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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.
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.
1. Words are virtually irrelevant- the tone conveys your message.
2. The truth can be found in emotions, not logic.
3. You can win every time merely by denying your opponent your permission to beat you.
In regard to #1, Garry never said "words are virtually irrelevant". He point out that "besides the facts, listen for the tone and try to determine also what is NOT said". In regard to #2, Garry didn't say that either: he pointed out that logic + the human emotional side gives a better picture; sometimes in STORY form". In regard to #3, this is utter rubbish since Garry throughout his book talks about times when winning is sometimes losing (to a loved one) or in other places, winning can be a tactful withdraw and winning sometimes is simply listening. In another place, Garry points out that "unless the other is willing to dialogue, then the argument is pointless". The "permission" mentioned by the reader is taken totally out of context when Garry said "power, real or imagined is what we (mentally) give to the other".
This reader calls himself a "non-liberal". Well, I'm a conservative (for 56 years), still am, and have big ears for liberal spin and prejudice which Garry so well describes as "a room piled to the ceiling with junk...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is not about how to set up a winning argument providing the best evidence and the best logical case. It is about getting what you want as you communicate with others. Read morePublished 27 days ago by Thomas Wikman
Really cool read. You won't learn some miracle trick on how to win arguments but the author tells some really amazing tales from his years in law.Published 1 month ago by J. Dolan
This is a book on arguing written by a lawyer, but it is sooo much more than that. It is a book on deciding on the outcome you want, and being enlightened, loving, human and... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Fleming