I recently read a book that I recommend all change agents read: Just Listen: Discover The Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone by Mark Goulston.
Goulston, a psychiatrist who appears to be equal parts business consultant, marriage counselor, and hostage negotiator, shares the science of how the brain moves from “No” to “Yes,” and then tells how to do that with someone whose buy-in and agreement you need.
What makes this book so practical is that the author doesn’t just prescribe general concepts of what to do – he provides specific language to use to trigger the desired result. And while he can’t script out an entire conversation for you personally, having the right words to get the ball rolling is indeed a great help.
At first, I was skeptical of the subtitle – Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone – and in fact, Goulston has an entire chapter of toxic people you won’t be able to get through to (or don’t want to anyway). He provides examples of the narcissist, the taker, the bully, the psychopath, and how to tell if you are really dealing with one. This is great information to have so you can stop beating your head against the wall.
I read Just Listen on my Kindle, but this is one I’ll have to buy the hardcover to have on my bookshelf for ready reference for myself and clients.
(I have not been paid or encouraged to write this endorsement.)