Connecting with people

Two crucial skills

( 30 )
93 pages
This book teaches a powerful blend of the two most crucial conversation skills, empathy and assertiveness.
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Over de auteur

This book is the fruit of 35 years’ endeavour with my wife, Rosemary, creating, developing and running a management training course called, “Skills with People”. In 2005 our son, Alex, joined us in this work. The course has a reputation as one of the most effective available in the UK. Many hundreds o...


This book teaches a powerful blend of the two most crucial conversation skills, empathy and assertiveness. We all have these skills to some degree, or at least the potential for them. They are in our genes. They may have gone rusty or been blunted by life’s experiences but they are recoverable. The book aims to help you recover them. It is a how-do-you-actually-say-it book, packed with clear guidelines and examples you can apply to your own difficult conversations.

Why is it ‘all too rare’ for human beings to experience a true meeting of minds, to really ‘connect’, to ‘understand one-another thoroughly’   ? Although we want it – and may even have a yearning for it – there is a fundamental difficulty, even for those of us with similar backgrounds and speaking the same language. We each inhabit a private world, have an inner life we can observe directly through a mysterious faculty we call consciousness – a mind busy with our own sensations, memories, thoughts, feelings, hopes and fears. But we have no direct access to one-another’s private world, we can only guess at it and often our guesses are wrong. It is much easier to misunderstand than to understand one-another.

How then can we make better connections? It depends on the quality of the signals we send to and receive from one-another. One of our signalling methods is conversation, and that is what this book is about – what kind of conversation creates good enough connections for us to live and work successfully and harmoniously together?


Part One: The two crucial skills

  1. Introduction
    1. Example of the two crucial skills in action
    2. Why are these skills so effective?
  2. Empathy
    1. How to listen with empathy
    2. The difference between empathy and sympathy
    3. Common mental habits that get in the way of empathy
    4. Frequently asked questions
  3. Coaching with empathy
    1. Using open questions
    2. How to coach
  4. Assertiveness
    1. How to speak assertively
    2. How to make a complaint
    3. The assertive ratchet
    4. How to use the assertive ratchet
    5. How to get people’s attention in a meeting
    6. Common mental habits that prevent assertiveness
  5. Saying what you want
    1. How to realise and say what you want
  6. Conclusion of Part One and preparation for Part Two
    1. A radically different approach to difficult conversations
  7. Part Two: Difficult conversations

  8. Giving feedback, or criticism
    1. How to give feedback, or criticism
    2. Frequently asked questions about praise and criticism
  9. Customer support – responding to calls for technical help
    1. How to handle calls for technical support
  10. Persuasion without argument
    1. How to persuade without argument
    2. Frequently asked questions about persuasion
  11. Handling resistance in a meeting
    1. How to handle resistance in a meeting
    2. Crucial dos and don’ts when running a persuasive meeting
    3. A few other practical points
  12. Handling objections when selling
    1. How to handle objections
  13. Handling complaints
    1. How to handle complaints
  14. Receiving criticism without being defensive
    1. How to receive criticism without being defensive
  15. Criticising someone’s idea constructively
    1. How to criticise someone’s idea
  16. Handling conflict
    1. How to handle conflict
  17. Negotiating for a win-win agreement
    1. How to negotiate a win-win agreement
  18. Motivating people
    1. How to get someone to do what they have said they will do – by Obstacle Analysis
  19. Giving very bad news in a humane way
    1. How to give very bad news
  20. Getting a busy person’s attention
    1. How to get a busy person’s attention
  21. Repairing relationships
    1. Repairing relationships
  22. List of practical guidelines included in the book
  23. Reading
Excellent for networking accumen
16 januari 2017
All about social/interpersonal relationships have been included. Really broadened my knowledge on such.
8 september 2013