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  • Tom Ferree

The Art of Talking So that People Will Listen

Updated: Feb 27, 2020

Getting Through to Family, Friends & Business Associates by Paul W. Swets

We think of communication as words. How about facial expressions, gestures, and body posture? This book was first published decades ago. It is now required reading for all our new employees in management. I also encourage young people and hourly employees to read it. Last few years we have noticed that reliance on cell phone and Internet has negatively impacted communications. To many people forget how much body language and expressions tell us about their thinking…or lack thereof.

Is it just me? Seems last few years many people are struggling with verbal and written communication skills.

Cell phone and Internet usage have streamlined communications to the point that many people have difficulty getting points across effectively. Ability to spell, construct proper sentences and then flow them together to get points across slipped. Presenting information sequentially in compelling manner is another area of difficulty.

Few years ago I started listening to employees making pitches to clients and customers. They were losing lot of sales. Not building as many relationships. Failing to convincingly sell their ideas in meetings, etc. Then I started listening to people just talking. There was lot of talking, but very little communicating of ideas.

Before people made presentations, I started asking them to tell me the main point of their presentation. Then to outline what they were going to cover. Turned out that was difficult for some. Their thoughts were fragmented. After reading this book they did much better job.

12 short chapters. Covering elimination of negative communication habits, learning how to listen, understanding how communication works, how to win people’s attention, how to dissolve discord, and how to persuade people to cooperate. Paul Swets gives specific ideas and recommendations.

Short chapters enable people to pick up an idea quickly. Highly recommend, especially for managers starting out. Or people thrust into new roles within their companies. Those new roles often require different level of communication. Book helps people understand and adjust.

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