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Just Listen


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Table of Contents


Foreword by Keith Ferrazzi xiii

Preface to the Paperback Edition xv

Acknowledgments xvii

SECTION I The Secret to Reaching Anyone 1

1 Who's Holding YOU Hostage? 3

2 A Little Science: How the Brain Goes from "No" to "Yes" 14

SECTION II The 9 Core Rules for Getting Through to Anyone 25

3 Move Yourself from "Oh F#@& to OK" 27

4 Rewire Yourself to Listen 36

5 Make the Other Person Feel "Felt" 45

6 Be More Interested Than Interesting 55

7 Make People Feel Valuable 64

8 Help People to Exhale Emotionally and Mentally 69

9 Check Your Dissonance at the Door 77

10 When All Seems Lost-Bare Your Neck 87

11 Steer Clear of Toxic People 94

SECTION III 12 Easy-to-Use Tools for Achieving Buy-in and Getting Through 109

12 The Impossibility Question 111

13 The Magic Paradox 116

14 The Empathy Jolt 123

15 The Reverse Play, Empathy Jolt #2 132

16 "Do You Believe That?" 138

17 The Power of "Hmmm. . . ." 142

18 The Stipulation Gambit 150

19 From Transaction to Transformation 155

20 Side by Side 163

21 Fill in the Blanks 170

22 Take It All the Way to "No" 176

23 The Power Thank You and Power Apology 180

SECTION IV Fast Fixes for 7 Challenging Situations 187

24 The Team from Hell 189

25 Climbing the Ladder 194

26 The Narcissist at the Table 197

27 Stranger in Town 200

28 The Human Explosion 204

29 Getting Through to Yourself 209

30 Six Degrees of Separation 215

Afterword 221

Index 223

About the Author 231

Keynotes/Workshops 233

About the Author

Mark Goulston is a business adviser, consultant, coach, speaker, and psychiatrist. The author of Get Out of Your Own Way and other popular books, he blogs for Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, Business Insider, The Huffington Post, and Psychology Today; co-hosts a weekly radio show; and is featured frequently in major media, including The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Newsweek, Time, CNN, Fox News, and the TODAY show.


"Backed by the latest scientific research, simple but powerful techniques that can turn frustration and anger into engagement are explained." -HR magazine (Hong Kong)
"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
..".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
..".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
"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
..".provides numerous insights and tips for impactful listening written in an engaging and thoroughly enjoyable manner." --Daily Times
..".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
..".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
"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
Just Listen
is an excellent guide for learning how to break down barriers." --Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
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
"an impressive bag of tricks... a guide that is as entertaining as it is useful" --Publishers Weekly
"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
"[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
"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
"Goulston helps the reader to learn how to get through to anyone." --Business Now Magazine
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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
[starred review] "Drawing on his experience as a psychiatrist, business consultant, and FBI hostage-negotiation trainer, Goulston provides brilliant yet doable techniques for getting through to others... This book transcends the self-help category by promoting real communication." --Library Journal

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