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Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone Paperback – Illustrated, March 4, 2015
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Getting through to someone is a critical, fine art. Whether you are dealing with a harried colleague, a stressed-out client, or an insecure spouse, things will go from bad to worse if you can't break through emotional barricades and get your message thoroughly communicated and registered.
Drawing on his experience as a psychiatrist, business consultant, and coach, author Mark Goulston combines his background with the latest scientific research to help you turn the “impossible” and “unreachable” people in their lives into allies, devoted customers, loyal colleagues, and lifetime friends.
In Just Listen, Goulston provides simple yet powerful techniques you can use to really get through to people including how to:
- make a powerful and positive first impression;
- listen effectively;
- make even a total stranger (potential client) feel understood;
- talk an angry or aggressive person away from an instinctual, unproductive reaction and toward a more rational mindset;
- and achieve buy-in--the linchpin of all persuasion, negotiation, and sales.
Whether they're coworkers, friends, strangers, or enemies, the first make-or-break step in persuading anyone to do anything is getting them to hear you out. The invaluable principles in Just Listen will get you through that first tough step with anyone.
With this groundbreaking book, you will be able to master the fine but critical art of effective communication.
“an impressive bag of tricks… a guide that is as entertaining as it is useful” --Publishers Weekly
"The most useful (five-star) book on communicating... Everyone can be a better communicator with the right knowledge, and this book makes learning interesting and easy." --Lindsey Novak, nationally syndicated "At Work" columnist
"It's a measure of how contentious work relationships can get that the author, a psychiatrist, draws on hostage-negotiation techniques to instruct readers on how to deal with 'defiant executives, angry employees or self-destructing management teams'.... Mission accomplished." --Time Magazine
"useful and applicable techniques and strategies for everything from getting teams to work together, to handling narcissistic clients (or is that a redundancy?), and getting your message across to even the most impenetrable people" --Accounting Today
"Just Listen is a banquet of approaches and ideas that's easy to devour the first time around, and a flavorful feast whenever you use portions as a reference book. It's certainly one of the best how-to books of the year." --Inland Empire Business Journal
"A primer on dealing with hard-to-reach people in virtually every scenario -- defiant executives, angry employees, families in turmoil, warring couples -- through use of well-honed psychological techniques. Illustrative snippets from counseling session reveal martial-arts like techniques: potent on their own, but even more powerful when you combine them. Chapter summaries feature action steps preparing readers to encounter similar scenarios, yielding a guide that is as entertaining as it is useful." --CareerBuilder.com
"Just Listen is not only helpful for any kind of business, it teaches a skill that will aid you outside of the office too." --Niche Magazine
"Just Listen is an excellent guide for learning how to break down barriers." --Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“We’re all held captive when someone refuses to communicate. [Goulston’s] 12 easy tools to achieve buy-in and seven fast fixes for challenging situations are particularly helpful for everyday use.” --Working Strategies
“Who would benefit from reading Just Listen? I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t —customer service staff, managers, salespeople, parents, you name it…” --The Chronicle Herald
“Goulston helps the reader to learn how to get through to anyone.” --Business Now Magazine
“…offers nine core rules for reaching anyone, from Beelzebub down to the lowliest staffer, as well as a host of easy-to-use tools, concrete action steps, and illuminating examples.” --Accounting Today
“We all have difficult and unpleasant conversations throughout our lives…Mark gives us the key to not only making these conversations smoother, but help you communicate on a deeper level.” --Optimized Geek
“Hell, Sartre pointed out, is other people, but it turns out that there are ways to make them less devilish…trick is to learn to really listen in the way described by this book.” --Accounting Today
"[Mark Goulston] understands communication, and he understands people…Who would benefit from reading Just Listen? I can't think of anyone who wouldn't.” --The Chronicle Herald
“…useful insights into opening anyone up—a recalcitrant vendor, a desirable prospect, a client dragging ass….Goulston’s words gave me sizable goosebumps.” --Forbes.com
"...provides numerous insights and tips for impactful listening written in an engaging and thoroughly enjoyable manner." --Daily Times
"Once in a while a book comes along that makes us slow down, become introspective and thus, learn and transform...Such a book is Just Listen." --Parking Today
“Readers learn how to listen effectively, shift an angry or aggressive person into a calmer, more receptive state, and use empathy jolts to bridge a communication gap.“ —Business Insider
“Readers learn how to listen effectively, shift an angry or aggressive person into a calmer, more receptive state, and use empathy jolts to bridge a communication gap.” —Idealist Careers
“…ranks as one of my all-time favorite books and is, in my humble opinion, the BEST book written on this very important topic.” —Linkedin
“…filled with great questions that will absolutely ‘Increase Your Leadership Effectiveness X10!’ This is a must buy book for every leader and every coach! —Bob Tiede, Leading with Questions blog
“Backed by the latest scientific research, simple but powerful techniques that can turn frustration and anger into engagement are explained.” –HR magazine (Hong Kong)
Foreword by Keith Ferrazzi, author of Never Eat Alone and Who’s Got Your Back
More than 100,000 copies sold!
Do you ever feel like you're talking to a brick wall?
The first step in persuading anyone to do anything is getting them to hear you out. But whether the person is a cynical colleague, furious customer, or overwhelmed spouse, their emotional barriers may be blocking your message. And if you can't break through, you can't move forward.
Just Listen has helped tens of thousands of people tear down walls and establish productive communication. In this landmark book, veteran psychiatrist and business coach Mark Goulston reveals simple, proven techniques for moving people from resistance to consensus, explaining how to:
Listen effectively • Make even a total stranger—perhaps a potential client—feel “felt” • Shift an angry or aggressive person into a calmer, more receptive state • Use empathy jolts to quickly bridge communication gaps •Turn negative people into assets using the “Magic Paradox” • Achieve buy-in, the linchpin of all negotiation, persuasion, and sales • And more
Barricades between people become barriers to success and happiness, so getting through is not just a fine art—it's a crucial skill. With Just Listen, readers learn how to transform the “impossible” and “unreachable” people in their lives into true allies, loyal customers, and lifelong friends.
- Publisher : AMACOM; Reprint edition (March 4, 2015)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 256 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0814436471
- ISBN-13 : 978-0814436479
- Item Weight : 9.9 ounces
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.75 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #22,598 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviewed in the United States on February 6, 2016
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-From resisting to listening
-From listening to considering
-From considering to willing to do
-From willing to do to doing
-From doing to glad they did and continuing to do
The book then goes on to introduce rules and techniques that can be leveraged to move people through the different stages of this cycle. Section II of the book details the nine core rules: move yourself from "OH F#@& to OK", rewire yourself to listen, make the other person feel "felt", be more interested than interesting, make people feel valuable, help people to exhale emotionally and mentally, check your dissonance at the door, when all seems lost - bare your neck, steer clear of toxic people.
Section III introduces techniques that can utilized to "achieve buy-in and get through": the impossibility question, the magic paradox, the empathy jolt, the reverse play, empathy jolt #2, "do your really believe that", the power of "hmmm...", the stipulation gambit, from transaction to transformation, side by side, fill in the blanks, take it all the way to "no", the power thank you and power apology.
The last section, section IV, Mark applies the above learning to successfully navigate through seven challenging situations: the team from hell, climbing the ladder, the narcissist at the table, stranger in town, the human explosion, getting through to yourself, six degrees of separation.
What sets this book apart is the breadth in which it covers the topic of listening from the fundamentals to the techniques to the application. This makes it very practical and applicable in any situation one can encounter, whether at work or at home. Mark does an excellent job of enriching the book with his numerous insights and rich experiences. A highly recommended read.
Below are some excerpts from the book that I found particularly insightful:
1- "When you go from "Oh F#@& to OK," you go from being fixated on the way you are convinced the world should or shouldn't be, but never will be, to being ready to deal with the world the way it is."
2- "...The way to truly win friends and influence the best people is to be more interested in listening to them than you are in impressing them."
3- "So: how do you master the skill of being interested - and be sincere when you do it? The first key is to stop thinking of conversation as a tennis match. (He scored a point. Now I need to score a point.) Instead, think of it as a detective game, in which your foal is to learn as much about the other person as you can. Go into the conversation knowing that there is something very interesting about the person, and be determined to discover it."
4- "Passion is about the vision of the company. People want to believe that they're doing an important job that makes a difference to their customers and clients, and puts a smile on their facts. Enthusiasm is about execution. Even with a great vision, people lose their enthusiasm and fail to accomplish what they're capable of doing if their leaders are dropping the ball. Pride is about vision, but also about ethics, because few people feel proud if their company is doing something dishonest. It's also about doing something meaningful, because as people grow older, leaving the world better than they found it becomes more important."
5- "Owning up to your feeling of vulnerability is empowering. It prevents an amygdala hijack that could result in rash decisions and seriously bad life choices. It allows you to exhale, rather than blowing up. Doing the opposite - pretending your're fine when your world is imploding - can be dangerous or even deadly."
6- "Invite people to tell you what they think is impossible, and they'll lower their guard to consider what's possible."
7- "To Succeed in your career, it's less important what you know or even who you know than who truly knows you and how they know you. - Ivan Misner, Founder, BNI"
"Just Listen" starts out with a brief explanation of brain physiology, a model about how persuasion works and the idea of "buy-in" supported by emotionally moving anecdotal examples of how theory comes alive in practice. Mark introduces the important idea of 'mirror neuron receptor deficit' and how it affects our emotions and is the key for understanding how to listen effectively.
I find Chapter 1, "Who's Holding You Hostage" one of the more powerful chapters in the book because it taps into an experience most people have had at some point in their lives - finding themselves 'held hostage' by the perception that no one understands us or can relate to the emotions we feel. These experiences don't always end in a literal gun-to-your-head standoff, but the effects can be just as devastating.
The cover of "Just Listen" promises to reveal the "secret to getting through to absolutely anyone". The irony of the promise is that it includes getting through to oneself. I've read the book two times cover-to-cover and return to it frequently as a trusted resource. Mark's insights aren't a series of parlor tricks for getting what you want or manipulating others through coercion. Mark speaks to the fundamental human need for authentic connection - for being understood for who are as we are. "Just Listen" lays out 'Nine Core Rules For Getting Through to Anyone'. These rules are meant to be applied using the principle of the reciprocity - treat others the way you wish to be treated. Each of the rules can be thought of as anchor points or navigational buoys for charting a course in building effective and healthy relationships. Like navigational aids, the rules help ensure the safety of the journey. They are not the journey itself nor do they guarantee the journey will be easy. But without them you run the risk of running aground and sinking your boat.
The Nine Rules are followed by twelve practical techniques for breaking through when people and situations 'get stuck'. Of the twelve techniques The Impossibility Question, "Do You Really Believe That?", Fill in the Blanks, and From Transaction to Transformation are my favorites because I have been able to make them my own and use them authentically with others. The key to using any tool or technique is to know when it is appropriate to use and when it is not. Just because you have a hammer doesn't mean everything is a nail. Mark provides adequate context for helping determine when a technique may prove useful. However, there is no substitute for preparation and practice. Using any of these techniques requires the investment of time and energy to internalize and make them your own.
The last section of the book, "Putting It All Together: Fast Fixes for Seven Challenging Situations", is a deeper dive into combining the techniques to resolve 'stickier' problems. Chapter 29, "Getting Through to Yourself" is a gem. The chapter is short but if the reader engages honestly with the material they may find it the most beneficial. In it, Mark addresses our tendency to be overly self critical by asking us to ask ourself, "What's holding you back from accomplishing your goals, and how frustrating is that for you?" Mark suggests that if the reader examines their answer to the question carefully they may discover they are suffering from their own serious mirror neuron receptor deficit.
Mark's writing style is clear and concise. The structure of the book makes it come across as 'formulaic' and is designed to appeal to readers looking for a quick fix. The real value of "Just Listen" comes in reading and rereading the book over a period of months wrestling with the implications of what it means to really listen to others and what it means to be deeply heard ourselves.
Top reviews from other countries
It also has extremely powerful anecdotes throughout that happen extremely quickly, when in reality the same techniques will rarely have such twin efficacies when we attempt them. So what makes the book exciting, powerful and uplifting is predicated on a great sales pitch with optimally perfect examples.
The title peaked curiosity in my mind.
There were 3 specific things I liked about the book:
1. The style of writing was very conversational.
2. The ideas were really well illustrated with practical examples and stories.
3. There were specific ways suggested on how to implement.
It gives very practical advice and I can definitely say that you don't need to be too deep into psychology or neuroscience to benefit from it given its written for business practitioners.