Persuasion Paperback – Jul 14 2010
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From the Back Cover
Ever wondered what its like to get people to do whatever you want, whenever you want?
We all know people who are incredibly persuasive. With effortless charm, they manage to gain our trust, interest and support, time and time again. Is it a gift they are born with? Is it all an illusion?
No, its the art of persuasion and you can learn it too.
Based on many years of analysing the behaviours and mindsets of the most persuasive people around, this new and fully updated edition of James Borgs Persuasion will give you the magic formula to mastering the power of persuasion the ultimate way to achieve success in work and life.
'Persuaded? We were. Buy it.
Management Today magazine (voted Best of its Kind)
'This is a handy, readable guide ... the author persuaded me to review this book. Damn, he is good.
Jeremy Vine, The Times
'An indispensable handbook for all of us who need to get other people to do what we want.
Sir Antony Jay, co-creator and writer of BBCs Yes Minister
About the Author
James Borg is a practising work psychologist and business consultant. He became interested in magic and 'mind-reading' at the age of 9 and subsequently was - a few years later - admitted as one of the youngest-ever members of the Magic Circle. He reveals in Persuasion that there is a lot we can learn from magician's tricks to help us gain persuasive powers to use in work and life.See all Product Description
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The book describes various skills of controlling the audience's attention, among other topics. You can learn how to recognize (in)visible signs of a breakdown of attention of your audience, to `read' the body language of people in your tour groups, and to generally win more attention while guiding. You'll find here how to pick up signals as to how you are coming across, retrieve the situation if somebody is resistant, choose the right words to get results in any situation, and more.
The text of this book is written in a charming way with a lot of examples from everyday life, given in special 'boxes'. Each chapter is followed by a small test, so the reader can check out his understanding of the subject. Even though you might think of yourself as a persuasive professional, there is always enough space for further improvements. James Borg's book is here to help you in that direction, and not only in your professional milieu.
This review refers to the paperback edition, published in October 2004. At the moment, it is available from Amazon.co.uk
While I have a working knowledge of developmental psychology, psycholinguistics and team communication, but this book is about something much more specific. It is about the art of making business relations, of engaging another business person in dialogue, mainly with the purpose of selling a product or service.
As business and love are amazingly similar in their principles, it doesn’t surprise that the techniques here presented and elaborated also profit the private sphere and intimate and family relations. The author gives several examples showing that when companies trained their staff in various aspects of business communication, there was an immediate positive impact also upon the family lives of these employees, namely an improvement of the intra-familiar communication, both in the couple and between parents and children.
The book is systematic, well-researched and amusing to read. It shines by its pragmatic and down-to-earth approach, which is perhaps why it appeals to such a large audience.
In addition, the author has a light and witty tone that is very useful when you consider the formalism of psycholinguistics, a science that is rather tedious to study. To be honest, this book is full of real-life examples and anecdotes that make the richness of the texture, and show the author’s large experience in the field of building and maintaining relationships, business and private.
The art of listening is really a center point in this book, perhaps the most important single issue discussed in it.
The next central point of the study is memory and how to improve memory. In my research on human genius, I found that people of genius are generally outstanding in the techniques of mnemonics. So let us ask what is the use of a memory in business relations?
I think it serves more than one purpose. It is important to quickly recapitulate and present facts to back one’s claims or point of view with facts. In addition, it is necessary to remember dealings you made previously with a particular person or business. In job interviews, it is often necessary to shine with facts and details from your previous employment. But most of all, as James Borg explains, we need to memorize names and faces, and as a second step, then, to associate those names with the faces. This is essential for contact making, both in the formal and the informal setting, at business meetings and during company outings, parties and excursions when teams meet other teams for the purpose to later collaborate more closely.
Another intriguing topic of the book is how to make effective phone calls, and how to use a sort of telepathy or intuition to correctly second guess how one ‘comes over’ to the other in the various stages of a business conversation, and how the other might be distracted in various ways to ‘receive’ one’s message, which then imperatively requires the change of tactics.
Before the author discusses the various personality types, he gives substantial advice on how to deal with what we might call ‘difficult’ people—while we should be well aware that this is a judgment that the person herself will contest in most cases. I would like to caution the reader here as from this point in the book, I felt I was more in contradiction with the author than before, and this for three fundamental reasons. First, I believe that judging is generally wrong; second, we most of the time have no valid reasons for our judgments, which are more often than not based upon appearances; and third, I am convinced that psychiatric ideas of ‘personality types’ are just another mental drawer that does basic injustice to the human nature that is too complex too be drawn out in lines and circles. I would go as far as saying that the very attempt to 'categorize' human beings is a basic error, while I do admit that we all have personal or transpersonal behavior patterns.
So what we are talking about is behavior, not people or personalities, it’s patterns, and those patterns can be changed as they are not carved in stone, and when they are used as judgments about people, we are on the wrong track altogether to ever negotiate peacefully and respectfully with people. We are just all too different to allow us saying we were fitting in certain mental or psychological drawers.
This being said, while some of the ideas the author may be useful, I do generally not think that even if we have all the psychological knowledge needed about different types of persons, in real life we do not apply this knowledge, but act more or less intuitively.
* Body Language
* Which Words to Use
* Telephone Skills
* Dealing with Difficult People
* Dealing with Different types of Personalities
This is the only book I've ever seen where the author claims that people pay maximum attention in the **middle** of a presentation, and least attention at the beginning and the end.
The rest of the content is of a similar quality.
2. If you are a newcomer to presentation skills:
Based on numerous studies of such things as "primacy and recency" (what was said first, and what was said most recently), it is generally acknowledged that people tend to pay most attention at the beginning of a standard presentation, nearly as much at the end, and least in the middle.
According to this book, however, and with no hint of an explanation or supporting evidence, the exact opposite is true.
The rest of the content is of a similar quality.
It is possible, of course, that I have misunderstood the author's intended message - in which case I guess that simply demonstrates that the explanations in the book are even worse than I thought they are.
In a more general sense, this book serves as a good starting point for more thorough reading on topics addressed in this book.
I recommend this as a primer for those interested in the art of persuasion. It should serve as a good reference base for learning about this important topic.