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People Skills: How to Assert Yourself, Listen to Others, and Resolve Conflicts
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People Skills: How to Assert Yourself, Listen to Others, and Resolve Conflicts

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  815 Ratings  ·  76 Reviews
People Skills: How to Assert Yourself, Listen to Others, and Resolve Conflicts
Paperback, 300 pages
Published June 6th 1986 by Touchstone (first published January 1st 1979)
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Bob Selden
Aug 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 25, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sociologytypes
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 i'm 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.

Feb 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-school
If you want to learn how to better communicate with EVERYONE in your life, read this book!
Evan Nelson
Mar 01, 2017 rated it it was ok
I'm honestly confused how so many people found this book to be useful. Personally I found it to be a collection of ineffective, formulaic techniques. All of the example scenarios were contrived and hyperbolic, completely ignoring all the subtleties that contribute to real world communication issues. Likewise, all of the success stories were anorexic, essentially comprising of nothing more than "Sally had trouble communicating with her boss/friend/partner, but then she used these techniques and n ...more
Emily Yu
Dec 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
It you want to explore the different aspects of having good people skills, this book will deliver on that. Good examples and scenarios to support the techniques shared. It did sometimes drag out with listing and describing elements of people skills, but the practical advice was enough to not be overly bothered by the "theory." I would refer back to this book for advice.
Doug Rice
Mar 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
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.
Jan 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
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.
Jun 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
i refer to this book all the time, as a teacher, counselor, administrator, and person.
Marika Alexander
Aug 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
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.
Zoe Young
Feb 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
i learned a lot
Josh Maher
Aug 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great book about communicating with people. I was surprised how many ideas are in here that are explained so well, with examples of scenarios and discussions about how to put the ideas into everyday use. I've heard so many podcast guests parroting the concepts that originate from Robert Bolton's work.

I read it alongside Daniel Goleman's emotional intelligence - great pairing! Where EI gives the science and explains why the science is relevant, people skills gives you the next level of applicatio
Aug 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
A little too wordy and philosophical for me.
Jan 13, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016-popsugar
Review originally published at Love Literature Art and Reason book review blog.

NOTE: I’m not much of a nonfiction reader, but I will be reading some books this year at work for work since I work in customer service. This was the first book from my branch library that I read.

People Skills was all about communication techniques and conflict resolution. The basic layout was how to listen, how to assert, how to combine those two skills to resolve conflict. It was written with more personal examples
Feb 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very thorough and instructive. While Bolton rightly recommends that you should integrate these methods with routine and structure, I felt that by simply reading the book cover to cover it opened up a general understanding of the principles and was enough to help me see communication in a different light.
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
Feb 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Alisha Brook
May 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Title: People Skills
Series: -
Author: Robert Bolton
Genre: Textbook/Informational/ Communication
Rating: 2.5 stars

While the content is good and very useful, it is written and presented very dully. It's pretty bad even by textbook standards. I found Communication Works by Gamble & Gamble much more interesting and presented in a more entertaining and informative way, that isn't going to put the reader to sleep just by looking at it.
Aug 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
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.
Nov 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.
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.
Jul 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
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 :)
Nathanael 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.
Mar 31, 2012 rated it really liked it

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.
May 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
The content is fabulous; the writing style is a bit dry though (hence only 4 stars in total). This is a book that I will pick up again and again and re-read chapters as the wisdom and learning can be overwhelming and needs to be applied in real life.
May 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
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.
Abdullah Abdo
Sep 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
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 :)
Slobodan Stefanovic
Aug 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.
May 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book which was the base of a Communication Skills course I did at the corporation I used to work. A little dense/dry but LOTS of concepts and tools to learn and apply - a lifetime companion!
Laura Lungu
Nov 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The most clear and comprehensive book about communication.
I loved this book because is organized with practical examples from discussions that people have daily or had in the past, and One can compare with example of communication that they had or still have with other people.
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  • The Magic of Conflict: Turning a Life of Work into a Work of Art
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  • Understanding Other People
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