regardless of one's personal life situation. Frankl, the author of Man's Search for Meaning, endured the day-to-day life of concentration camps with a remarkable sense of courage and hope. His personal attitude played a significant role in his survival. How good would you guess Frankl's intrapersonal communication was?

Fundamental to purpose and day-to-day happiness is our ability to communicate with ourselves and with others, and to tap that universal pool of ideas.

    In this book, we will seek to deal with the simplest of communication themes first. As you will discover, there are three basic layers of communication that are subdivided further into secrets, techniques, and strategies, but all you need to do is remember the three: others, ourselves, and the pool of ideas that later will be referred to as the "unified field."

    We begin with interpersonal communication, which includes communicating with people we like and don't like. Once having mastered the basics of communication, we will talk about how to communicate with those special people we want to be in daily contact with (our boss, our employees, our friends, our spouses and children), and those we would like to be intimate with. Then we will discuss how to talk and listen to ourselves. We will learn how to discover our own unique purpose for being here and find out just how important this is to making it to the pinnacle of a successful life.

    Finally, like Paul McCartney, Henry Ford, and all the great people who changed the world, we will learn the secrets of tapping the resources of the unified field in the ultimate communication that transcends physical experience into the experience of idea and thought. This "listening" process is one of the golden keys that separates those who merely aspired and those who achieved.

    This book will lead you to many great successes and through the failures that make the successes even more satisfying. You now have the handbook for communication excellence that is really very little different from having the handbook for life excellence. The first begets the second. You will learn specific communication techniques and thinking strategies to assist you on your journey to the top.

The Tough-as-Nails Communicator

The question must arise, then, about how to integrate all of this into a successful business career. The answer is simple. Your job is to make your company and yourself as successful as possible. This means that you will always utilize outcome-based thinking (We'll talk more about this later!) and be willing to walk away from any deal that isn't in your best interest. You must become known as the generator of "Win/Win or No Deal relationships." This means you often will have to swim with the sharks without being eaten alive, as Harvey McKay would say!

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Table of Contents

Foreword 9
Acknowledgments 13
Chapter 1 Talking Your Way to the Top 17
Chapter 2 Talking Yourself into Success 23
Chapter 3 Values: The Key to Connecting with Anyone! 41
Chapter 4 Building Rapport: The Foundation of Successful
Communication 49
Chapter 5 Communication 101: Skills for Success 73
Chapter 6 Understanding Personality Traits 91
Chapter 7 Can You Hear Your Body Talking? 117
Chapter 8 Talking Your Way to the Top in the Workplace 131
Chapter 9 Communicating in Intimate Relationships 141
Chapter 10 Charismatic Communication: Making Other People
Right Even When They Are Wrong 149
Chapter 11 Secrets of Love and Intimacy 165
Chapter 12 Talking to Well-Intentioned Dragons 181
Chapter 13 To Thine Own Self Be True: The Key to Life-Long
Success and Prosperity 189
Chapter 14 The Map to the Top: Your Personal Mission Statement 207
Chapter 15 How One Famous Radio Talk Show Host Talked His Way
to the Top 215
Chapter 16 Who Gets to the Top? 225
Chapter 17 Sell Your Way to the Top inthe 21st Century 237
Bibliography 249
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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2003

    Communication and Persuasion Secrets

    A better title for this book would have been Talk So People Listen. There is very little about climbing the ladder of success and very much about effective communication. Something that Hogan does here and not in his other work is the regular reminders of key concepts and ideas. Throughout the book you find almost 200 boxed and bolded concepts that really encapsulate the core of the message of Talk Your Way to the Top. This highlighting of key ideas worked. The first two chapters read like a good motivational speakers best presentation. Mixing fact with enthusiasm the author lays out the reasons to learn how to communicate (talk and listen) better. What attracted me to reading the balance of the book (as I don't prefer the motivational aspects as much as some certainly will) is Chapter Three which provides a brilliant distillation of eliciting values from others and gently utilizing that information to build rapport and learn more about others. His touching story in Chapter Four about meeting the little girl in a wheel chair at a book signing gone wrong literally brings you to tears and the entire chapter not only educates but works. Chapter Five isn't as on target as the rest of the book. The communication skills for success aren't original though they certainly are effective in the workplace. Understanding Personality Traits (Ch. 6) is a treat. The author takes Carl Jung and does Jung justice in expanding on how to communicate effectively with different types of people with different personality quirks and traits. The examples and detail of the chapter are worthy of merit. Can You Hear Your Body Talking (Ch. 7) is the strongest chapter in the book. Here Hogan clearly details difficult to understand nonverba communication theory. This is one of Hogan's strength's. Teaching the individual the process of thinking and evaluating the communication of others while staying in the moment. The nonverbal tips and techniques are well structured and provide enough detail for any reader to feel they got their feet wet. The next few chapters were probably written as one long chapter then divided by divine fiat as they are collectively quite good. Here you learn the 8 Habits of Highly Ineffective Communicators. If you are like me you will feel a bit uncomfortable at times as you read about yourself in some of the styles of communication. The highlight of these chapters is the simplicity and easy 'dosing' of criticism that you accept and understand as you go through these chapters. It's not easy to read about your weaknesses, but without these chapters you may only have a surface value book instead of something that actually creates change within. These chapters worked even though they were a bit awkward. The chapter on dealing with Well Intentioned Dragons (individuals who both have bring out the worst in you yet are obligated to communicate with regularly) is well done and not an easy topic to handle. Dealing with Emotional Vampires isn't easy and this chapter succeeded at helping understand just how to do it. There is an interview with a talk show host that doesn't really work and then a well thought out exposition of evolutionary psychology in what is a very spiritual book. I'm not certain how they all fit together. Most of the balance of the book is quite good if not in tune with the first half of the text. Overall this is an excellent book and worthy of being on the salesperson's shelf. This is probably not Hogan's finest work. That would have to be reserved for The Psychology of Persuasion and perhaps Irresistible Attraction. This is an excellent text for nurturing communication in relationships in business and personal life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2001

    Excellent book on interpersonal communication

    This book is filled with very good and interesting information. From my standpoint it was very interesting because in my occupation I am the one who is sent in when a customer is unhappy and have to try to save the project. I am very successful at that but have had a very hard time training others in how to get to the root of a problem and find a way to work it out to regain a working relationship. As I read through this book I recognized item after item that I do easily and naturally. This book finally quantifies those items and does so in a way where a person can train themselves to deal with difficult people or difficult situations. Of course, it would be even better to know these principles from the beginning so that you don't get into those awkward situations to begin with. Unless you are a complete hermit who does not deal with anyone on a regular basis, this book can prove helpful to you. Read it, practice it, read it again. Don't believe the title that this is just about talking your way to the top of an organization, it is an excellent book about communication and getting ahead in all aspects of life. I even passed it along to a teenager who is having problems with social acceptance at his school. I advised him to pick a chapter and try the techniques in it on purpose for a week, then pick another chapter and concentrate on it for a week. After three weeks he indicated that people no longer turn away from him when he approaches, say hello to him on the streets, etc. It is taking hard work for him but the results are nothing short of amazing. I did not care for Chapters 11 and 12 where he moves from communication with and between others to a form of self therapy. Perhaps others will find it valuable but I did not. There are better books where the whole book deals with self-talk and personal therapy of various types. That being said, it is still the best book that I have found on communication skills and how to deal with other people. It is in fact just what it says, communication secrets to change your life. It just became required reading for project managers at my company.

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