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83 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better Problem Solving, Decisions and Actions!
As a management consultant whose practice heavily involves helping people become better problem solvers and someone who co-authored a book about better problem solving (The 2,000 Percent Solution), I was struck that this book delivers much more than it claims (the opposite of most self-help books). Although ostensibly about decision making, the book also focuses well on...
Published on September 22, 2000 by Donald Mitchell

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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not thrilled with the content, but book arrived in great condition
Book wasn't easy to follow for me. A lot of what's in this is stuff that you can already figure out on your own. Book did arrive in great condition though!
Published on September 6, 2009 by S. Strothmann


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83 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better Problem Solving, Decisions and Actions!, September 22, 2000
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: "Yes" or "No": The Guide to Better Decisions (Paperback)
As a management consultant whose practice heavily involves helping people become better problem solvers and someone who co-authored a book about better problem solving (The 2,000 Percent Solution), I was struck that this book delivers much more than it claims (the opposite of most self-help books). Although ostensibly about decision making, the book also focuses well on how to identify solutions to important issues and how to be sure you follow through on the decisions you make about those issues.
The book is presented as a fable, in the familiar style of The One Minute Manager (which Dr. Johnson co-authored with Kenneth Blanchard). The fable revolves around a learning exercise called The Hike, which is led by 'the guide,' an outstanding businessman who guides people through the mountains and their decisions. On The Hike, the young man learns the key principles involved in making better decisions (not optimal decisions, just better ones) and gets pointers from hikers who have been on The Hike before. During The Hike, many occurrences are used to explain the key ideas, and specific case histories are described and evaluated. The key points of each chapter are summarized in notes at chapter end, and the principles are captured in a summary at the end of the book as well.
The essence of the decision-making approach here is to test potential decisions analytically (with your intellect) and emotionally (with your heart and feelings). Most people tend to favor one or the other, at the expense of making better decisions.
On the intellectual side, you are encouraged to consider whether you are meeting your real needs (rather than vague desires), getting enough information to make a good decision, and giving the whole situation a thorough evaluation.
On the emotional side, you are directed to check the truthfulness of what you are thinking, your comfort with the potential decision, whether fear is governing you, and whether you are settling for too little.
Most people I meet who are having problems with decision making are relying too much on intellect or too much on emotions. They have a hard time seeing the benefits of more balance in their approach. This book will be very helpful to such people.
Now, this book is not a heavyweight introduction into the formal disciplines of decision making encompassed in game theory and other tools. If you are interested in learning more about those methods, you would do well to read this book and then graduate to the techniques in Smart Choices, which I have also reviewed.
In addition to what you will learn from these two books, I would also like to encourage you to study examples of people who have made great decisions in the same area, and consider analogies of perfect solutions from other areas of human endeavor. Those can stimulate improved options in your thinking that will allow you to make even better decisions.
Allocate a half hour a day to working on important decisions you are giving short shrift. This will allow you to improve enormously in the future. Decide to do this, and act now by ordering this book!
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential method for clarity in every area of life!, September 1, 1997
By A Customer
I read over 50 books per year, as a professional speaker I am always on the look out for new ideas. After the Bible, I believe Yes or No to be in the top 5 of all the books I have ever read. Brilliant in its simplicity, brevity, style, and content. The audio version is stunning. GET IT
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars read this first - before all the other great self help books, December 26, 1999
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This review is from: "Yes" or "No": The Guide to Better Decisions (Paperback)
This was a wonderful book that helped me put all the other self help books into practice. It helped me to make the decisions so that I could then set the goals to improve my life. It was simple to read and even gives a "shortcut card" to keep handy.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Soooo Practical!, June 7, 2001
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This review is from: "Yes" or "No": The Guide to Better Decisions (Paperback)
I have worked personally with Dr. Johnson on this material and have fully tested it in my own life and career. It really works! This elegant yet profound model for clear thinking will assure that you honor both your heart and your head when making choices. The parable teaches the model in ways the reader doesn't even notice. I've read the entire book aloud with my family and read it again on a plane trip alone. It will make sense of so many things. Buy it now and keep reading it as long as you keep making decisions. :-)
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better results and wiser decisions, April 12, 2002
By 
Jamie Bruce (Pittsburgh, PA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: "Yes" or "No": The Guide to Better Decisions (Paperback)
Being a person who can never make up their mind, I decided it wouldn't hurt to read a book about better decision making. I enjoyed reading this book because it told a story about a man who used a 'Yes' or 'No' system to make better decisions. This made it easier to understand and apply the system to your own problems. In the story the man talks to many people who have used the system sucessfully. They give him lots of examples on how to arrive at better decisions. The 'Yes' or 'No' system is broken down into two main questions to ask yourself when making decisions. One is a practical question and the other is a private question. This allows you to use the system while making personal decisions or buisness decisions. Every day we are all faced with decisions, big and small. I have realized, from reading this book, that I seem to not think my decisions through as well as I should. I am sure that many other people share similar problems. This book acknowledges what we may not want to admit to ourselves. That many of us are knowingly making poor decisions, but we do not have the time or effort to turn them into better decisions. Reading this book may sound like a life saver to some people, but of course not everyone is going to walk away with better decision making skills. Like everything else in life, it will take time and patience to improve your decision making. But for those of you who would like to, this book could start you off on your way to turning poor decisions into better ones.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book about making better decisions, March 1, 2006
This review is from: "Yes" or "No": The Guide to Better Decisions (Paperback)
"Yes or No" is a story about the process of decision making and how it can be improved to make better decisions. The book tells the technique through a story of "a man" who goes on a hike with a group and learns of the 2 questions he needs to ask himself when making decisions.

The first of the 2 questions is: Am I meeting the real need, informing myself of options, and thinking it through? This is a head-based question to focus on where we are going, and to get as much information as possible.

The second question is: Does my decision show I am honest with myself, trust my intuition, and deserve better? This is a heart question to contact our subconscious and make sure the decision is not being made out of fear or self-defeat.

Both of these 2 questions are excellent to ask for each decision. I do wish the author had taken more time to explain how to come to a conclusion for each part of the questions, but it was still worth the read. I highly recommend this book. 4 out of 5 stars.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars must have--even if you're decisive, August 1, 2013
This review is from: "Yes" or "No": The Guide to Better Decisions (Paperback)
Must have.

When this was first given to me 15 years ago, I thought the story was tiresome but I was intrigued by the wallet card decision-making guide. Over the years, I've used the wallet card and been happy with my decisions. You don't pull the card out to decide if you want chicken or steak at lunch. I've used it to decide to stay/leave a difficult job...to keep a house or move...to decide if I should become a parent. The questions will pop into your mind when talking with friends or relatives about their big decisions. Sometimes I've had to stop myself from asking these questions in casual or business settings because they strike at the heart of the matter which would simply be too awkward or painful.

There's a big three-part practical question for your "cool head." There's another big three-part private question to ask your "warm heart." Under each is a handful of little questions to elicit honest responses to the big questions. Total of about 11 questions. If this sounds hokey, reserve judgement until you use it.

Don't be put off by the story. Punch out the wallet card and wait for something important to decide. I own a few hundred books and perhaps a half-dozen "self-help" books and the card in this book puts "Yes or No" into the top 20. This is the only "self-help" book I would presume to give a colleague or acquaintance without really knowing the details of their issue or decision.

Thankfully, the author chose not to burden us with hundreds of pages of explanations so the book is inexpensive.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Many Will Find Help Here with Decision-Making, March 14, 2003
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This review is from: "Yes" or "No": The Guide to Better Decisions (Paperback)
Johnson offers a very helpful book in this volume. He presents a simple guide for decision-making, one that will undoubtedly enhance the process for many persons. He essentially describes a two-step decision procedure, examining one's thinking on a given issue, then examining one's feelings on the same subject.
While not as good as the One-Minute Manager classic and its accompanying volumes, this work likely will help those persons seeking to bolster their decision-making abilities.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Yes"or "No" The Guide to Better Decisions, February 11, 2013
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This review is from: "Yes" or "No": The Guide to Better Decisions (Paperback)
A simple, effective guide that really works towards making better decisions.
I highly recommed, especially to those who lack self-esteem.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Practical Advice For Decision Making, September 2, 2011
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This review is from: "Yes" or "No": The Guide to Better Decisions (Paperback)
As the author of the "One Minute" series of books, Spencer Johnson has maintained his style of short and mostly conversational story telling with "Yes or No" to convey the art of making decisions. Set as a story of a weekend hike with a number of professionals all looking to improve the same abilities, the main character uncovers a very clear and sensible approach for making any decision.

The book is short enough to be read in an hour. The content and dialog is somewhat dry and hokey at times. Yet inside the book contains several nuggets that compensate for any of the negative aspects of its presentation. The ideas are thought provoking, logical, and they work. If you struggle with some of the choices in your life or even find that you are not getting the results you'd prefer from some of your major decisions, this short book is well worth the effort.
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"Yes" or "No": The Guide to Better Decisions
"Yes" or "No": The Guide to Better Decisions by Spencer Johnson (Paperback - June 4, 1993)
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