After reading the positive reviews I had high expectations for this book but I was ultimately disappointed. Yes, we all have times when we must engage in crucial conversations and yes, we should be aware of and engaged in those conversations. If you are horrible in those difficult conversations then you may find something in this book that will be helpful in those situations. Otherwise you're going to find the solutions presented in the book to be obvious and superficial. A much better presentation of this material is found in the book Leadership and Self-Deception. On the outside the books appear to be on two different topics, but at the heart, it's the same thing. You need to respect others and treat them how you want to be treated (Golden Rule). If you do that you'll have fewer problems in your relationships and difficult conversations won't be as difficult because you genuinely care and the other person feels that caring. This book felt like a "system" for handling others instead of actually caring about them. I also found the tone of the book to be a little flippant. The authors are going for cute but it comes off as annoying.
Let me start by saying I am not the target audience for this book. I am a 38 year old male and listened to this book by assignment. Of the books I was assigned this initially was the one I was least excited about. But this ended up being my favorite. The story and writing are excellent. The characters and story are interesting and best of all there are a number of important themes and lessons to read and ponder. This book will take you back to a simpler, and I would argue, better time. I helped me appreciate some of the principals my generation has lost. Unlike other reviewers I thought the narration was good and appreciated the narrator using different inflections to distinguish the characters. This is a true american classic at it's finest and should be required reading. Highly recommended.
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