Influencing: Skills and Techniques for Business Success: book review

Authors: Fiona Elsa Brent, Mike Brent
Price: £25
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Pages: 204
ISBN: 1403996687

Buy this book at Amazon

This book brings nothing new to the party unless you are a novice. It has little value if you have already read, been taught or practised negotiating skills, but if training others or starting out yourself, this book provides a lot of information inside one cover.

The writing style takes a while to get used to, but when you realise that both authors are members of the faculty at Ashridge Business School, you understand that the book is written by teachers, and is probably for teachers.

If that is you, then the contents of the book can easily be converted for use in the classroom – making slides and using the exercises to teach your students.

Speaking as a teacher myself, our species rarely come up with originality. We recycle what is already out there and act as facilitators and motivators to learning – and this is how I see this book’s role.

I believe that the authors have converted their classroom material to text and, while I get the strong impression they are both great communicators in the classroom, I did not feel the book generates that excitement to a reader.

I’ve read snappier, more useful and entertaining books on communication for self-help, but these are focused on different scenarios – such as marketing, self-promotion and jobseeking – so maybe it would be better to get a specialist rather than a generalist book. I recommend browsing before you buy this book as it may be just what you need, and then again, it may not.

Useful? Three out of five stars
Well-written? Two out of five stars
Practical? Four out of five stars
Inspirational? Two out of five stars
Value for money? Three out of five stars
Overall? Three out of five stars

Reviewed by Keith Lawson, lecturer to business and management students in the UK and Romania, and consultant in the advice and guidance sector


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