Saturday 4 February 2012

Book ~ "Persuasion: A New Approach to Changing Minds" (2011) - Arlene Dickinson

From Amazon ~ At thirty, Arlene Dickinson found herself stranded. Recently divorced, she had a high school diploma, no savings and no clue how she was going to feed four young children. But just one year later, she was a partner in Venture Communications. Ten years on, she was CEO, poised to grow the business into one of Canada's largest independently owned marketing firms. Today, as a co-star of the CBC TV hit Dragons' Den, she is one of the country's most sought-after female entrepreneurs. The secret of her journey from poverty to the corner office? The art of persuasion, as she explains with wit and unusual candour in this, her first book. Blending her own frank and highly entertaining stories with compelling social science, she explains how to persuade both in the boardroom and in everyday life: the crucial importance of a particular kind of listening; how to get people to buy into your ideas; how to attract followers and deal with naysayers; the art of storytelling; how to turn mistakes to your advantage; and how to seize opportunities where others see only roadblocks. Anyone, she believes, can be persuasive-just look how good we are at persuading ourselves we can't do things. Using the tricks of her trade and insights from her own fascinating experiences with some of Canada's leading companies, Dickinson explains how to master the art of persuasion, without an M.B.A., to achieve maximum success in business-and in life.

I like Dragons' Den and I like reading bios and books about how to improve oneself ... this book had it all.

I could definitely hear Arlene's voice in this book. The focus is about persuading people to do what you want, whether that is in a business setting or in your personal life. Not surprising, because it is Arlene's voice, it's not a hard sell.

To her, the basis of persuasion is made up of authenticity, honesty and reciprocity. If you don't believe in yourself, how can you persuade others to believe in you?

Then there is the practical part ... being prepared and confident that you know what you are talking about.

Finally, whether you win or lose, you should analyze what worked well and what didn't.

Interspersed through the book are Arlene's stories and experiences, from both painful personal standpoint and business one.

It isn't a powerful dynamic book but I enjoyed it.

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