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Covert Persuasion: Psychological Tactics and Tricks to Win the Game Paperback – Large Print, December 28, 2012
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About the Author
Kevin Hogan is a public speaker and corporate trainer. Several times per month, he teaches, trains, and speaks about persuasion, influence, body language, emotional intelligence, communication, and motivation. He holds a doctorate in psychology and is also the author of The Science of Influence, from Wiley. James Speakman is a professional speaker, corporate trainer, and President of Speakman & Associates LLC, a company committed to sharing the power of persuasion with salespeople and others whose careers depend on their powers of persuasion.
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The writing is clean and clear. There are no complex theories, statements of advice are explained in a straightforward manner. The reader could appreciate the purposeful style. Although the tactics are listed using a dry numbering system ("Covert Persuasion Tactic #32), they are grouped in chapters following well defined concepts. I thought the authors handled quite well the delicate issues of emotion and belief. One of the positive aspects of the book is that the reader can follow a system to educate new, better communication habits. Some readers could find observations that provoke thinking beyond the simple idea of persuasion.
The authors make an effort to simplify the message of persuasion (they have to persuade you, right?), but they also emphasize the fact that one has to put in more effort in order to get better results. It is about being motivated, knowing what you want and hard work. Some of the more interesting concepts in the book are:
- People don't believe in something because of a specific reason, they just do
- Always be outcome focused, imaging final product
- Avoid mind drifting, which is caused by tiredness
- Focus requires energy
- Anticipate, always anticipate
- Beware when someone else's agenda is on your to-do list
- Communicate with intention
The title and the introduction style do not do justice to the book. It has more depth than it lets you believe. It is better if you take your time and read it slowly - and think about it, rather than skip through it.
Overall, the book is useful, even if you are already familiar with some of the concepts. Occasionally, the book drops the quality by dipping into sales demagogic rhetoric (just ignore that), but considering the size of the covered territory, it has remarkable tempo and interestedness. I am writing this review a month after I read the book and I can say that a few ideas in the book are sticky: they stay with you for a while. That means the book is onto something.
But this is not some dry, dull psych tome. The whole book is a "How-to"- how to make more sales, how to get people to help you achieve your goals, how to get things done in an interdependent world. The book shows you how to gently and covertly nudge people toward a decision that will benefit both you and them, without trickery, and make the best use of your time in the process. Loaded with visual, lingual, empathic and other tactics to influence others, it is a fascinating and provocative read.
I ripped it out of the Amazon package at 10AM and closed it at 9PM the same day- then went back to start taking notes to put the concepts and tactics into daily use. When you decide to buy and use this book, be prepared for changes in your outcomes with others. And, oh- don't let it lying around where your kids can find it, they know enough of these things already!