One of the first books I listened to on Audible was Joe Mavarro and Marvin Karlins' "What Every Body is Saying: An Ex-FBI Agent's Guide to Speed-Reading People" (2012). It was so long ago that I hadn't started writing reviews, but that was fortunate with this book. I've been using some of the techniques described in the book for 18 months, and they work. I wouldn't have known that when I finished the book.
I am a civil trial attorney, and I long relied on gut feeling and intuition when I picked a jury. In other words, just dumb look. This book gave me the ability to know, with some basis, whether a jury liked my client or the opposition, and whether I was effectively advocating my client's defense. Once, in a memory seared sharp, I completely torqued a juror off, which I realized by her flared nostrils and lips pursed together to nonexistence. I was able to dig out of that situation.
This isn't the key to picking a perfect jury, but it helps. It's like knowing a secret code.
I occasionally listen to the book to refresh my techniques. The book teaches how to speed read people, but learning the techniques takes a lot of time, patience, practice and feedback - when you can get it.
I'm giving the book an overall 4 because it is so useful, but it's a 3 on the story. Despite the exciting topic, it's pretty dry and academic. The narration is a three, too. It sounds more like a business seminar than a narration.
I want to mention that "What Every Body is Saying" and Pamela Meyer's "Liespotting: Proven Techniques to Detect Deception" (2011) really builds on Navarro's techniques. Listen to them consecutively, and it's like a college psychology course.
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Me: "Well, Dr. Goulston, I'm a lawyer. I end up in some pretty nasty fights on a fairly regular basis. I wanted to find out if there was anything I could do to defuse the argument without running to a judge for a court order."
Dr. Goulston: "And the book helped you how?"
Me: "I found out that people who are really angry may not be thinking at all. It's called 'amygdala hijack,' primitive brain has taken over, and the person is in "fight or flight" mode. I also found out when someone is attacking and reacting, turning beet red and blustery, they are thinking with a higher emotional brain. And I learned that to get someone to look logically at a situation, you need to have them thinking with their highest, rational brain."
I listened to "Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone" (2009) by Mark Goulston, MD, twice - because I wanted to know how to calm a fight over legal and evidentiary issues, and help my teenagers work to 'fix the problem, not the blame.' Long ago, I discovered saying, "Just calm down" in either situation had about the same effect as telling someone to 'f*** off'. I didn't know why, but I do now and I know what to say - and do - next time. I won't yell back. I won't point fingers. I will use the techniques Goulston recommends to decelerate the ire. That includes asking 'fill in the blank' questions - like the title to this review.
I have some valuable techniques that I've started using - although I'm not the target reader/listener. "Just Listen" is directed towards supervisors, managers and execs; and salespeople. A good third of the book discussed handling situations I don't find myself in. I expect someone in those jobs will find this book even more helpful than I did.
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