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The Art of SpeedReading People: How to Size People Up and Speak Their Language Paperback – February 25, 1999

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Do you communicate ineffectively with some people and powerfully with others? The reason may be a difference in personalities and communication preferences. The Art of Speedreading People is a crash course in communication strategies, showing you how to observe behavioral clues to gain valuable insights into people's personalities and communication styles. The result: you become a more effective and convincing communicator, and you are more likely to receive the response you want.

This book is like a practical communications seminar based on the psychology model called Personality Typing, which is focused on identifying key personality traits in order to communicate most effectively. First, you analyze your own personality type and determine your placement on the scales of extrovert/introvert, sensor/intuitive, thinking/feeling, and judging/perceiving. The book then teaches you about the clues that indicate other people's personality type, including speaking style, body language, and occupation. You test yourself by reading a few scenarios and personality typing the characters described. You put the system to work by learning approaches to "speedreading" people in person and on the phone using skill-building exercises. Finally, you learn how to communicate effectively with people who are a different type or temperament than you. The Art of Speedreading People is intriguing and useful, especially for those who work in a sales, service, teaching, or managerial position, or any job where effective and positive communication is paramount. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

The authors have taken a well-respected aspect of psychology called "personality typing" and devised the art of "speed reading" people as a powerful tool for quickly and accurately identifying key personality traits for effective communication. The book also serves as an infomercial for the authors' consulting practice. Tieger and Barron-Tieger aim to accurately identify key characteristics of personality that are present in all people, through understanding how people are energized, what kind of information they naturally notice and remember, how they make decisions, and how they organize the world around them. The first section of the book is devoted to the underlying principles of personality type, the second section addresses communicating with people in their favorite style, and the final section deals with understanding and appreciating the subtleties and preferred communication styles of the 16 types identified by the concept of personality type. Although some readers may not agree with all of the authors' views, this book provides useful insight into the ongoing challenge of effective communication. Mary Whaley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1st Little, Brown pbk. ed edition (February 25, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316845183
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316845182
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.6 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,614 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

84 of 88 people found the following review helpful By D. Bodenheimer on December 4, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read a great number of books on the 16 MBTI personality types, and I have investigated scores of websites to really find out all I can about understanding people and their personalities. This book, by far, is the easiest guide to the MBTI. I highly recommend it both to people new to MBTI, and to those who have a fairly good understanding of the 16 types.
This book is simple and easy to understand, and has some really great real-world examples that are wonderful. The "How To Speak" sections are fun and make perfect sense.
Other books on the MBTI are really complicated and seem to require a Master's degree in psychology in order to really get the most out of them.
This book will help you understand the people in your life, and make you realize that everyone is different, and that everyone sees things from a different perspective. But that isn't the best part... it tells you HOW they see things and HOW best to interact with them.
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57 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Philip R. Heath TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 7, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have used MBTI at work and found it to be useful. I came across this book when I was looking for something to add to the basic knowledge that I had. Don't worry though, the first two chapters go over the basics. If you are not familiar with MBTI, this will get you started. If you are familiar with it, it serves as a good review.

Then the heart of the book takes you through three tools for identifying peoples preferences: type preference as a whole, temperament, and extraverted/introverted feeling. After putting all of these together, the authors present you with some case studies where you use the various techniques to try to identify the types of the people involved. They are simple but useful.

The book closes with some detailed advice for interacting with the four different temperaments in general and then specifically the four individual type preferences within a given temperaments.

The final chapter is titled "How Will I Ever Look at People the Same Way Again?" Truthfully, you won't. You will notice things about people, and hopefully these things will help you improve your interactions with the people you come in contact with.
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63 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 16, 2002
Format: Paperback
I had heard about personality typing and such before from Psych classes, but this book puts it to practical use. They first give an introduction to personality typing, it's history, and modern implications. They then help you understand the differences in type as well as dispelling some common myths and connotations of terms used in typing.
The book introduces various methods of assessing a person's personality type (using preferences vs. temperment) as well as giving some exercises at the end of each chapter to help put what you just learned to use. Of course, the stress is on *Speed* reading people so they give tips on how to quickly asess someone's type so that you can put what you learned to use in the real world where you can't sit down and have a therapy session with everyone you meet.
The later chapters in the book delve into the 16 different types, grouping them by temperment, and gives detailed descriptions on common behaviors and responses of these types. Additionally they give tips on how to interact with particular types in order to communicate with them most effectively.
Note: they are VERY careful to state that typing does not equal stereotyping and always caution that people won't always fit neatly in these man made categories. Plus they are very careful to stress that this book is not intended for someone to learn how to "control" others, but rather develop a system of effective interaction with friends, colleagues, bosses, etc.
If you always felt you never really "got" people then this is a definate must read. If you always kind of "felt" people out and reacted from what you sensed (like me) this is still a must read because it takes this method and lays it out explicitly so you can use it as a tool rather than merely intution.
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52 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Michael Noga on May 12, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I generally like Meyers-Briggs personality books. The test is pretty acurate as far as standardized personality tests go. It's pretty flexible and encompassing and if you haven't taken it you should. You'll learn something about yourself.

That said, I don't think this book was the best example of what one can achieve using knowledge of Meyers-Briggs. The speed reading is not very revealing. The tips they give are things anyone with familiarity with the system could figure out on their own. In the beginning of the book one of the authors talks about the time she had to give a presentation to someone and she observed that he was a meticulous fellow and then used her amazing people reading skills to determine that he might be very detail oriented, so she crafted her presentation with that in mind. Really? A meticulous person might be detail oriented? Well madame how DO you DO it? It's not bad information but it's stuff you don't need if you have any of the other Meyers-Briggs books and a bit of intellectual horsepower. If you've never been introduced to these personality tests I guess this is an ok introduction, but eventually you'll want to move on to something a bit more meaty, like "Please Understand Me", or "Gifts Differing". There is a little new material here but it's sort of a re-heated version of the previous two books I just mentioned. Sure some of it is useful stuff, I just think there are better books out there. But that's just my opinion. It is worth a look, maybe check it out from the library first and see what you think.
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