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About the Author
He appears frequently as a human psychology and behavior subject-area expert across all media, including news outlets ABC, NBC, CBS, and BBC News, as well as CNN, Today, Oprah, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune, Harvard Business Review, Business Insider, Fast Company, Huffington Post, and Westwood One.
Read an Excerpt
Chapter 1: Who’s Holding You Hostage?
Good management is the art of making problems so interesting and their solutions so constructive that everyone wants to get to work and deal with them.
—PAUL HAWKEN, AUTHOR, NATURAL CAPITALISM
Right now, there’s someone in your life you need to reach. But you can’t, and it’s driving you crazy. Maybe it’s somebody at work: a subordinate, a team member, a client, your boss. Or maybe it’s somebody at home: a partner, a parent, a defiant teen, an angry “ex.”
You’ve tried everything—logic, persuasion, forcefulness, pleading, anger—but you’ve hit a wall every time. You’re mad, scared, or frustrated. And you’re thinking, “What now?”
Here’s what I want you to do: Think of this as a hostage situation. Why? Because you can’t get free. You’re trapped by another person’s resistance, fear, hostility, apathy, stubbornness, self-cen teredness, or neediness—and by your own inability to take effective action.
And that’s where I come in. I’m just an average guy—husband, father, doctor—but a long time ago, I discovered that I had a special talent. You could drop me into just about any situation, and I could reach people. I could persuade defiant executives, angry employees, or self-destructing management teams to work cooperatively toward solutions. I could get through to families in turmoil and to married couples who hated each other’s guts. I could even change the minds of hostage takers and desperate people contemplating suicide. a wasn’t sure what I was doing differently from everybody else, but I could tell it worked. I knew I wasn’t smarter than everybody else, and I knew my success wasn’t just luck because what I did worked consistently, and it worked with all kinds of people in every type of situation. But why did it work?
In analyzing my methods, I found the answer. It turned out I’d happened on a simple, quick set of techniques—some I’d discovered on my own, and others I’d learned from mentors and colleagues—that create traction. That is, they pull people toward me, even if those people are trying to pull away.
To understand this, picture yourself driving up a steep hill. Your tires slip and slide and can’t grab hold. But downshift, and you get control. It’s like pulling the road to meet you.
Most people upshift when they want to get through to other people. They persuade. They encourage. They argue. They push. And in the process, they create resistance. When you use the techniques I offer, you’ll do exactly the opposite—you’ll listen, ask, mirror, and reflect back to people what you’ve heard. When you do, they will feel seen, understood, and felt—and that unexpected downshift will draw them to you.
The powerful techniques you’ll learn in this book can move people rapidly and easily, often within minutes, from “no” to “yes.” I employ them every day to fix broken families and help warring couples fall in love again. I use them to save companies on the brink of meltdown, get feuding managers to work together effectively, and empower salespeople to make “impossible” sales. And I use them to help FBI agents and hostage negotiators succeed in the toughest situations possible, when life and death are on the line.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Keith Ferrazzi xiii
Preface to the Paperback Edition xv
SECTION I The Secret to Reaching Anyone 1
1 Who’s Holding YOU Hostage? 3
2 A Little Science: How the Brain Goes from “No” to “Yes” 14
SECTION II The 9 Core Rules for Getting Through to Anyone 25
3 Move Yourself from “Oh F#@& to OK” 27
4 Rewire Yourself to Listen 36
5 Make the Other Person Feel “Felt” 45
6 Be More Interested Than Interesting 55
7 Make People Feel Valuable 64
8 Help People to Exhale Emotionally and Mentally 69
9 Check Your Dissonance at the Door 77
10 When All Seems Lost—Bare Your Neck 87
11 Steer Clear of Toxic People 94
SECTION III 12 Easy-to-Use Tools for Achieving Buy-in and Getting Through 109
12 The Impossibility Question 111
13 The Magic Paradox 116
14 The Empathy Jolt 123
15 The Reverse Play, Empathy Jolt #2 132
16 “Do You Believe That?” 138
17 The Power of “Hmmm. . . .” 142
18 The Stipulation Gambit 150
19 From Transaction to Transformation 155
20 Side by Side 163
21 Fill in the Blanks 170
22 Take It All the Way to “No” 176
23 The Power Thank You and Power Apology 180
SECTION IV Fast Fixes for 7 Challenging Situations 187
24 The Team from Hell 189
25 Climbing the Ladder 194
26 The Narcissist at the Table 197
27 Stranger in Town 200
28 The Human Explosion 204
29 Getting Through to Yourself 209
30 Six Degrees of Separation 215
About the Author 231
What People are Saying About This
"'Just Listen' could be the definitive book on communication--today's generation's How to Win Friends and Influence People."
-Marty Nemko, Contributing Editor, U.S. News & World Report