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People Skills

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  530 ratings  ·  54 reviews
Improve your personal and professional relationships instantly with this timeless guide to communication, listening skills, body language, and conflict resolution.

A wall of silent resentment shuts you off from someone you love....You listen to an argument in which neither party seems to hear the other....Your mind drifts to other matters when people talk to you....

Paperback, 324 pages
Published June 6th 1986 by Touchstone (first published January 1st 1979)
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Bob Selden
Although “People Skills” was first published in 1986, I feel obliged to review it as the principles and lessons espoused by Robert Bolton are timeless. In fact it is probably one of the most used books in my collection (I even have the paperback version covered in plastic and it’s never far from my desk).

“People Skills” is not a book that one sits down and reads from cover to cover. It’s a book where you might read a chapter that relates to one of your underused skills (such as assertion) for y
apparently the 80's is when all the good psych books were written. i've tried to apply the practical skills found in this book to my daily life, rephrasing what people say to assure understanding, keeping a watchful eye on my emotional space to protect it from intruders, etc. 2 weeks later and i still have friends, so the book can't be all bad.
♥ Ashleigh ♥  contrary to popular belief im not actually mad!
DNFing. It was a really helpful and insightful read but god it is boring and i just cant be bothered picking it back up. So no more for me.

If you want to learn how to better communicate with EVERYONE in your life, read this book!
This book had some good things in it, but to be honest it could have been a lot shorter. It got repetitive and number of things seemed impractical; most people aren't going to be able to set up a formal conflict resolution "meeting", nor do most situations call for one. For me there were essentially two main things I got out of it that I have found very helpful.

Reflective listening - This is a useful skill for listening to people and connecting with them. I've had a hard time listening to others
Brendon Wilkinson
I found this book as I was looking for a quick fix to help with some communication issues that were impacting on a friendship. It became quite apparent half way through the first Chapter that the issue I had identified were just the tip of the iceberg and that there isn't a quick fix. There was a lot of good advice in the book to take in and while I am sure I will not diligently apply most of it, I believe that recognizing how the habit of using communication roadblocks that I have developed ove ...more
Doug Rice
Great book on communication. The best advice on effectively listening (reflectively listening) I've ever read. The parts about being assertive and resolving conflict are a little redundant and also unrealistic. There are also some really good chapters at the end on basic attitudes involved in effective communication.
Marika Alexander
Helpful book in many areas, but a little dense to wade through. It provides a very nice overview on interpersonal skills and covers assertiveness, active listening and problem solving skills.
i refer to this book all the time, as a teacher, counselor, administrator, and person.
The skills will help in personal and professional relationships. It's not an "easy read", I would recommend it as a reference book for ongoing use after you first get through it. But warning to women. The examples will be offensive after awhile. I know this was written a long time ago, but hey it still gets annoying :)
Albert Cacace
I read this book in the late 80's shortly after it was published and it changed my life. I read it again in 2005 and I've recommended it to several folks over the years. I don't know of anyone who has taken my advice -- but I sure wish some of them did. This book is a must read for everyone.
I've said before that every person intending to be in a longterm relationship should read this book. I believe it more now. I read this first before I had taken any CS classes and before I became an instructor. It was very useful then and continued to be. It is even better now. I think I'll read it over and over just to remind myself. NVC focuses on changing our attitudes and thoughts about how we think about others. This is excellent for specific techniques that become skills and then change th ...more
Mike Miller
Apr 03, 2014 Mike Miller rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Harley King
Found the book a good outline to insure I can communicate with others. Reminds me of the training I received from Harley King when I worked for health Care and Retirement Corp.
This is a great recap of skills that Mike teaches in LP&D, and has a number of good things to think about. Took me forever to read it, as I kept wanting to digest.
Hesham Barakat
One of the best books there is, that provides structured tactics to improve listening skills and generally communication skills
Laura Lungu
The most clear and comprehensive book about communication.
Alex Mcgrath
Repetitive, but very important material.
Eye opening to say the least. The only negative thing about it, just like with any other self-help book, you start to see everything wrong with the relationships you have, a negative attitude takes over and you begin to feel resentment for those that don't see what they are doing "wrong". It's an amazing book, it just requires a positive mind set.
Update: Re-reading it every two years. Still good. (2013)

Original Review: This book is so full of good stuff, it's hard to get through. I started reading every page twice. I feel like I need to read it once a year or something.
I agree with everything this guy says and the book has prompted me to think that telling the truth all the time is okay. And to tell people when I don't like what they're doing, etc.
Written in the 80s, but applies now more than ever as people become more connected via online channels and worse at communicating effectively. I used this book as a basis for leading group therapy with youth on how to communicate better, but found myself thinking that many adults in my life could benefit. It is well written, easy to read, and easy to digest the concepts to put in practice.
Nathanael (Boehm) Coyne
The first two thirds of the book are rather formulaic, making the thought of implementing the recommendations in real social situations daunting but it does then relax at the end and talk about more natural methods of communicating based on the earlier techniques. An interesting read - I'm sure you'll learn something valuable that will help you be more assertive.
Kate Worthy

I was recommended this book by my counsellor to help resolve non-communication conflicts with my non-confrontational partner as we never seemed to resolve differences rather just bury them. This is definitely a working tool to dip on and out of, helped me tremendously to be more subtle in my need to 'talk' things through and employ my listening skills.
Abdullah Abdo
This book have some good points.
These basic skills are necessary to be able to communicate with people on daily basis...some of them are hardwired to the subconscious mind and I didn't want to be conscious about them actually because they will take more attention now :/
A good book in general :)
As with any text book, it was rather dry. It's also a bit dated, but many of the methods were still useful.

A must read for therapists new or seasoned or just for anyone wanting to improve their communication skills. Many references to famous therapists and their philosophies. Will be a recommended book for my Counseling Procedures course.
Helped significantly with my Social anxiety. I would recommend it to everybody, even if you think you are good at conversation, chances are you are not as good as you think, reading this book will make you see your faults and improve upon them
The nice thing about this book is that it provides an incredible amount of useful information in one relatively small book. The bad thing about it is that it'll make you realize how awful you are at communicating and what a jerk you can be.
Slobodan Stefanovic
The most useful book about interpersonal communication I have read. It covers broad area from listening to conflict resolution. This book really changed how I communicate and relate to people and I am often coming back to it.
Feb 28, 2009 Kathy added it
Accessible and comprehensive, this is the best book on interpersonal relationships I've ever read. I read it for my Crises Center work, but have found the information to be useful throughout my life.
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  • Messages
  • Conversationally Speaking: Tested New Ways to Increase Your Personal and Social Effectiveness
  • People Smart: Developing Your Interpersonal Intelligence
  • Dialogue: The Art Of Thinking Together
  • The Lost Art of Listening: How Learning to Listen Can Improve Relationships
  • Young Man Luther: A Study in Psychoanalysis and History
  • Organizing Genius: The Secrets of Creative Collaboration
  • It's Not All about Me: The Top Ten Techniques for Building Quick Rapport with Anyone
  • The Relationship Cure: A 5 Step Guide to Strengthening Your Marriage, Family, and Friendships
  • The Power of a Positive No: How to Say No and Still Get to Yes
  • We Can Work It Out: Resolving Conflicts Peacefully and Powerfully
  • Just Listen: Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone
  • The Hard Truth About Soft Skills: Workplace Lessons Smart People Wish They'd Learned Sooner
  • Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most
  • Understanding Human Nature
  • The Psychology of Self-Esteem
  • Photoreading
  • Tongue Fu!: How to Deflect, Disarm, and Defuse Any Verbal Conflict

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“The law of change says, “Things do not stay the same. If they don’t get better, they get worse.” 1 likes
“The success of language in conveying information is highly overrated. ” 1 likes
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