Tag Archives: Influence

Quick Review: Negotiation (An Ex-Spy’s Guide Series)

So as I’m researching and reading the topic of Negotiation in a lot of contexts I decided to add this book to my reading more for fun.  It’s a short, 100-page crash course on negotiation through the lens of “the field.” There’s a whole series of topics covered by the author and negotiation is one of them.

It was actually quite fun to read and there was a lot of practical advice and some of the general nuts and bolts were covered. But a lot of the focus was on dynamics that would take place in real conversations in which something was at stake. So the stories and anecdotes were great.

The big flaw with this though is that it is among the many Negotiation books that are focused on someone “getting what they want.” A phrase that repeatedly comes up is along the lines of, “It’s not good to manipulate people, but here are a few things you can do in this situation to make sure the outcome turns out in your favor.”  This is the spirit of a lot of contemporary negotiation literature – evident in titles like “How to Get What You Want” and the like.

It really is a completely different paradigm to look at Negotiation through a Biblical lens and the mandate to “look after the interests of one another” instead of the modern-day quest to ensure your interests even if they are at others expense.

That being said – there were great nuggets about navigating hard situations, regulating emotion, and assessing the needs and interests involved in a negotiation. And it was a fun read.  I don’t think this should be your negotiation primer, but it was a fun side read to compare and contrast some of the ideas from one experienced practitioner to what else is out there.


Old School Book Review: How to Win Friends

A few months ago I read Dale Carnegie’s classic How to Win Friends and Influence People.  Normally I react strongly to books that have covers that have catch lines like “The Only Book You Need…..”

Of course that’s a bunch of nonsense.

I never wanted to read it because I felt like it was super old and cliche and pragmatic.   But I was in a situation where I was required to read it so I did..

And there’s actually some really good stuff in there though there’s also a lot of stuff that I could not get with.  It should be read as a practical manual for how to network and how to win over people with a more business approach or marketing approach as opposed to how to actually win friendships.  It’s more about influencing people rather than winning friends.

I think there are a lot of great tips for building relationships with donors, with connecting with you or potential clients, or even in evangelism and what might be viewed as ministry activity. There’s practical tips, but it doesn’t address the heart so it comes across pragmatic and manipulative at points.

The spirit of the book comes off a bit pragmatic, utilitarian, and health and wealth philosophy to me, but there are some skills highlighted that people can grow in to improve their relationships and connect authentically with different types of people – and NOT to manipulate them as sometimes the book kind of gives a vibe off.

Either way – it’s a useful resource potentially if there are specific things or skills you are trying to improve in.  If you are looking for something that will help you grow in the area of relationships I suggest other resources that will address the real heart issues and spiritual side of relationships.