Book Review – The Power of a Positive NO by William Ury

untitledThe Power of a Positive No, by William Ury is a book that deals with an aspect of life that most of us face almost on a daily basis, how to say no to people confidently. It is amazing that a book covering 257 pages can be written about how to say a single word, but those 257 pages are needed. So if you struggle with saying no to certain requests then this book is for you. The book is divided into three parts titled:

  1. Prepare
  2. Deliver
  3. Follow through

Each of these sections has three chapters, adding up to nine chapters in total. The first part of the book, Prepare, will help you to prepare to say no by first saying yes to yourself. It advices us to uncover our yes by identifying why we need to say no in the first place. It also shows us how to prepare confidently to say no with conviction.

The second part, Deliver, shows us how to actually say no. It splits saying no into three parts by telling us to first express our own yes by letting people know why we are saying no, then assertively say no and finally end with a yes, which is a proposal for an alternative solution.

The final part, Follow through, advices us not to back down from our no. This is because even after saying no, we may still be pressured into saying yes instead. Some key strategies on how to stay true to our no are discussed.

This is a book I thoroughly enjoyed because it deals with an area that I personally find challenging. But also it has a lot of other lessons that can improve the way we engage with people. There are tips on how to be respectful, handling personal anger and communicating appropriately. The book also has a good number of insightful stories and quotes, and good information on handling conflict.

Therefore if saying no to certain people, situations or requests is proving challenging for you, get this book. You won’t be disappointed.

Over the next three weeks I will share three lessons learnt from the book. I am also working on a book summary and group learning session covering some key lessons from the book. The book summary will cover three to six key lessons, while the group learning session will allow you to show people how to apply some of the lessons from the book to their own lives. When we teach others something, we also learn it too.

 

Quotes from Dealing With Difficult People by Roy Lilley

Difficult peopleHere are ten quotes I got from the book, Dealing With Difficult People by Roy Lilley. You can read my review of the book here and summary of a lesson I curated from the book here.

  1. There is no such thing ad a difficult person. There are just people we need to learn to deal with.
  2. The six most important words: I admit I made a mistake. The two most important words: thank you. The one most important word: we. The least important word: I.
  3. Remember this: difficult people ate predictable people. Avoid having a row.
  4. The precise definition of conflict is a: direct disagreement of ideas or interests, a battle or struggle, antagonism or opposition. Add to that incompatibility and interference and you get s pretty ugly picture.
  5. Working with people means just that. It also means working sometimes with difficult people.
  6. Personal attacks don’t work. They leave behind a stain on a relationship which can take forever to remove.
  7. Never let a sense of competition creep in between you and your colleagues. You should be collaborating instead to beat the competition from outside the organization.
  8. Never let it get personal; separate the issue from the person.
  9. If you don’t take time to tell people what you want, how do you expect they will ever be able to give you what you want?
  10. The worst thing you can say to someone who has lost it is ‘calm down’.

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Idea From Dealing With Difficult People By Roy Lilley

Difficult people

Previously I reviewed Dealing With Difficult People by Roy Lilley. You can read the review here. Since I can’t remember everything I read in a book I have resorted to curating at least one idea from each book I read so that I can go back to it when I need to and apply it to my life when necessary. My one idea from this book is around, how to recognize different types of difficult people. The book outlines seven types of difficult people that you may come across in your work life or outside work. Here they are:

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Book Review – Dealing With Difficult People By Roy Lilley

Difficult peopleDealing with difficult people is a book that presents a lot of bite-sized information about how to deal with difficult people. For a book with just 140 pages it covers a lot of ground, but don’t expect in-depth coverage. The book though does take an interesting approach to discussing the topics. Each chapter focuses on a different area of handling difficult people and in 24 short chapters the book discusses areas such as:

  • Types of difficult people
  • Handling conflict
  • Dealing with angry bosses
  • Handling aggressive people and bullies
  • Dealing with moaners, perfectionists and manipulators
  • Working with lazy people, the egoist and fault finders

The range of difficult situations that the book covers is quite wide and interesting at the same time. Below is a brief review of what you can expect to learn in each chapter. Continue reading

Book Review – Difficult Conversations – How to discuss what matters most By Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton and Sheila Heen

Managing Difficult ConversationsIntroduction

This is a book about conflict management written by authors from the Harvard Negotiator Project. As the comments reveal this book has a lot to stand up for and even though this edition is it’s 10th year anniversary, the book still seems to be a favourite. So why was a book like this needed in the first place? The authors make it clear that while as a people we have advanced technologically, our need to have difficult conversations and the trepidation that goes with having them hasn’t. It was so in the past, is that way now and to be honest is not going to change in the foreseeable future. After all we are humans with diffrent opinions and views and when we interact with each other conflict is inevitable.
So this is not just a book that can be applied to business but it is useful on the homefront as seen through the some listed cases where it has been applied;

  • Using it to teach Argentinean tango
  • Used by Israeli mediators to handle conflict
  • Used to train oil-rig operators
  • Parents have used it to improve  communication with their children

Moreso the book has already been translated into 25 languages. The book is divided into four parts, each split into one or more sections. Covering 311 pages the book will help you learn about:

  • The three types of conversations
  • How to create a learning conversation
  • Questions people ask about difficult conversations.

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