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In the perspective section, for example, you will learn the importance of truly knowing yourself, including your blind spot, as well as the essential position keeping your first person perspective as the core of any interaction. 

The authors correctly caution that it is that first person perspective that assures the preservation and operation of one’s values, integrity and presentation of one’s particular needs.  It is also, the authors warn, the biggest barrier to finding and operating on similarities rather than focusing on differences and losing connections.

Next, the authors turn to Second –Person Perspective, shifting their focus to that essential negotiating prescription of “imagining yourself in the shoes of others …p. 121).”     Here, the authors lead the reader to learn to see the world from a different party’s view and to gain insight and empathy for their position.  Alas, of course, the caveat is also offered that one must be careful not to go too far lest they lose their own perspective and trade it for the other party’s view, one, of course, also limited in its perspective.

Lastly, in this chapter, the authors explore the Third-Party Perspective.  Here, one becomes an observer, imaging themselves having stepped away from the table.  From this viewpoint, looking from afar, emotions may be tamed and relationships examined on the positive side of the ledger while detachment affixes itself to the other side of the book.

There is much more here, of course, that negotiators and mediators will find of value.  For instance, the suggestion that leaders who meet with persons coming together with grave differences between the parties, step outside the stresses gripping the members by focusing on their similarities once again.  Connections here as in all situations, for example, are built by acknowledging differences, but eliciting and building upon similarities.  The connector asks each for their similar thoughts: What are your hopes for this meeting?  Why are they important to you?   

Along with solid advice and many well-chosen examples, the authors have provided a variety of self-help questions and carefully selected variety of activities to strengthen the reader’s understand of the process.   There is even a self-assessment test.

A fine work that is brief enough to read in short period and yet filled with ideas that should occupy the negotiator at some length.  The book includes a minimal listing of sources and a useful index.

This is a book of interest to all negotiators.

Recommended.

As a service to our readers, you may order this month’s Reader’s Review selection by clicking on the appropriate icon below:

 

'The Art of Connecting: How to Overcome Differences, Build Rapport, And Communicate Effectively With Anyone' The Art of Connecting: How to Overcome Differences, Build Rapport, And Communicate Effectively With Anyone [Amazon.com]     
'The Art of Connecting: How to Overcome Differences, Build Rapport, And Communicate Effectively With Anyone' The Art of Connecting: How to Overcome Differences, Build Rapport, And Communicate Effectively With Anyone [Amazon.co.uk]     
'The Art of Connecting: How to Overcome Differences, Build Rapport, And Communicate Effectively With Anyone' The Art of Connecting: How to Overcome Differences, Build Rapport, And Communicate Effectively With Anyone [Amazon.ca]     

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June 2006