File Size: 7937 KB
Print Length: 240 pages
Publisher: Broadway Books (December 18, 2007)
Publication Date: December 18, 2007
I cannot think of a single person I know who would not benefit from reading this article. In fact, I think I will purchase a few extra copies to hand out as gifts. I have only ever done that for one other publication., For any non-native, this publication offers the chance to learn language and behavioural norms en passent, I absolutely loved this book and found it very useful. Margaret Shepherd addresses just about any situation one can think of. If everyone owned this book and followed these conversational recommendations, the world would be a much better place., Nice light read for a comm class. I really like the digital copy and the ease of delivery and access., Comprehensive and informative, well-versed, and pleasant. You may be educated on most the topics yet you may find something you might have missed. Strongly recommended., Some good information and advice, but not enough., I first read this book seven in years past and I've loved it ever since. This is not an antiquated rulebook that seeks merely to uphold quaint social exhibitions. Nor is this is a Machiavellian strategy publication that teaches how to control people as if they were tools. (So many career books subtly appear to advocate such a view, however well-intentioned they may be. )
As an alternative, this is a publication of basic ethics. Typically the author, Margaret Shepherd, might not exactly have intended to write a book of ethics, but that is what this book is. She shows how conversations can express a life of loyalty to ideals of truthfulness and compassion. She shows how conversation can be "a creative process where you each take home more you brought. " Plus she shows this virtually, without wasting words, and without sentimentality. This guide is "civil" in the best sense of the term. Typically the apparent brevity and ease of this book belies the thoughtfulness and work that plainly went into its preparation. The enhancing is superb, the presentation is clear, and the quick but smart bibliography displays careful research and provides excellent recommendations for more reading.
The first chapter of the book gives us all a detailed anatomy of human conversations. The second chapter gives ten simple (but not necessarily easy) moral principles of conversations, all of them illustrated with specific behavioral examples and suggestions: Tell the reality; Don't ramble; Don't interrupt; Inquire abuout and listen to the answers; Don't take good thing about people; Don't live on appearances; Don't touch taboo topics; Disagree in a civilized fashion; Avoid be a bore; Avoid gossip. The 3rd part gives recommendations for how to correct yourself when you've made a blunder and how to help reroute a conversation that seems headed in a negative direction. The fourth chapter handles some of our most basic needs: how to say please, thanks, and sorry; how to deal with compliments and critique; how to sympathize; and not least, how to say no. Chapter five suggests ways to have more and better conversations in a variety of situations. The remaining chapters deal with how to interact with different types of people: younger and older, family and acquaintances, men and women, people of different languages and abilities; and ideas to keep in mind when communicating by different media.
Recently I've been learning much more about the criminal justice system, and I've been touched by the practical everyday social grace lessons that I find to be embedded in a few of the most common words utilized in that system, such as: "offender" (lesson: don't "offend" others), "misdemeanor" (lesson: maintain an appropriate "demeanor"), "corrections" (lesson: don't act "incorrectly"), etc . These words help remind us that at the deepest level, etiquette and ethics are one and the same. In this book, Shepherd gracefully provides us lessons how not to offend, how to maintain an appropriate demeanor, how to do something correctly.
The lessons this book teaches are extremely simple, and I learned many of them long ago, but reading them has provided me an event for deep contemplation of basic human behaviors.
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