5.0 out of 5 stars Changed My Way of Communicating
Not many books live up to the hype of being life-changing, but this one did. I bought copies for all my family members. Spoiler alert: the important thing I learned is that animals, when threatened, can either fight (aggressive response) or flee (passive response...most prevalent among humans), but humans, thanks to speech, have a third option: be assertive. The book...
Published 3 months ago by Robert H. Du Broy
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent work, but flawed
Bolton's work on people's skills has some good ideas and should be used. I was dismayed though that the other reviews I read all thought this was worthy of 5 stars. Some of Bolton's arguments are flawed and using some of his techniques may lead to greater conflict. On one part of his work he seems to be saying that compromise is bad, and you are weak if you...
Published on Dec 18 1999 by L. Troy Beals
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5.0 out of 5 stars Changed My Way of Communicating,
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This review is from: People Skills (Paperback)Not many books live up to the hype of being life-changing, but this one did. I bought copies for all my family members. Spoiler alert: the important thing I learned is that animals, when threatened, can either fight (aggressive response) or flee (passive response...most prevalent among humans), but humans, thanks to speech, have a third option: be assertive. The book explains what that means in practice to help all parties achieve goals.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent work, but flawed,
This review is from: People Skills (Paperback)Bolton's work on people's skills has some good ideas and should be used. I was dismayed though that the other reviews I read all thought this was worthy of 5 stars. Some of Bolton's arguments are flawed and using some of his techniques may lead to greater conflict. On one part of his work he seems to be saying that compromise is bad, and you are weak if you compromise. Not compromising has led to many of the armed conflicts that we have seen, (I will concede that compromising TOO much is weak), but some compromise especially in a marriage faciliates greater harmony, and opens up the possibility for greater communication between spouses. I feel the reader needs to "read between the lines" to really see what Bolton's philosophy is. The reader should take what is good out of this book and use it.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars INSIDE RADHIKA's MIND,
This review is from: People Skills (Paperback)The book "People Skills", by Robert Bolton, Ph.D is one of those self help books that is suppose to help you improve your skills in listening, resolving problems, and asserting yourself. Right away the book shows and explains the numerous communication barriers. It's interesting to read about them because they're common types of speech we all use in our daily lives. After explaining these "roadblocks" the next few chapters explain listening and how a person's physical motions can affect a speaker. In chapter four it lists four methods to better listen to others. The latter part of the book talks about assertion skills in relationships and the impact of it. The fourth and final part of the book deals with conflicts, since everyone has numerous conflicts throughout their lives; knowing how to solve a conflict is a good skill to pick up. This section also discusses the emotions involved in a conflict and how to deal with them.
The reason I decided to read this book was because it explained the different roadblocks and why communication is sometimes a difficult thing. It seems easy enough to communicate but when you see the reasons on why a speaker doesn't show much interest in the conversation, it seems obvious. I liked that the author used many quotes and references to prove his points. I like books that explain people's behavior so if that's the type of books you like than this is an exceptional read. It doesn't go into extreme detail but lays down the basics.
Now while I enjoyed reading this book there were a couple things I didn't like. One thing was the feeling that I was reading about an infomercial was one of those. Well since it is a self-help book I guess the feeling is enviable, once you read past the first chapter you don't really focus on it. That was the only thing really that I felt they could have improved. Well there was one other thing and that was that I wished there were more detail. Maybe insight to why people communicate the way they do would have been a good first chapter. They do have whole books on subjects like that so it's not as if I'll never find out. Overall this is an exceptional guide to help people with communication.
2.0 out of 5 stars Author lacks communication skills,
This review is from: People Skills (Paperback)The techniques presented in this book are obvious and poorly covered. Each chapter feels like an introduction, a summary of what's to come. However, those future chapters are just more summaries. The phrase "you will learn ... in chapter X" left me expecting more out of each chapter without ever covering what I thought I was supposed to learn in the current chapter.
The writing is extremely static; it reads like an academic survey paper. The sentence structure is weak. A lot of the discussion is in the passive voice. It's disturbing that an author claiming to be communicating people skills to me is more able to put me to sleep.
The actual content is probably accurate enough. The book makes frequent reference to other authors and lecturers. This suggests that it is appropriately researched. Some of the suggestions seem counter-intuitive, but it is always possible to test them in practice and see what level of communication results.
Overall, I'm disappointed that I purchased this book and took the time to read it.
4.0 out of 5 stars Good ideas although too verbose,
This review is from: People Skills (Paperback)"People Skills" is a primer on interacting with others. Bolton's premise is that our communication patterns are inherently faulty and he urges the reader adopt his framework to remedy. He presents - in order - listening skills, assertion skills, conflict-resolution skills, and collaborative problem solving skills, with each building upon the others. He blends keen insight into human nature, concepts of psychology and basic Judeo-Christian values into what appears to be a very effective methodology. The skills seem obvious, but in practice are rarely used, and in fact are rather uncomfortable when trying to start using.
I found Bolton's framework very valuable and thus far see its application can profoundly improve my own people skills in both a business and parental setting. Unfortunately, like most books of this type, the text is extremely verbose. Bolton possesses a style that is much less dry and wordy than many of his peers - in fact, I find it difficult to finish most of these types of books - but the ideas plus examples could have been distilled down to one-half the length of the 300 pages. The text is also very well referenced and footnoted, but - as a lay reader - I think the constant crediting other psychologists and philosophers confuse and muddy the message. This could be a book that one could return to periodically to refresh their skills, but its length will prevent the less diligent. I found myself taking detailed notes on each chapter for later referral; while a testament to the material, I wish the author had made it easier to digest.
5.0 out of 5 stars This book has made a difference to me.,
This review is from: People Skills (Paperback)I have read the book "People Skills" by Jim Bolton again, to further improve my ability to communicate with people, and be more of a support to them. I first used the book when I was training to become a telephone counseller for Lifeline a few years ago, (though I did not qualify to become a telephone counseller). I have always found the book "People Skills" to be particularly useful to me for improving my relationships with people in my life. I have received thanks from others for my willingness to listen as I apply what I read in the book.
5.0 out of 5 stars Should be a mandatory read for everyone...period!,
This review is from: People Skills (Paperback)I have more books than I can count on all of my appendages regarding communication & relationships. I use them all, but this one book has pulled it all togther for me showing me that my problem really boils down to my not being 'assertive.' I grew up in a religous family and was taught that I must always take care of others before myself...that anger was bad, etc. I now 'see' it clearly for what it is and health is now coming back to my being. I've purchased two of these books and use one to loan out to others. If I thought it would do any good, I'd get one for each member of my family, but the saying holds true, "you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink." Too bad.
5.0 out of 5 stars A reference I use again and again,
This review is from: People Skills (Paperback)This is one of those really practical books that I return to again and again. It is direct in its advice and practical in what it recommends to the reader. I have found that it works very well in business and personal matters. I frequently recommend this book to my staff.
This is a good practical tool that I believe many people will find very useful.
4.0 out of 5 stars Mastering Communication,
This review is from: People Skills (Paperback)Bolton does a good job of teaching communication strategies. He identifies "high risk" responses -- words that put up barriers between people and lead to resentment and anger. He also discusses the art of reflective listening, reading body language, and, finally, assertiveness. He correctly states that being assertive will, on occasion, bring you into conflict with others. The book instructs you on how to deftly handle conflict and defensiveness. This is where the tough skills of listening and communicating come into play.
Bolton's writing style is steady and clear, but not especially lively. That makes the book somewhat of a chore to read, despite the good information contained therein. I would give it 5 stars for content alone, but 3 stars for presentation. Odd, in fact, that a book on communication fails to maintain an interesting tone.
5.0 out of 5 stars a great tool!,
This review is from: People Skills (Paperback)this was required reading for my instructors training and it had some really awesome ideas and points...it talks a lot about assertive techniques...and goes beyond just office or work related communication....but it gets into the communication within your family and relationships....Teaches great skills....SHOULD BE REQUIRED READING for everyone....A great learning tool between being too passive or too assertive!!!
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People Skills by Robert Bolton (Paperback - Jun 6 1986)
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