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Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone Hardcover – September 15, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Goulston (Get Out of Your Own Way at Work) returns with a primer on dealing with hard-to-reach people in virtually every scenario—defiant executives, angry employees, families in turmoil, warring couples—through use of well-honed psychological techniques. Negotiating intractable situations is like driving up a steep hill, he posits, but most of us make the mistake of creating more resistance by shifting up; downshift, and you get control, he writes. His Persuasion Cycle filters illustrative snippets from counseling sessions during which he digs into an impressive bag of tricks—Magic Paradox, Impossibility Question, Empathy Jolt—techniques like martial arts moves: potent on their own, but even more powerful when you combine them. His successful persuasion case studies include negotiating a police standoff and assisting a married couple's conflict resolution. Chapter summaries feature action steps preparing readers to encounter similar scenarios, yielding a guide that is as entertaining as it is useful. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

[starred review] “Drawing on his experience as a psychiatrist, business consultant, and FBI hostage-negotiation trainer, Goulston provides brilliant yet doable techniques for getting through to others... This book transcends the self-help category by promoting real communication.” --Library Journal



“an impressive bag of tricks… a guide that is as entertaining as it is useful” --Publishers Weekly



"The most useful (five-star) book on communicating... Everyone can be a better communicator with the right knowledge, and this book makes learning interesting and easy." --Lindsey Novak, nationally syndicated "At Work" columnist



"It's a measure of how contentious work relationships can get that the author, a psychiatrist, draws on hostage-negotiation techniques to instruct readers on how to deal with 'defiant executives, angry employees or self-destructing management teams'.... Mission accomplished." --Time Magazine



"useful and applicable techniques and strategies for everything from getting teams to work together, to handling narcissistic clients (or is that a redundancy?), and getting your message across to even the most impenetrable people" --Accounting Today



"Just Listen is a banquet of approaches and ideas that's easy to devour the first time around, and a flavorful feast whenever you use portions as a reference book. It's certainly one of the best how-to books of the year." --Inland Empire Business Journal



"A primer on dealing with hard-to-reach people in virtually every scenario -- definat executives, angry employees, families in turmoil, warring couples -- through use of well-honed psychological techniques. Illustrative snippets from counseling session reveal martial-arts like techniques: potent on their own, but even more powerful when you combine them. Chapter summaries feature action steps preparing readers to encounter similar scenarios, yielding a guide that is as entertaining as it is useful." --CareerBuilder.com



"Just Listen is not only helpful for any kind of business, it teaches a skill that will aid you outside of the office too." --Niche Magazine



"Just Listen is an excellent guide for learning how to break down barriers." --Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: AMACOM; 1 edition (September 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814414036
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814414033
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (430 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,920 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr. Goulston's book, "Just Listen" Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone, went on to become the top book on listening in the world because it shows readers the secret to getting through to absolutely anyone (a.k.a. hack into) by listening. His first book, Get Out of Your Own Way: Overcoming Self-Defeating Behavior, published in 1996 has been in the top five "Self Help Books" at Amazon for 5 years.

His new book, Talking to Crazy: How to Deal with the Irrational and Impossible People in Your Life has been described as "the Swiss Army Knife of self-improvement books!" by a NetGalley reviewer.

Dr. Mark Goulston has been described as a "people hacker."

Starting off as a clinical interventional psychiatrist and UCLA professor of psychiatry, he learned to "hack" into the minds of suicidal and potentially violent individuals to prevent acts of destruction to others or themselves. He next went on to train FBI and police hostage negotiators. He has since expanded his work to "Hacking Genius" and speaks and provides webinars internationally on: "Thinking Like Steve Jobs - How to Create 'Gotta Have It.'"

His company, The Goulston Group, is hired by Founders, CEO's and Boards of Directors to help them create a "gotta have it!" response to their services and products (which seamlessly translates into "gonna buy/hire it," a "gotta work there" response in outside talent they're recruiting, a "gonna get it done" response from employees and a "gotta invest there" response in investors.

Mark Goulston is a passionate social activist and is the White co-host on the weekly Black radio show, Zo What Morning Show, where he focuses on leveling the playing field and empowering the African American community. He has also launched a campaign to "Heal the World, One Conversation at a Time" at Patreon.

He contributes to the Harvard Business Review, Huffington Post, Fast Company, Business Insider and writes the "Closing Bell" for C-Suite Quarterly Magazine. Frequently called upon to share his expertise with the media, he has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, Fortune, Newsweek, Time, and Reuters; has offered commentary on NPR, CNN, and Fox News; and has appeared on the Oprah and Today shows. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

192 of 196 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer E. Sertl on December 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Everywhere I turn I am being advised to leverage social media. There is even the new concept of " 33 million people in the room." With so many channels and methods to communicate to higher levels of influence and greater numbers in an audience, it is refreshing to know that the playing field is still relatively flat. Just because you have access to people, doesn't mean you are making IMPACT. Mark Goulston's, "Just Listen" is filled with realistic scenarios, assessment tests, and a real candid mirror.
If you aren't getting the results you want in your personal or professional life, there is probably a reason within your control--you probably aren't an effective communicator.
In pure Gouldston style--you are hit right between the eyes. In Section II Goulston shares his "nine core rules:"
1. Move yourself from "oh F#@& to OK"
2. Rewire yourself to listen
3. Make the other person feel "felt"
4. Be more interested than interesting
5. Make people feel valuable
6. Help people to exhale emotionally and mentally
7. Check your dissonance at the door
8. When all seems lost bare your neck
9. Steer clear of toxic people
You might read over this list and "yeah, yeah, yeah I do those things already." Do you? Do you really? What makes "Just Listen" so powerful is that Goulston shares several examples where he was out of alignment with these nine core rules. His transparency forces the reader to be more reflective and take personal responsibility.
Creating dissonance is the barrier I most need to resolve. I could see myself in several of the practical scenarios outlined. Having raised awareness I was sure this week would be different. The hardest part about being human is . . . well, being human.
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162 of 177 people found the following review helpful By Peter B. Patch on September 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Just Listen:

It's Labor Day, and I can't stop reading my new favorite book!

The book is `Just Listen,' by Mark Goulston.

As I read it, I find that each of his messages `hit's home' in three ways at once: it is simple to understand, easy to remember, and directly actionable. I find myself wanting to have my next big client interview right away - so I can try out these `easy to remember - easy to apply' techniques of communication.

What do I remember from the book? A series of `burning insights':

First, that my `reptile brain' (or amygdala) kicks in when I am `reactive' or `ballistic' (as I am on occasion), but if I can put a label on my feeling at that point - `I am upset' or `I am angry,' I can begin to get control over my response.

Mark carries this forward to the point where I can begin to have a `rational' conversation with myself, using my `human brain' - and, for example, with my wife(!) - but I'll leave that to him as he describes it in the book.

Key note: The point here is to `Listen to myself' and my own internal reactions. As Mark puts it, `if you want to open the lines of communication, open your own mind first.'

A second `burning insight': Make the other person `feel felt.' This one requires a kind of emotional intelligence - the ability to put yourself in someone else's shoes. When you learn to do it, you will find the `barriers' to communication begin to come down, and the window (or door) to building a new possibility of relationship begin to open.

A third `burning insight': How to increase the `PEP' in your business - or your family. `PEP' stands for passion, enthusiasm, and pride. I'll give you a hint - only try this one if you've got a thick skin.
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96 of 106 people found the following review helpful By Peter Winick on August 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book is a must read for anyone that would like to decrease the frustration levels in their life and become more effective by focusing on the "other side" of communicating, listening. Written in a style that is easy to read, engaging and entertaining Dr Goulston doesn't bog you down with the typical shrink babble; instead throughout the book there are stories and examples that everyone can relate to. More importantly the tips and solutions on how to easily implement a solution are logical, practical and more importantly doable-- and they work!
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83 of 92 people found the following review helpful By Tami Conner on September 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover
OK, I'll admit it. I am a Dr. Goulston fan - I read his blog "Usable Insight" regularly. Which is why I hopped on the chance to preview a copy of his latest book, "Just Listen" ... And wow! am I glad I did.

This book exceeded my expectations. "Just Listen" is engaging, enthralling, and practical. Dr. Goulston lays out a system for improving your communication style that you can live with - no "fancy-smancy-gotta-change-your-sacred-self-or-else" stuff here. Instead, Dr. Goulston provides practical, usable insight that is applicable for in both your professional and personal lives.

Who hasn't needed to give themselves a "jeckectomy" every once in a while, or move themselves mentally and emotionally from "Oh F#@& to OK"? Even before I finished reading (and re-reading) "Just Listen", I was already trying out some of the techniques from "The Nine Core Rules for Getting Through to Anyone." The "Power Thank You?" I gave my mom one, and she cried. That one simple, powerful "thank you Mom" was a breakthrough in our relationship.

And if you're looking for real-life, day-to-day business scenarios in which to apply the techniques, look no further than the section titled, "Putting It All Together: Fast Fixes for Seven Challenging Situations." These scenarios would make team-building case studies and exercises!

No matter what you pay for this book, the insights inside are PRICELESS!
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