After I had finished reading People Skills by Robert Bolton Ph.D. I felt an immediate urge to give him a big hug, say thank you and sign up for a training course that very day. I used to think that I was an amazing communicator and that everyone that interacted with me needed help. As my marriage started to collapse I questioned this logic and then when it broke down irretrievably I decided to buy books like the one Bolton had created. After filing the final page to my memory banks, I understand that I have an incredible amount of work to do if I am going to improve as a communicator.
In the next few weeks I am going to start writing about my ten most influential books and although this book has not made the cut (because I have just read it), something tells me that it is going to be somewhere near the top spot should I repeat the exercise in a few years time.
The great thing about this book is it will appeal to everyone. Even if you are not interested in improving your communication skills you will immediately recognise yourself in various pages of this great book. Most of our relationships are based around bullshit. We create false facades where we wear the appropriate mask for each occasion and say what we believe needs to be said. People rarely behave in a way that exudes the truth. Authenticity is seen as a curse.
There is one thing certain about your methods and style of communication: they are primarily learned responses
Our communication skills have been developed through years of habit. With no recognised training courses in school, Sleepwalking parents and poorly run business classes is it any wonder that we have all become victims of victims? Just because a person can talk does not mean that they can communicate, and this is where so many problems lie. People assume there is no problem at all, do not have the ability to disassociate from themselves and are resistant to change.
75% of oral communication is either ignored, misunderstood or quickly forgotten
Robert Bolton does a fantastic job of turning a very complex issue into something really easy to understand. No sooner had I started reading the book I started to find myself trying hard to behave differently when communicating to another person. If you are lucky enough to have a partner who is open to trying something new, then this book can transform your relationships.
85% of our communication is non-verbal
I have found this book to be so critical in my life that I have sent Robert Bolton a personal letter thanking him for writing it. I have also committed myself to travel anywhere in the world to attend one of his training classes. I am so sorry that I did not have the requisite skills and understanding to communicate with people more effectively, and I apologise to everyone I have hurt as a result of my lack of skills. Alas I knew no different, but after reading People Skills I hope not to make the same mistakes.
Why did I pick up this book?
I am currently going through a divorce, and after a while I decided to employ the aid of a therapist to help me get through the proceedings. Working with the therapist gave me long periods of reflection and I realised that I had been a very poor communicator in my previous relationship. Determined not to make the same mistakes again I asked my therapist for some advice and she advised me to buy this book.