Wednesday, June 1, 2011

First, What are You Reading? Volume 10, June 2011

Here are my answers to the four questions I ask on the first of each month:
first, what are you reading?
what do you like best about it?
what do you like least?
what's next on your list/pile to read? 

As always, I hope you'll consider your current reads on your blog and/or sharing here in the comments or on Facebook.  Happy reading!

What are you reading?  

 Getting More:  How to Negotiate to Achieve Your Goals in the Real World, by Stuart Diamond, a Wharton Business School professor who teaches a famed negotiating course.  It’s a great book I wish I had more time to mine for strategies and ideas on achieving realistic goals.

A fun, six degrees of separation/Kevin Bacon I have with the book & author: When I was in Seattle last month for a family first Communion, I had the good fortune to have coffee with Pia di Solenni, the Catholic theologian and writer.  When she mentioned that her husband graduated from Wharton, I told her I was reading Getting More, and she exclaimed, “I’m in that book!”  Her husband had taken the course, and then used the skills to negotiate a vacation to India.  I’m not sure if that’s exactly a stamp of approval from a Catholic theologian, but it does make me feel pretty cool for reading it.

What do you like best about it?

Wow, where to start?  I think my favorite part of this is how Diamond counsels people to be transparent in their negotiations with others.  Rather than use hidden techniques to try to manipulate people into sales or doing what we want, he recommends letting people know what we want, our strengths and weaknesses, and work from there.  It’s fairly unique, but definitely suits my style better, whether in personal or business relationships.

Keeping your goals in mind is another great take-away from Getting More.  Diamond tells the story of when he was admitted to Columbia Journalism School, one of the top schools in the country, and then also got a job at Newsday newspaper in NYC.  He didn’t know what to do, so he called Columbia’s dean, who promptly told him, “Stuart, you go to Columbia to get a job at Newsday.  Take the job.”    Diamond writes this to show the importance of one’s goal—is it going to Columbia or getting a good newspaper job?  And then doing things to achieve the goal, not just things that seem to be good but may delay achievement of one's ultimate goals.

I’ve had the opportunity to use many stories from this book multiple times just in the last few weeks.

What do you like least about it?

The extra-long subtitles; there are two:  How to Negotiate to Achieve Your Goals in the Real World, and The 12 Invisible Strategies That Change Everything You Thought You Knew About Negotiating.  Yes, they are both truthful and relate to the book, but they are both a bit unwieldy (and at least one too many), in my humble opinion.

Actually, I believe I might have a future career in book titling and subtitling, as I have such strong opinions about this.  For instance, I loved The How of Happiness by psychologist and happiness researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky, but hated the subtitle:  A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want.   It sounded to me like something written by a pr person, not the author; when I said so on my blog, the author actually  responded and agreed she didn’t like it!  So there, publishing industry.  And I’m available for subtitle consulting. (wink) 

Otherwise, Getting More is extremely useful and a great book.  And so is The How of Happiness, by the way.

What’s next on your list to read?

After loving Kate Morton’s The Forgotten Garden, I’ve been slowly making my way through The House at Riverton.  Not because I haven’t loved it as much, but because I cannot seem to carve out time for fiction like I’d like.

I’m also working my way through the YOUCAT.  There’s another wow, and I hope to be reviewing it and at least one more wow book for my column next month along with a few other great new releases. 

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