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How to Disagree Without Being Disagreeable: Getting Your Point Across with the Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense Paperback – April 8, 1997
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From the Back Cover
- Keep domestic disagreements from escalating
- Deliver criticism to coworkers, employers, or employees
- Handle aggressive, negative comments about race, politics, or religion
- Provide discipline without increasing hostility
- Use language that reduces tension and creates rapport in every situation
About the Author
- Item Weight : 9.3 ounces
- Paperback : 208 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0471157058
- ISBN-13 : 978-0471157052
- Product Dimensions : 6.1 x 0.62 x 9.08 inches
- Publisher : Jossey-Bass; 1st Edition (April 8, 1997)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,189,736 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Unfortunately, I need to point out a major flaw in Elgin's analysis of why people engage in verbal attacks. She identifies three main causes: 1) The person doesn't know another way of handling disagreement, 2) The person acts through a need for excitement that he or she doesn't know a better way to fulfill, and 3) The person wants attention and doesn't know a better way to get it. These may be causes for some, or even many people, but Elgin ignores a significant cause of verbal aggression: the person is an abuser and seeks control.
I was a lawyer for ten years and have been an ordained pastor for twenty--five years. In both my law practice and my ministry, I have become familiar with the patterns of domestic violence. In such relationships, the abuser makes abundant use of verbal attacks, and no conversational tactic will deflect them. So this book should really come with a warning (and a bit of free advice): "If these techniques don't work with someone in your life, GET OUT OF THE RELATIONSHIP as fast as you can!"
There are other aspects of this book I'd critique. For example, I strongly disagree with her advice that you deliberately make mistakes so that others can display dominance by correcting you (but do it discretely so you don't get caught). Tone of voice, body language, and our awareness of our own weaknesses can help us avoid turf wars without the need for deceitful manipulation.
If I could give half stars, I'd give this book three and a half. When I was a lawyer, I might have rounded down to three. But hey, I'm in the grace and generosity business now, so a four it is.
Oh yes, practice what this books teaches every chance you can.
I've been applying the techniques for a few months now, and it's been a life saver.
I can't recommend it enough. The author writes so clearly and concisely, you can only tell she's a brilliant woman.
I wish she were more famous.