Why people don't do what you want them to do - and what to do instead

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The Gist

Dr. Goulston combines insights from neuroscience, FBI hostage negotiation tactics and marriage counselling and puts them to work in the modern office environment. His book reveals the basis in our brain chemistry that causes communication to break down and what we can do to turn difficult conversations around. In this audio, you’ll learn how to deal with chronic negativity, apathy and resistance, how to handle angry and passive-aggressive people, how to get fighting team members to work together and much more.
Based on: Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone

Notable quotes

Look around your office and you’ll probably see at least a couple of smart, high-achieving people who can’t stand to be in the same room with each other. (…) If you’re in sales or customer service, think about the clients who seem more interested in making you miserable than in getting service. In each case, look behind the façade and you’ll probably spot a failure to feel felt.
One thing most of these high-maintenance, easy-to-upset, difficult-to-please people have in common is that they feel as if the world isn’t treating them well enough. In essence, they don’t feel important or special enough in the world, usually because their awful personality has gotten in the way of success.They’re starving for attention, and if they can’t find a good way to achieve the sense of importance they crave, they’ll look for a bad way. (…) In short, these people are driving you crazy for a simple reason: they need to matter. Want them to stop driving you crazy? Then you’ll need to satisfy that need.
Only exhaling enables people to experience and express their feelings — like draining a wound — in a way that doesn’t attack others or themselves. It’s the only response that relaxes stressed-out individuals and opens their minds to solutions from other people.

The Author

photo of mark goulston

Dr. Mark Goulston is a professor at UCLA's Neuropsychiatric Institute voted one of America's top psychiatrists for four years. He is also an FBI hostage negotiation trainer, the author (co-author) of 7 books on effective communication and a frequent contributor to Harvard Business Review, Business Insider, Fast Company, Huffington Post, Psychology Today.