Straight Talk: Influence Skills for Collaboration and Commitment

Straight Talk: Influence Skills for Collaboration and Commitment

by Rick Brandon
Straight Talk: Influence Skills for Collaboration and Commitment

Straight Talk: Influence Skills for Collaboration and Commitment

by Rick Brandon


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The costs of faulty communication are enormous for companies. Each year, billions of dollars are lost, precious time is wasted, innovation is thwarted, and morale suffers. But
sharpening influence skills can address these challenges and create huge payoffs.

Collaborative and commitment-driven interaction is the key to overcoming the obstacles of ever-rising performance expectations, widespread stress, and remote work.

Drawing from 35 years of performance-improvement experience, Rick Brandon, PhD, trains thousands of people to improve their results and work relationships by improving the clarity and persuasiveness of their communication. Straight Talk is his “edu-taining” workshop-in-a-book for anyone who wants to develop direct, empathetic, and positive communication skills that will benefit themselves, their teammates, and their companies.

It’s common sense but not always common practice to work on improving interpersonal skills in order to achieve accountability and a more productive and harmonious work climate. Straight Talk shows how thoughtful changes to communication can create a ripple effect across teams and organizations. Each chapter is packed with practical tips, simple how-to instruction, real-world examples, involvement exercises, and humor, to help readers build positive influence skills with competence and confidence.

Straight Talk hones core Assertive Speaking and Empathic Listening skills, and then funnels them into step-by-step formats for six vital workplace situations: Gaining Commitments, Advising and Guiding, Recognizing, Reminding, Constructively Confronting, and Challenging Ideas.

Straight Talk will empower you to make interpersonal expertise your competitive advantage.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781637740651
Publisher: BenBella Books, Inc.
Publication date: 05/10/2022
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 1,095,805
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Dr. Rick Brandon wrote the Wall Street Journal bestseller Survival of the Savvy: High-Integrity Political Tactics for Career and Company Success, which won book of the month for Fast Company, Forbes, and Institute for Management Studies. He is a distinguished faculty member for the Institute for Management Studies twenty cities around the world. He was IMS’ most widely requested speaker globally. With 35 years of performance improvement experience, Dr. Brandon has directly trained hundreds of thousands of people in workshops and speeches. He has consulted, trained, and presented at companies worldwide, from start-up e-commerce to blue chip companies.

Dr. Brandon earned his PhD in Counseling and Management at the University of Arizona, his M.A. in School Psychology from St. Lawrence University, and his BA in Psychology from Case Western Reserve. He’s taught graduate and undergraduate courses for the University of Bridgeport, College of Saint Rose and the University of Arizona.

Table of Contents

Introduction | A Workshop-in-a-Book 1

Part I Core Communication Skills

Module 1 Communication Chaos: The Need for Straight Talk 11

Module 2 The Straight Talk Mindset: Staying Mentally "F.I.T." 19

Module 3 Assertive Speaking: As Simple as "A.B.C." 39

Module 4 Active Listening: The "F.E.E." We Pay 65

Module 5 Listening Lab: Experimenting with Paraphrasing 91

Part II Smooth Sailing Conversations

Module 6 Advising and Guiding: "Lean on Me" 111

Module 7 G.A.I.N. Commitment: From Bailing or Bullying, to Buy-In 135

Module 8 Recognizing: Catch 'Em Doing It Right 169

Part III Rough Sailing Conversations

Module 9 Reminding: Tap 'Em on the Shoulder 185

Module 10 Confronting: The Lion, Scarecrow, and Tin Man 195

Module 11 Disagreeing Agreeably: Using Conversational Aikido 227

Epilogue | Weaving the Skills into Your Life 237

Acknowledgments 245

Index 247

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Straight Talk is another masterpiece in Brandon's indomitable style that combines powerful and practical insights with an engaging and enjoyable style.”
Kedar Vashi, Learning and Development Head, Coca-Cola International
“Rick Brandon’s relevant, practical, and engaging approach focuses on the exact skills needed for productive influence while recognizing that in the real world, conversations can be tough, emotional, and don’t always go according to plan.”
Kevin DeNoia, Global Head of Leadership and Executive Development, Credit Suisse
Straight Talk is the most unique and practical book I have read on influence management and interpersonal effectiveness. I feel like I just attended Rick Brandon’s highly rated workshop in book form in the comfort of my own home.”
Ed Betof, Worldwide Vice President, Talent Management & CLO, Becton, Dickinson and Company (Retired)
Straight Talk is a fun read with a conversational tone—packed with real-world examples, relevant quotes, practical tips, and exercises . . . Dr. Brandon also addresses the complexities of our virtual and hybrid world, giving us an influence savvy how-to manual for our time!”  
Janice Winstead, Director, Leadership Development, Anthem, Inc.
Straight Talk is a spot-on, practical, and critical book for maximizing your interpersonal effectiveness, influence, and work results during this time of COVID. Just like his workshops at Autodesk were for years, Brandon's down-to-earth teaching is fun and easy to absorb . . . Brilliant!”
Jan Becker, Chief Human Resources Officer, Autodesk (Retired)
Straight Talk is the go-to book for developing professional teams and early career executives in the ‘real world.’” 
Martin Robatti, Global Human Resources Leader, Fortune 50 company
Straight Talk is a communication skills handbook—a skills-building workshop in book form . . . Brandon packs each chapter with practical tips, simple how-to instruction, relevant quotes, real-world examples, metaphors, humor, and skill drills.”
Nicole Glasrud Haydon, Vice President Learning & Development, Fortune 500 Company
Straight Talk is an invaluable field guide for communication and influence skills in today's demanding, ever-changing, and increasingly virtual work environment. It takes special talent for an author to translate a wildly successful interpersonal skills workshop into book format in such a dynamic, fun, and practical way.”
Lisa Goude-Vera, Senior Manager Talent Development, Lockheed Martin Space
Straight Talk is a practical guidebook with clear, direct, actionable advice for anyone looking to build their communication skills into a superpower both at work and at home.”. 
Beth Loeb, Director of Learning & Development, TESLA (retired)

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