Book Review: I Hear You

Reading time ( words)

A book reccomendation from Dan Beaulieu

I Hear You: Repair Communication Breakdowns, Negotiate Successfully, and Build Consensus…In Three Simple StepsBy: Donny EbensteinCopyright: December 2013, AmacomPrice: $24.95

If your life is conflict-free, you don’t need this book. But, then again, who are you kidding?

This is the kind of book that you don’t expect to see on a business bookshelf. In fact, you probably wouldn't go looking for this book in the first place. After all, who thinks they need help resolving conflicts? As it turns out, we call do. Whether it’s communicating with our boss, a co-worker, a customer, or a neighbor, we all need the skills Donny Ebenstein writes about in his book.My favorite part of the book, besides the tools he teaches, is the way he uses real-life examples to set the stage for each step. By using specific examples (names changed to protect everyone, by the way), he then shows that by using these techniques, you can, as he says, “repair communication breakdowns.”

The key is the flexibility to get in the other person’s head--walk in their shoes, if you will--and see things from their point of view, without giving up your own. Not an easy task. This is why we need to learn the techniques laid out here so we can hold two points of view at the same time--allowing us the ability to work with the other party to develop a consensus that both sides can not only just live with, but be able to love.

Like every elegant solution, this all sounds very easy, but it is only by following Ebenstein’s expert advice that we can even hope to get to the point where we can do this on our own--all while leaving our emotions at the door.

Whether you're a teacher dealing withan administrator, or an attorney trying to mediate a divorce, or a salesperson trying to make a sale with a difficult customer, this one's for you. Don’t live another day without it.



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