- Paperback: 106 pages
- Publisher: ATA Press; 2 edition (April 1, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0615272290
- ISBN-13: 978-0615272290
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.2 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #104,821 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Understanding Other People: The Five Secrets to Human Behavior 2nd Edition
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"Humans are strange creatures that are difficult to understand, even if you are one. 'Understanding Other People: The Five Secrets to Human Behavior' is a guide for people who want to better understand these peculiar individuals that they encounter every day. Drawing upon decades of experience, Beverly Flaxington encourages listeners to take her advice and apply it where they can. From better empathy to avoiding mistakes, 'Understanding Other People' is truly a valuable audio." -- the Midwest Book Review
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
From the Author
After years of working with people in business and personal situations, trying to help make effective change happen, I noticed a theme with difficult relationships. Sometimes when we are struggling in a relationship, everything else in life seems hard to deal with for us. I began to capture the common threads that run between most people and finally taught a graduate course called "Dealing with Difficult People" using my understanding. At the end of the class, students said -- "This should be a required course for everyone in life!" I heard that message and decided to write a book -- so that everyone could access these ideas and use them. One reviewer said, "Everyone on planet earth should read this book!" I hope you enjoy this and find it useful in your own life.
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Top Customer Reviews
Flaxington's premises are basically that you're going to get along easily with some people, with others it may not be easy but if you understand what's going on you may be able to make it work, and in other cases you either live with the situation or move on, but you're not going to change it. Straightforward enough, and Flaxington's value added are principles, context and the real and rare strength of the book, a clear and honest assessment that you're not going to change other people. The first chapter is a good reminder to check our own perspectives, but unless you're reading this at someone else's suggestion, there's a good probability you're above average in self awareness.
The Chapter "Don't Assume I Know What You Mean" is valuable enough to justify reading the book. The tools and thoughts from that chapter are universally useful.
The two "demerit" areas, based upon my "filters," are the lack of context for DISC and not addressing personality disorders. The DISC behavior style assessment is one of many communication/personality/behavior/value diagnostics; Myers-Briggs may be the most widely recognized. It would be good to know, briefly, why the author believes DISC is a good choice relative to other alternatives. She does state that it is validated and proven. Flaxington fully discloses she is a franchisee of the DISC system and this comment is not a criticism of DISC. Second, and the reason I took off one star, none of this really applies if you're interacting with someone with a serious psychological problem, a narcissistic bully for example, not just a behavioral style preference. That's a huge topic in itself but it's necessary and worth at least a short chapter in a book titled Understanding Other People, especially since estimates suggest that a significant and increasing portion of the population exhibits serious personality disorder symptoms.
The book begins by examining the many built in filters we use to view the world. Our filters don't necessarily make us right or wrong, they simply determine our viewpoint. One person may be devastated by the death of Michael Jackson. The next person may view it as, "One less pedophile in the world." One person may view Barack Obama as the Messiah, the next person may view him as the anti-Christ. These are just the filters each person sees things with.
Flaxington teaches us that by being aware of our filters, we are more cognizant of the fact that we are not necessarily right or wrong, we're just us. This concept leads us to understanding the principle of "It's all about me." The author cogently explains this simple truth by asking the reader to consider a time when we went out of our way to help someone, supposedly out of our own goodness, only to be offended when the recipient failed to "according to our filters" properly thank us.
The book continues in subsequent chapters to explain how these filters create difficulties in relationships, work environments and every day life with those around us. The concept being, by more clearly understanding why we, and those we interact with, react the way we do, we will begin to find ways to work towards what Dr. Stephen Covey calls, "Win-win, or no deal" and "seek first to understand, then to be understood."
I will stop here as I don't wish to give away additional content. The book is a quick, easy read. It is very well written and you will find lessons with immediate applicability.
Beverly Flaxington outlines 5 secrets to understanding other people – and ourselves – and how to effectively communicate in our personal and professional lives. This is a great introductory, or refresher book. . .there are no new concepts within these pages, but a valuable book to read nonetheless.
There’s an overuse of adverbs, which can make reading difficult at times, but hopefully that can be overlook because the message is important. Overall, I enjoyed this short read, and the reminder to why communicating, and how to communicate, effectively is so important.
Using the Disc behavioral and core value tools, I have a clearer insight into human nature. `Don't assume I know what you mean' is one of the good personal reminders to place more context around my messages.
I intend to keep this book close to me until the 5 secrets have become a natural way of life for me, meanwhile I will pick up a few more copies for my friends. You should too!