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How to Argue & Win Every Time: At Home, At Work, In Court, Everywhere, Everyday Paperback – April 15, 1996
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
Let me start by saying that the title of this book is a bit misleading, and intentionaly so. This book isn't about arguing as much as it's about communicating. Mr. Spence useds the word 'argument' in the context that everything we articulate- whether it's a desire to teach , punish, express wants or state an oppinion- is essentialy an argument.
The twist to this little tome is that effective arguing is not a act of selfishness but a labor of love. A good argument is one in which the greatest good is served.
I particularly found the chapter on arguing with kids quite useful. I tend to be quite authoritarian and rule oriented when it comes to child rearing and this little chapter taught me that kids will grow into responsible loving adults without being constantly hovered over and corraled into so called 'correct behavior'. This chapter is worth the price of the book alone.
I recommend this book to anyone who has ever asked for anything in his/her life. Well hell! I must be recommending this book to everyone.
I think the most valuable part of the book is his emphasis of arguing from an emotional perspective. Many people, especially certain groups like men and conservatives, tend to be dismissive of emotional arguments in favor of logical ones. However, Spence shows that emotional arguments are more likely to win than logical ones. The skill of framing a logical argument in an emotional context could be a valuable one.
An important omission in the book is arguing in public. Spence tries to address that, but I have the feeling that Spence has lost the ability to identify with people who have trouble speaking in public and the scanty advice he gives seems ineffective - amounting to "just get over it and do it."
Another drawback of the book is that it contains a fair amount of polemic. So if you're going to find it annoying that Gerry Spence likes to go on tirades about environmentalism and his dislike of bankers you might want to find a different book. I found it distracting from the real purpose of the book.
yes, many of Spence's political views (along with my own) are left of center. But it's the PROCESS that this book is all about.
I re-read this book a number of time. This book has helped me to become a better therapist (in fact, this is a book that I recommend in my workshops on using metaphor in psychotherapy). If you are a Jungian or otherwise interested in stories and narratives, this book is a good read.
We are all, in Spence's words, people of the story. All humans love stories, so it only makes sense to incorporate stories into our arguments and discussions (and therapy sessions and legal debates and....)
As I've said, I have re-read this book many times. I particularly enjoy the section on "the power of story" (chp 8?), the section on intuitive speaking and the importance of preparation, and the section on speaking and using your voice.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The biggest thing I learned from this book was winning by not fighting (in family situations).Published 1 day ago by CArl Enquist
This is a fabulous book. It showcases a wonderful mind that is agile, deep and engaging and unafraid of taking on difficult aspects of human intercourse. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Peggy Lucero
Quite a masterful piece. I feel more powerful after all that I have gleaned from this book.Published 4 days ago by Meghan Sullivan
Synopsis: People like stories. I wish Mr. Spence hadn't retired. I contacted his firm in Jackson Hole, WY regarding multiple court cases launched by a sociopath who schemed to... Read morePublished 2 months ago by LadyOtheLake
Let me tell you story. Once there was a lawyer who was without conscience but was very good at his craft. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Laura Lea