Communication Highwire

Communication Highwire – Leveraging the Power of Diverse Communication Styles
Authors: Dianne Hofner Saphiere, Barbara Kappler Mikk, Basma Ibrahim Devries
Price: £13.99
Pages: 304
Publisher: Nicholas Brealey Publishing
ISBN: 1931930155

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It’s not often that I cannot decide whether I like a book or not, but Communication Highwire has left me ambivalent. Written in a style that reminded me of the American computer programs that send you little motivating and reinforcement messages at set intervals, I do not think it is really for the European market – especially with regard to diversity issues.

Diversity on this side of the Atlantic focuses more on cultures – personal, organisational and national – while this book focuses purely on the personal, and I found that limiting.

In its defence, there are good ideas to improve communication skills. For the price, though, you could buy a couple of books on listening skills and body language.

Professional trainers may want to have the book to examine the various  activities so that they could consider whether to incorporate them into their own sessions. But the book has more strengths as a training support manual, rather than a self-help book.

The authors have excellent credentials – another reason for my surprise at the book’s style. I had expected it to be well-researched, full of examples beyond their personal experience and presented more academically than the self-help book it comes across as.

My advice is to browse through the book in the store before spending your hard-earned cash. A publication that is so US-oriented will not suit everyone. But I also believe that there are some people in the UK who would both enjoy and benefit from it. You have to work out which you are.

Useful? Three stars
Well-written? Three stars
Practical? Three stars
Inspirational? Two stars
Value for money? Two stars
Overall?  Three stars

By Keith Lawson, training consultant, charity and voluntary sector

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