You’ve got a business colleague who’s hostile...a client who’s furious...a staffer who’s deeply cynical—how do you get people to do what you want in tough situations like these? In Just Listen, veteran psychiatrist and business coach Mark Goulston reveals the secret to how to get through to anyone, even when productive communication seems impossible.“Here's the challenge,” Mark says. “People have their own needs, desires, and agendas. They have secrets they’re hiding from you. And they’re stressed, busy, and often feeling like they’re in over their heads. To cope, they throw up barricades that make it difficult to reach them even when your goals are in sync with their own.”But the good news is that there are simple strategies that can make you compelling, and break down the walls that keep you from getting through to the people you need to buy into your ideas and goals. Just Listen presents remarkably effective tools and techniques you can use whenever a job, a sale, or a relationship hangs in the balance.How effective are Mark’s techniques? One of his areas of expertise is training FBI and police hostage negotiators to handle life-or-death situations. “The same tips I teach these professionals for building empathy, de-escalating conflict, and gaining buy-in will work in any situation,” Mark says. “Whether you’re a new employee fresh out of school, a salesperson, or a CEO, once you master these skills you can take them wherever you go in your career.” And Mark has proven these strategies in his own 30-year career as a business coach at companies such as GE, IBM, Goldman Sachs, Kodak, Federal Express, Hyatt, and Disney.
With this powerful yet engaging audio book, you’ll learn how to:
”Barricades between people become barriers to success, progress, and happiness; so getting through is not just a fine art, but a crucial skill. Just Listen gives you the techniques and confidence to approach the unreachable people in your life, and turn frustrating situations into productive outcomes and rewarding relationships.
©2009 Mark Goulston (P)2011 Gildan Media Corp
“Goulston’s book delivers on his promise. Read it and you will discover the secret to getting through to absolutely anyone, and I mean anyone!” (Mark Victor Hansen, co-author of Chicken Soup for the Soul)
Some helpful general information. I would have to say that a good deal of the information provided here was common sense. There was also quite a bit of information and tactics that were very unrealistic. The communication or engagement examples seemed exaggerated and not life-real to me, and certainly not applicable to most peoples everyday lives. The focus seemed to be on helping extroverts and type-A personalities listen to those around them better. I have the opposite personality, so I felt the author was not always talking to me.
I have no doubt that Mark is an incredible counselor and hostage negotiator, but I was looking more for an everyday guide to communicating better and more efficiently with those people that I manage in my small non-CEO world.
With that said, I do plan to go back over my notes and try to apply some of his strategies in "better listening" with my work & family life. Maybe I should listen to the book again, and be a better listener. Not a terrible listen, just not my favorite.
About 1/3 of the way through this book I was still doubting it's depth. It promises to give some pretty powerful insights at the beginning, and I was not initially getting that. But eventually the book does deliver on it's promise. His stories of real-life interventions paint a clear picture of the source of many of our day-to-day problems. Since we are so busy, we develop fast ways of interacting with our world in a kind of one-dimensional way. We tend to see things from one simple perspective: our own.
I'm in sales, and often find myself sitting across from someone who is closed off and not letting me in. After all, I am trying to sell them something. But after listening to this book, I have a way to go beyond the transaction and connect with the person. What are they feeling? Is it fear, anger, insecurity? How can I make them "feel felt"? If I slow down and recognize that their needs are real and not just distractions to be talked over, we can communicate. That can result in a sale which I might not otherwise have gotten, which is good. But it nearly always results in better communication, which plays a very important part in all the other things I would like to accomplish in life. Thank you, Mark. Well Done.
Just Listen held my interest--it combines physiologic reasons for why we behave and react the way we do, and then it offers a lot of examples and illustrations. The practical advice and techniques are usable and helpful. I immediately put some of the techniques to work!
I enjoyed many of the stories--from the hostage situation to the executive preoccupied with his wife's biopsy. The narrator is compelling, using good voice inflection and emotion.
I have not. Mr. Dixon's narration was as good as any I have heard.
There are many ideas that I will use. I have already used the one about telling an employee that I should improve his environment to incentivize him to work harder. I would also like to start using the
It was interesting that many of the techniques are similar to those in Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People!
The tone of the book is like that of a car salesman--not the smooth, unctuous persuasive sort, but the loud obnoxious kind for whom the most basic social queues are entirely enigmatic. The kind that accidentally chases people away and can't figure why. I expect the author started in sales and took psychology to understand why he couldn't manipulate people the way he wanted. Still ... points to him, i bought his book.
His tactics include mirroring to invite dialogue (which is fine but old advice, and entirely basic) and breathing through ones nose to calm down out of "animal mode" (who hasn't seen this on TV?). This book might have been the product of an epiphany (or several) for the author, but I can't imagine it would benefit anyone with an average emotional IQ.
I became embarrassed for listening to it, and became frustrated because he seemed to want to teach listening as a tactic rather than a practice; as a "means" rather than an "end." As though listening were a necessary evil for gathering attention, influence, or affection and not valuable in itself. (Why not simply listen because people need to be listened to?) I bought this wanting to improve my listening ability, not to trick people into talking to me, not to "appear interested", and not to get people to like me. The author is too often trying to teach how to appear interested and sincere as though sincerity were not natural and people were not already interesting. Also the author is so frequently the hero of his stories and so often beings them with I, I, I, me, me, me that it counts against his claims of being an extraordinary listener. No one likes to spend time with someone as enamored with himself as the author seems to be. The title though "just listen" is sound advice.
Excellent book that goes into listening as well as questioning and leading conversations. He goes beyond the standard mirroring and focusing on others that most books on listening suggest. It also included some powerful suggestions on sales lines. On the downside there were parts I would skip for they were a little presumptuous and other parts that I do not agree with. However, there were enough great parts to recommend this book.
This book walks through the details of how to actually listen to anyone, and how to get through to those who may be difficult to deal with. This book has changed my interactions at work and enabled me to be a more effective communicator and leader. Would recommend to anyone who is interested in self-improvement, especially in the areas of communication.
The reader was easy on the ears (I wish he read every book I wanted to listen to!)
Looking to make the best me I can
Very vibrant and exciting information eye opening and very honest outlook
It does not place blame in any one person but on all for true problem solving
I was very moved when I found out all the things I was doing wrong and how I could be the problem as well as others perception to me
I listened to this book 3 times and learned a lot each time I did take your time and make the best of it that you can
An audio book full of real life examples, very practical answers, good intonation, applicable in business and family life! An excellent book for me, hope that many people could listen/read it!
Audible listener who's grateful for a long commute!
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.
[If this review helped, please press YES.]
When I drive, I read... uhm listen. I like SciFi, Fantasy, some Detective and Espionage novels and Religion. Now and then I will also listen to something else.
I am really not sure how much of Dr. Mark Goulston's book 'Just Listen' is about listening and how much is about techniques that might help you achieve your objectives with other people. I hoped that the book was about active listening skills, but it is more about techniques which might be useful to managers and sales reps, especially if you are American. What is the reason for me saying this?
1. It is a self help book that focusses on you achieving greatness through listening, but not listening with no expectations, listening as a tool of steering people in a way that they might not initially want themselves to be steered. (Am I imagining it or may there be some ethical dissonance or is it something that is a bit more unacceptable in my culture?)
2. It is American because it takes for granted that you will know the people to whom Goulston refer. They are American and there are never any explanation of who they really are. This creates an in-group out-group feeling of which I found myself mostly in the out-group (except when he spoke about Colin Powell and OJ Simpson).
3. Most of the techniques he explains must be exercised consciously, like the power thank you; the power apology; the filling in the gaps etcetera. It made me wonder about the genuineness of the genuineness propagated in these.
I can see that this book can be of help to a lot of people, yet I wonder how much of it becomes an acted out staging event instead of genuine interaction. I was wondering if one cannot be caught up in sticking to techniques thus loosing true interaction. It was especially the use of leading questions as well as the presumptions that the writer wants the listener to make that made me wonder about how much this book contributes to real listening. I would have thought that open questions and the funnelling technique etcetera would have jumped up somewhere in this book. in my humble opinion you are equipped in formulas and listening strategies, but not listening techniques. I think the "O crap to Okay" technique is the most valuable tool you might come across in this book.
For some or other reason Walter Dixon's reading of this book didn't feel completely right. It could be that the way he read it also subtracted to the 'genuineness' I struggled to find in the book.
I would recommend this book to managers and sales rep's who need to quick fix certain relationships. I would recommend it to people who know the American high-flyers, the men and women that believes they make the world go round. Be warned that you might easily feel excluded by unintentional in-group and out-group language. (I think the book needs to be rewritten for the international market.)
This book surprised me. Not because I wasn't sure what to expect but because I actually found myself using some of his tips and recommendations within days of hearing them. Let me explain...
I could hear doors slamming and raised voices. I ran upstairs to see my 11 year-old daughter in tears and visibly shaking with anger. Her younger brother had wound her up to breaking point and she had snapped. He had jumped into the relative security of the shower by the time I arrived and so it was just me and an uncontrollable young lady.
Three days earlier, my reaction would have been to raise my voice, which can be booming I am told, at both of them, shouted until I was hoarse and sent them both to bed. I might have even smashed something to really emphasise the point. However, I found myself desperately trying to remember the advice from the 'book'.
My first task was to realise that I was not dealing with a sane human being. I had to talk her down from her primitive status to engage the correct part of the brain that I could then start to rationalise with. I did his and then began the inquest, calmly. When my son finished his shower we all discussed what had happened and it ended, well, better than my normal approach.
Some of you may think that this is just common-sense, in which case the book may not be for you.
So, why not five stars? Two reasons; firstly, the delivery of the book is not to my liking. You get used to it after a while but I enjoy listening to Stephen Fry and Bill Bryson (William Roberts). Secondly, I don't believe all the examples - some of them seem a bit far-fetched. For example, after years of seeing dozens of 'shrinks' a patient capitulates after a single sentence from the author. Whilst I understand the sentiment and can see his instruction in action, I just don't believe it.
Both of these are small points that can be overlooked, or taken with a pinch-of-salt, quite easily. I enjoyed the book very much and would recommend it.
"Everyone should read/listen to this book."
My job involves communication and mentoring young people through very difficult times in their lives. This book has excellent practical scripts which have enabled me to reach both adults and young people who are stuck in destructive cycles and move them to a more positive place.
I've 'read' some excellent books this year and yet this one stands out as one of the very best. Clear and helpful insights into how to deepen any relationship that will appeal and inform those who are interested as well as professionals who are looking to sharpen their practice. Warmly recommended.
An aptly named book ... excellently written in a way that the writer engages with the reader (or rather listener)! Very easy to understand and to apply the principles Mark Goulston suggests. This man knows his stuff and nice to have a book written by someone who practises rather than a pure theoretical academic!
the guy's tone of voice turned me off in 10 mins, found it too 'sales' like and gave up.. waste of a credit - would like to give it no stars but audible wont let me
"Gentle if not a little repetitive"
Yes. Simple and sage advice on the importance of listening.
When the author shares his experiences.
He was very softly and thoughtfully spoken.
Neither, although I could relate t many of the examples given.
Just listen to this book and you will learn a lot about your fiends, surroundings and your day to day interactions.
Things which you may not consider important and ignore in your interactions are reminded in this work and you can see the impact of a minimal change when you follow some of the points.
Mark Goulston; you deserve a star!
"Very Good Stuff"
If you want to re-modify your life and improve your communication skills with people especially those you love and those that matter, and ultimately edify yourself - then this is a book to read or easier to listen to.
I am already applying the principles with instant results.
"This is a great addition to your collection"
Brilliantly read and content is even better.
Mark Goulston has some great content and ideas.
I dislike being patronised, but I hung in, hoping to find some valuable content as the book progressed. Unfortunately my patience was not rewarded.
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