How to Speak So People Really Listen – Paul McGee [Book Summary]

by Nick

In our difficult, unstable and unpredictable time, we need advice on how to achieve the full disclosure of our potential and the capabilities of other people. “How to Speak So People Really Listen” gives this advice.

Success in relationships with people is an extremely important thing. The ability to achieve such success, perhaps, has never been so necessary. We all begin the path to success in different ways while having different priorities.

Communication is part of our daily lives. Directories dedicated to the correct interaction with people do not exist. But there are a few simple ideas that will help you build relationships in your personal and professional life.

The author of the book is not going to describe a universal way of interacting with people but seeks to increase your awareness and help to better understand yourself and others. These ideas can be adapted to a specific situation, culture, context.

Part one will help to clarify what can and cannot be achieved in relation to people, part two will teach you how to use strategies to build relationships.

This book is available as:

 eBook | Print

Part 1. Stop and Understand

People are incorrigible. The book author suggests stopping looking for quick solutions to complex and long-standing problems, a universal approach to all people. Do not forget that you cannot control people. But you can do a lot to influence them.

Most people suffer from SDS (Self-Analysis Deficiency Syndrome). Everyone has their own “blind zone” – we rarely see ourselves as others perceive us.

Some people refuse to change. Therefore, do not bang your head against the wall. To change, you need courage; humility is needed to admit wrong. People should want to change themselves, for their own reasons, and not at your request. And you can help them using the material from the book.

Why smart people do stupid things. Stress makes us stupid. It is dangerous if we allow emotions to completely take over the decision-making process. In the book, you will find tips on how to avoid the influence of emotions.

You get what you agree to endure. Problems continue to exist because we get used to them. It is unlikely that the situation will change if you are silent and inactive. When you stop enduring and start talking, you pave the way for a better and more enjoyable relationship.

Humiliation is for amateurs. After all, this is not an indicator of strength, but weakness, the basis for anger, resentment and revenge in the future. For example, a leader who uses humiliation as a way of influencing a negligent employee will never achieve his goal.

You need to protect human dignity if you want to influence people and induce them to certain actions. To mitigate the criticism, ask: “What have you learned from this lesson?”, “What would you do in my place?” This will allow the interlocutor to analyze his behavior, change it, and it will be easier for you to control his ideas and plans, give advice in the future.

Being a cutie is not always helpful. Relationship difficulties arise when a person tries to be enjoyable for everyone. Achieving this goal, you will not be able to make everyone love you.

People who feel the need to please everyone will not change the world. Just do not turn into a tyrant. But if the employee who works after the sleeves ceases to consider you a simpleton, and annoying friends cease to exploit your kindness, you will appreciate the advantages of a person who does not try to please everyone and everyone.

Two are needed for tango. Life is complicated, confused, chaotic and sometimes gloomy. And it is against this background that our relations with other people are developing. It can be difficult for us to discern our own guilt in the conflict, we describe events from a subjective point of view, slightly changing and distorting the facts in our favor, without realizing it. But think about how you contributed to the conflict. How does your behavior affect the problem? So you make it easier to get out of this situation.

No investment – no profit. We even know little about those with whom we constantly communicate, we do not have the time and energy to maintain even relations that are important to us. And they gradually fade, then fade completely. So strong employment destroys relationships, both business and personal.

Investing nothing, you will not get anything. Stop hoping that you will someday find time for your contribution to the development of relationships. Take this time now!

Sometimes the most necessary things are not even conversations, but some common cause, a joint pastime. The ability to recruit, train and retain the right people is expensive. But you have to invest, then to reap the benefits of their work.

So, take time for people, look for ways to contribute to their development (give this book, for example).

Part 2. Moving On

Be realistic. At the root of many disappointments, deceived hopes and conflicts are unrealistic expectations that we place on other people and how they should act. But the desire for others to live the way you want is not always fulfilled.

Learn to accept both your own weaknesses and those of others. Relate to other people’s behavior more philosophically than emotionally. And move on.

Do not wake a sleeping dog. Sometimes the behavior of others is best taken for granted to improve long-term relationships. The ability to be more flexible is very important in communication, but you must decide for yourself what are the things that you can endure. Having decided not to wake a sleeping dog, do you feel comfortable taking into account all the consequences of this decision?

Do not use this method to justify your weakness. Remember that constantly standing your ground in any matter is tiring, boring and can end up completely in a spoiled relationship. And losing one battle to win the war can be an effective strategy.

Control your attitude towards others. The brain is trying to help find what you are looking for. What you focus on takes on a larger scale. You will be prone to notice negative moments in the behavior of a person who is not nice to you, which will increase your dislike.

A vicious circle is forming – your attitude affects your behavior. You do not notice anything good in a person, and this does not bode ease in communication. To achieve positive changes, try to change your view of the person, find positive aspects in him and, perhaps, your relationship will go smoothly.

Be prepared to admit your mistakes. Concentration, determination, self-confidence – a leader should possess such traits. Still, qualities such as humility and a willingness to admit their mistakes will be very useful to him. After all, we must be more open and flexible.

What does this mean in practice? Do not make hasty conclusions, relying on the first impression and your feelings, which may change. It’s better to say this: “I can be wrong, but that’s how it seems to me today.” This wording encourages people to express an opinion on this issue, attracts them to work together, they will readily share their ideas. One may disagree with them, but it would be unreasonable not to listen to them.

Do not think that the people around you want the same as you. Take the time to understand the preferences of another person, because what suits you may not suit other people at all. So, find out what kind of relationship they want.

Four killer questions. You need to answer them, bearing in mind a person who is significant to you (partner, relative, etc.).

  1. What is happening in his world at this moment? Spend a little more time to find out, instead of talking about yourself.
  2. What does he currently need? You may be able to help, and this will make your relationship better and easier.
  3. Am I listening to understand or to defend myself? Try to hear what your opponent can tell you, instead of building a defense. It’s hard to get angry at someone who agrees with you and tries to understand you. So you can repay in the bud any potential conflict.
  4. Do I express my thoughts clearly enough? Share the clarity of your understanding of the plan with other people. Perhaps for you those reasons that others do not notice are completely clear – they may simply not know them.

Your answers are very important, they will show whether you are ready to apply new strategies for building relationships with people. Think about what specific action you decide to take.

How not to turn criticism into torture. Focus on finding a solution to the problem, not on fixing someone’s guilt. Pay maximum attention to how to avoid the repetition of a mistake by motivating yourself and others to move forward.

Find out why they are whimpering. Many authors allow themselves ridicule of negatively minded people, consider them as the root of evil, an obstacle to progress. But perhaps people have a real reason for concern. You need to try to understand the reasons for their behavior.

There are several reasons for the negative attitude.

  1. Some people are negative in nature. They are a counterbalance to positive people in order to maintain a natural balance, they have the very nature of the ability to see a glass half empty. You can help them pay more attention to positive aspects, teach them to ask themselves more often the question: “What positive can I find in this situation?”.
  2. Lack of self-confidence. The antidote will be support and encouragement. Self-confidence is a fundamental human need. Appeal to the strengths of a person should help strengthen his confidence and add positive to his mood.
  3. A sense of injustice. People may not agree with any of your arguments. Try to understand the motive of their behavior. Get people involved in decision making. Explain to them that the proposed solution is probably the most correct, and maintaining the current state has dangerous consequences. So you will find more reasons for cooperation and less time for confrontation.

How to help people feel their worth. There are seven ways to do this.

  1. Service. It should be at the heart of our relationship with other people. It is necessary to find out what can be done to meet the needs and goals of other people, that is, learn to be less self-oriented. So, if the company’s attention is focused on customer needs, its success is more likely.
  2. Personalization Treat a person in such a way that he feels a unique personality with his likes and dislikes, and not just one of the representatives of the faceless crowd. Christmas cards and letters of congratulations sent by a self-respecting company always contain an appeal to a specific person and are very individual. This contributes to the success of the company.
  3. Encouragement. We all need it from time to time. Each word carries a powerful charge, can both inspire and land. How wonderful, looking back, to understand that thanks to your words spoken in time, some people received the necessary impetus to move towards their goal. They have confidence that they are able to take the next step and achieve victory.
  4. Politeness. Respect for other people is our starting point in building relationships, each person deserves it. And this is not only the “thank you” said in time, but also takes into account the needs of other people to the same extent as your own. Politeness even in the details adds points to our attractiveness. We have a greater influence on people who like us, and they become more open to our ideas.
  5. Interest. Do not limit yourself to your own world and your own needs. When you want to establish contact with someone, remember that you must show interest in the world of the interlocutor.
  6. Appreciation. Remember: “The opposite of love is not hatred, but indifference.” You need to show that you value the people around you, to show them your recognition. Make extra efforts to please a person, write a note, call, make a gift. Feel free to share your achievements and emphasize the impact that your interlocutor or addressee had.
  7. Attention. If you want people to open up, tell more and help you get to the bottom of the issue, you should listen. Sometimes people need to speak out completely before they are ready to hear your opinion. Any person needs to feel their importance, to feel understanding. The most effective way to achieve this is to learn to listen.

How to return to people a lost mood. How to support people if they are upset, how to help them rise? One of the following strategies may come in handy here.

  1. To understand that “being out of order” is normal. Troubles always cause temporary emotional stress. It is dangerous to get caught in this condition. Help people focus on ideas that will help them move on.
  2. Change the view of failure. This is part of our path to knowledge, development, success. Failure does not put an end to further fate. This is a useful lesson that will come in handy in the future. It is important to continue your efforts.
  3. Look for the positive side. As support, remind people that not everything is as bad as they currently think.
  4. Achieve small victories. Nothing motivates like success. It gives hope that helps people move on, make progress. Be sure to mark achievements. Success is made up of small victories.
  5. Change the environment. So you can shake off your daily routine, which contributes to the emergence of new ideas. Changes can sometimes act as rest, allow you to recharge.

How to make people listen to you. This is necessary if we are going to successfully influence people. First, consider the three main mistakes made in communication.

  1. The abundance of unnecessary details. Do not overwhelm the interlocutor with details – this is unlikely to make him accept your point of view. Most presentations will only benefit if their time is halved. If people need more details, they will ask for it themselves.
  2. Inconsistency of subjects of the message and audience. What is important to us may not be significant to others. Failure to understand this means that we will waste the time of our interlocutor and waste our time.
  3. Focus on facts instead of sensations. People are interested in not only what you say, but how you say it. Turning only to the mind rarely changes anything, you need to use the senses. Think about how to make your message more effective, what stories, jokes you can use to illustrate.

To solve the problem indicated by these three errors, you can try the following tips.

  1. Understand the needs and interests of your listeners. What are their problems? Based on the answers to these questions, you should make your presentation.
  2. Remember that you make 90 percent of your impressions about yourself in the first 90 seconds of speaking or talking. Therefore, make sure that the first 90 seconds are filled with meaningful material.
  3. Start with the end in mind. It is necessary to clearly state the goals and objectives of the speech. Put everything in place in your own thoughts. Ask yourself, what new knowledge and actions do you expect from your audience after your meeting comes to an end?
  4. Invest in yourself. Ways to learn to speak are easier to put on paper than to apply in life. In addition to the tips outlined in the book, attending courses and consultations, help from a mentor, and the use of Internet resources will help. And always pay attention not only to what the experts say but also how they do it.

The ball is by your side. Success in relationships with people can improve your life, both personal and professional if you use at least a few tips from this book.

So, you have accumulated the necessary knowledge in order to help and support, leave your mark in the lives of other people. And the great thing is that you can start today.

Give it a try. The choice is yours!

Why You Should Read “How to Speak So People Really Listen “

  • To become a prolific speaker
  • To be understood and respected
  • To overcome presentation problems

This book is available as:

 eBook | Print