Be Social and Entrepreneur


Although Social Entrepreneurs have been around throughout history, the phrase wasn’t widely reported until the 1980s and is only now becoming a frequent niche label for businesses which focus on social change.
These days, some of the most fulfilled entrepreneurs are social entrepreneurs. Do you know why? It’s because they’ve found a way to work and make a living while achieving social change. “Wow, what a novel concept!” you’d say. And I’d say… “WTF, haven’t you listened to a word I’ve been saying? Really?”
Just so we’re clear, a social entrepreneur is a person who recognizes a social problem and applies business principles to create, manage, and carry on a business which has as its primary focus, achieving social or environmental change.
Take for example NIKA Water Company which sells bottled water in the United States and uses 100% of the profits to bring clean water to people living in underdeveloped nations. Or, think of actor/producer, Paul Newman, who prior to his passing founded, Newman’s Own, a business with a line of food products sold in grocery stores, which donates 100% of its profits to educational charities.
Here’s how it may come about that you consider becoming a social entrepreneur. You’re kicking back with an ice cold beverage and you’re sitting around on a day when you are bored on your vacation, and you say to yourself, “There’s got to be something more to life. Or, there’s got to be a way that I can earn a living and solve a local, or a world problem?” Now, you’re talking like a social entrepreneur! So what do you do?


  • Identify your local/world problem like hunger, clean water, domestic violence, high school kids with great grades who can’t afford college, or whatever you are passionate about, or something that ‘gets your goat,’ or pisses you off.

  • Then, come up with an invention or a solution to the problem.

  • Devise a ‘big picture’ plan for realizing your vision.

  • Brainstorm the action steps with a business coach which are needed to move forward.

  • Create a time line and milestones for moving forward with your action steps.

  • Don’t look back!


That’s what Millard Fuller did when he founded Habitat for Humanity. He was a hot shot lawyer, who was jaded with practicing law. Due to several circumstances, it came to him that there were still a lot of people, who hadn’t realized the American dream of owning a home. He decided that his passion was to make home ownership a reality for more people. He determined that the problem was that families could not come up with the down payment, or qualify for a home loan. So he devised the Habitat for Humanity program, where individuals with a building area of expertise, partnered with local volunteers to build high quality, low income housing. Potential home owners put in ‘sweat equity’ hours in the building of their house and those of their ‘soon to be’ neighbors in exchange for not having to come up with a down payment. Low monthly interest free loan payments were negotiated to allow homeowners to make monthly payments thereafter…and the rest is social entrepreneurship at its finest!
For some of you, to become a social entrepreneur, will mean forming a new business entity, complete with name, logo, website, the whole ‘new business’ ball of yarn. For others, it will mean merely finding the method for integrating this new venture into an existing business, or expanding an existing business. Whichever route you choose, you can enjoy a lifetime of living, working, and making a profound change on society or the environment as a social entrepreneur. At the end of the day, you will know that you have accomplished the nirvana of entrepreneurship because you have combined your business savvy with your heart to do great things.

Tagged: Business Social Entrepreneur

Business Blog or Die

Business blogging is crucial to the overall success of your business. You may say that you don’t have the time or talent to set up and write a business blog to which I say, “You can’t afford not to!” Why should you participate in business blogging? Let me count the ways:

Business blogging allows you to connect and interact with your clients and customers, no matter where you are, and no matter where they are. We work in a global marketplace, yet, business blogging helps you connect and interact in a way that none of the traditional marketing methods have allowed…at all hours of the day and night, 365 days a year!

Business blogging is appealing to customers and clients because of the personal nature of the ‘conversation.’ In my business blogs, you learn about my hobbies, pet peeves, and the ‘inside scoop’ on how I’ve succeeded in business. You get a chance to get inside my head…scary though it’s true.

Business blogging allows you to target those cutting edge topics of interest to your audience. It allows them the benefit of your expertise, and it gives you an ability to build a reputation and a persona.

Business blogging is FREE. Locate a group such as wordpress or blogger to be the host for your business blog. There are positive and negative factors for both of these blog locations, but the most important factor is that you design your blog so that it is easy to update and change. It’s a great way to market your products and services. Approach your local post office or TV station and ask them to run a free promo or advertisement for you and they will look at you as if you have lost your fucking mind. But, I can blog forever! No stamps. No contracts. No overhead. If you don’t want to write it, outsource it.

Although these are just four reasons to have a business blog, let me give you some pointers on ‘how’ to business blog.
♦Before you start

  • Decide what you want to accomplish with the business blog.

  • Are you highlighting various products?

  • Are you advertising sales items?

  • Are you giving words of wisdom?

  • Are you promoting a book or a service?

  • Have a vision of what the business blog can accomplish if it is successful. Then, brainstorm the action steps required to realize success.

  • Decide who your target audience is and write to appeal to them.

  • Identify the interests of your target audience and then make sure you ‘give them what they want.’

♦Once you start

  • Commit to a regular schedule of business blogging; preferably once a week; on a particular day of the week. This strategy gives your target audience something predictable to look forward to.

  • Consider allowing your followers to take a poll, answer and submit questions, and vote. Make sure that your blog is linked to your facebook account so that your followers can ‘like’ you on Facebook and re-tweet your posts. This is critical.

The most important thing is to get busy. Dive in. Decide on a title for your business blog and a purpose. Your customers and your clients will be thrilled that they can ‘hear your voice’ and ‘get close’ to you, even if they live half way around the world.

Tagged: Business Blogging Entrepreneurs

Work From Home is the Future


You know that I am a fan of small business, and a successful entrepreneur. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise to you that I am also a fan of home businesses. Although there are only two broad home business categories, those which sell ‘services,’ and those which sell ‘products,’ the viable home business opportunities are unlimited!

First, let’s talk about some of the types of home business opportunities which sell products. You can decide to sell products which you create/make yourself, or you can buy products from someone else, and re-sell them. You can launch a successful home business venture selling products which you make yourself, if you have a unique product or a niche product. If you have a unique product or line of products, you can notify potential customers about your ‘one-of-a kind’ products through social media such as FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest. You may also decide to design a website, use local consignment vendors, trade shows, and online sources such as eBay, Craigslist, or Amazon Auction to sell your products.

You may choose instead to launch a successful home business venture, by building an online re-sale home business. You may decide to find your products at yard sales and consignment shops, or decide to purchase them wholesale, or decide to work with a drop shipper (usually a larger company, which will ship their products to your customers, using your business name). Once you determine how your products are supplied for your home business, you must then decide what your best online resale options are for your products. Are you going to sell your products from your website, or on eBayAmazon Auction, or Craigslist?

In order to have a successful home business which sells products, you must have a well thought out marketing plan. If you do, there is no limit to how many products you can sell a year, and of course that equates to cha-ching at the cash register!

Second, there are home business opportunities which sell services. Some of the most successful ‘service provider’ home business opportunities are computers, virtual assistant, bookkeeping, consulting, coaching, teaching, catering, and event planning; to name a few. You may be interested in these facts about service based businesses. Persons, who are web designers, software support gurus, and transcriptionists, are some of the highest paid hourly home business freelancers in the computer services business. You may also be surprised to learn that the virtual assistant business is a 130 billion dollar industry. Last but not least, event planners typically incur some of the lowest start-up costs when launching a small business.

I could go on and on. The home business industry is booming! The key is to find your personal niche or a passion area in which you have specialized knowledge or skills, and then dream up an idea, outline a one, three, and five year business plan, and if the concept is viable…go for it!

The best advice I can give you is to due diligence before you start any type of home business. Many home business owner wannabes consult with a business coach to tap into their skills, expertise, and advice before taking off on a tangent, to make sure that they don’t make some of the common mistakes first time business owners make when starting out. It is also important to have a great lawyer and a tax advisor to teach you the basics about forming a business entity, and how to handle sales tax, licensing, business taxes, and other typical start-up issues. So what are you waiting for? Get busy pursuing your dream, you’re not getting any younger!

Tagged: Entrepreneurs Home Businesses



I hired someone to do some writing for me and got this horrible pump piece. I kind of threw up in my mouth!


Ladies and Gentlemen, it is with great pride that I announce that my book is finally published…I’m doing the happy dance! And what better timing for you and me, than the end of the year! If you’re like me, you will have some down time toward the end of the year when you could use a great read to get you thinking about your business New Year’s resolutions. It’s also a great time to assess what worked and what didn’t in 2011. So, I’ve put together this AWESOME book, therein the title, 1-800-AWESOME!, to get you percolating.

The Christmas season is also a great time to give business helps to your fellow entrepreneurs. Why give your colleagues a piece of shit cheese ball, when you can give them insider advice about success in business? There. I’ve solved your business colleague gift list quandary, and your “what the hell am I gonna do with this spare time off from work at the end of the year?” dilemma. You’re welcome!

Now, about the book, 1-800-AWESOME!

In Part One, of 1-800-AWESOME I start with a formula for success. I tell you how to get started in business or how to get started working smarter, not harder, if you’re already in business. In this book, I explain why it’s necessary for you to break the rules to be successful, and that you’ve gotta know what you want if you’re ever gonna have a chance to go after it. You’ve gotta read these chapters, because you’d be surprised how many business execs I coach, who haven’t got a clue on these issues.

But that’s not all. In Part Two of 1-800-AWESOME, I spend time talking about leadership. Luckily for all of us, leadership is more often taught, than a set of character traits that you are born with. So if you aren’t a great leader yet, I can help you develop the skills you need in this area. I have learned over the years from the ‘school of hard knocks’ and from some great mentors, how to be a great leader and I want to share these secrets with you.

In Part Three of 1-800-AWESOME, I spend time talking about what separates the good entrepreneurs from the AWESOME ones. To me, it is all about living outside the box, and breaking all of the traditional rules of thinking espoused by business leaders in times past. You see, we live in a different business world and a different marketplace than business leaders and CEOs, who were successful even just five to ten years ago. If you have their mindset, or approach business like they have in the past, you will become the postal service pretty soon…an old, outdated dinosaur close to extinction.

I want more for you than this. I want you to excel in business. I want you to be a grand success. There is still room in the business world for people who are willing to take risks, who are willing to be cutting edge, who are willing to ride in the curve of the wave and live to tell about it. The choice is yours. One fabulous first step toward your success is to get a copy of 1-800-AWESOME!

For those skeptics out there…look at the icon on my home page and get a copy of the first chapter of 1-800-AWESOME! for FREE. That, and if you join my webinar tomorrow, Tuesday, December 6th at 12 noon PST, I’ll be giving away even MORE free stuff! I’m so confident that you will like what you read in the first chapter, that you’ll want to read the whole damn thing, because it’s truly AWESOME!

In order to have a successful home business which sells products, you must have a well thought out marketing plan. If you do, there is no limit to how many products you can sell a year, and of course that equates to cha-ching at the cash register!

Second, there are home business opportunities which sell services. Some of the most successful ‘service provider’ home business opportunities are computers, virtual assistant, bookkeeping,consulting, coaching, teaching, catering, and event planning; to name a few. You may be interested in these facts about service based businesses. Persons, who are web designers, software support gurus, and transcriptionists, are some of the highest paid hourly home business freelancers in the computer services business. You may also be surprised to learn that the virtual assistant business is a 130 billion dollar industry. Last but not least, event planners typically incur some of the lowest start-up costs when launching a small business.

I could go on and on. The home business industry is booming! The key is to find your personal niche or a passion area in which you have specialized knowledge or skills, and then dream up an idea, outline a one, three, and five year business plan, and if the concept is viable…go for it!

The best advice I can give you is to due diligence before you start any type of home business. Many home business owner wannabes consult with a business coach to tap into their skills, expertise, and advice before taking off on a tangent, to make sure that they don’t make some of the common mistakes first time business owners make when starting out. It is also important to have a great lawyer and a tax advisor to teach you the basics about forming a business entity, and how to handle sales tax, licensing, business taxes, and other typical start-up issues. So what are you waiting for? Get busy pursuing your dream, you’re not getting any younger!

Tagged: Entrepreneurs Home Businesses

Summary And Evaluation of Joe Navarro?s Louder Than Words

August 29, 2011

Summary And Review of Joe Navarros Louder Than Words

Executive Summary

Louder than Words, is an excellent source for helping you understand what your boss and coworkers might really be thinking. Navarro starts off by talking about the nonverbals of listening. There are two essential factors in understanding the audience, empathy and being an active listener. A manager who listen empathetically and actively to an employee who is having personal or work issues can enhance the employees loyalty by simply listening to what they have to say, regardless if they can help the situation or not. Use words that the person you are speaking with is using, this is called verbal mirroring. By using others words, it shows that you are listening and the person you are communicating with feels that you have given them all your attention; therefore, feels that you understand what they are trying to say. The comfort/discomfort paradigm helps us understand the language of the people around us. When we observe someone we ask ourselves “Does it represent comfort of discomfort?” Once we anchor behaviors this way the behavior of others becomes more transparent. The next part of the book talks about how the body talks. The face can sometimes be the last place to look when trying to read someone’s body language, since we are taught as children to control our facial expressions. Watch for things such as jiggling legs and feet, “pointing” feet, crossed legs and shrugs and splays, hand movements and the eyes. Each of these positions and body languages has their own meaning to what the person is feeling.  Your own body language is also just as important.  A smile can move mountains and yet people sometimes fail to make this gesture. Also, by your posture one can observe a lot about you and how you are feeling. Things like slouching and slumped shoulders give off the vibe that you do not care and people did not want to ensure trust in you. Things like shoulders’ back and standing tall say things like “I am alert and ready for anything.” This book will jump start your career as you discover so many things about reading body language, so you can discover what clients, interviewers and you bosses are saying, learn how to make a great first impression and what habits send out wrong messages, become culturally aware and gender-sensitive, and learn the difference between average and exception. This book has taught me things that I had no idea about and has made me more aware of the things I do in my everyday life, such as my posture. It is an excellent source of information, especially to younger people like myself, with not much experience in the working world and are about to embark into the professional world.

The Ten Things Managers Need to Know fromLouder than Words

1.            There are many nonverbal assumptions that could be based off of our appearance. Our focus on appearances may not be fair, but it is human, and if you want to become a nonverbal master you must attend to appearances-yours and others’.

2.            By looking at someone’s body language you are able to tell whether the person is displaying comfort or discomfort. Some signs of comfort are calmness, confidence, enjoyment happiness and touching. Signs of discomfort include anxiety, distancing, speech errors and withdrawal. 

3.            Emphasis in nonverbal punctuation: it is our body’s way of making an exclamation point. When people point their finger at someone or wave their hands in frustration, or throw your hands up in excitement after a victory we are making an exclamation though our body’s emphatic nonverbal gestures.

4.            When trying to figure out what someone is thinking or feeling the face is usually the last place to look. The feet are actually a very honest place to look. They tell when a person is feeling confident, flirtatious, happy, nervous or threatened.

5.            Your behavior can communicate a great deal about your attitude, work ethic, feelings and intentions. It is not enough to tell someone they can trust you or that you are a hard worker, it must be proven through your actions and attitudes so that it can physically be seen. 

6.            It may seem kind of crazy to hear, but there are nonverbals of the voice. Research has shown that when we do not like someone’s voice we have a tendency tune them out or ignore them entirely. An unpleasant voice can alienate and leave a bad impression. 

7.            Your attire is a reflection of yourself, as well as an advertisement. Dressing for the setting shows respect for your clients, your colleagues and your profession.  People are more willing to follow your lead if you are dressed well.

8.            To see how your business is perceived you can do things like call your company switchboard, call the customer service number, ask a friend to go into your workplace and ask to set up a meeting, order and item off your company’s website and see how quickly it gets there.

9.            Companies spend a large amount of money to create sophisticated web sites, but if their customers can not access the site within a few seconds or it does not respond to buyer preference, the companies are spending all this money on the site only to lose money.

10.            Make sure to find time for humor and fun in the work place. This acts as a means of relief from all the negative stressors in your life. If you cannot find humor in what you do, your job may eventually become miserable.

Full Summary of Louder than Words

“Influence at your Fingertips”

Nonverbal gestures come in many different ways, from as simple as a head tilt to where we point our feet during a conversation and everything else in between. There are misconceptions about different body languages and what they mean, and how each different gesture, we or others do, “speaks” to us in different ways. The nonverbals of listening are to be an active listener and empathy.  When you think about some who you can really talk to and confide in it is probably because they are a empathetically. Doctors, stock brokers and other professionals must be sure to use epithetical listening when trying to communicate with their clients. By doing this they keep a solid relationship with the client and the client feels important to the professional.  Along with active listening come something called verbal mirroring. Verbal mirroring is when the listener uses the words of the person they are speaking to. For example if someone says they are scared about something do not reply using words like concerned or worried, they said scared so repeat the word scared.  When you use the words that the speaker is using you are showing that you are giving them your full attention, the listener then feels more comfortable and will become more responsive in the conversation. Mainly, listen to the words of the people you are speaking with and use them to your advantage. Next, this chapter discusses the correlation between good manners and good nonverbals.  Basically, people notice and form opinions of you based on behavior. Neatness in appearance, punctuality, and hard work are some of the nonverbals that make for a great first impression.

“The Comfort/Discomfort Paradigm: the Foundation of Nonverbal Intelligence”

The author developed this paradigm after doing much research and reading hundreds of books. The concept of this is very simple, one you observe someone’s behavior you ask yourself “Does it represent comfort or discomfort” and this question should be relatively easy to answer. The author began to teach nonverbal this way and realized that once you look at behaviors in this way, behaviors can become much more transparent. He found that our actions to the world around us are actually very binary. To further validate the paradigm the author out together a list of words to describe comfort versus discomfort. Signs of comfort include: calmness, confidence, clear thinking, closeness, fluid speech, openness, touching, joy, patience, receptiveness, respect, security, trust and poise.  Signs of discomfort are: coldness, hesitation, lies, doubt, tension, fear, impatience, anger, distancing, anxiety, sternness and nervousness.  This list provides us with some insight into how some of our behaviors, attitudes, and emotions fall into the two categories of comfort and discomfort. This is helpful in the business world and all aspects of life. We can read other peoples gestures and languages and determine whether the situation is comfortable or discomfort and in the business world comfort is key. As long as there is comfort in the work place the communication becomes more effective and the daily business of the office can run more smoothly.

“How the Body Talks”

This chapter discusses how each part of the body is used to communicate nonverbally. Once you are able to read someone’s body language the random movements of coworkers, friends, neighbors and anyone else becomes seen in a different way. When people are feeling good, their gestures tend to point up, literally, their nonverbal move skyward. Peoples chin, nose, thumbs and even eyebrows all go up. Intention cues are body gestures that people send off before they verbalize what it is they actually want. For example, if you are having a conversation with your boss and he turns his torso away or points his foot away from the conversation, it is his body language telling you that he needs to go or is not interested in the conversation. When looking at the body for nonverbal signs or gestures the face is usually the last place to look since we are taught as children to control our facial expression. The feet, on the other hand, are an excellent way to ready someone’s body language. When the foot or the leg is jiggling and the torso is still in someone who has been still shows some discomfort, either impatience or the need to move. On the other hand jiggling feet can also be something good, “happy feet,” such as dancing or jumping around. Once jiggling becomes kicking it is signifying a negative reaction to whatever is going on, while repetition motions can become soothing to people. The position of the feet is also something to look for, while if the person you are talking to begins to shift their body and point their toe away from you they are signaling that they are uncomfortable and want to leave the conversation. When someone crosses their legs it is signifying comfort and relaxation. We use our torso to lean into a conversation when we feel comfortable and are enjoying the conversation and lean back when there is discomfort. When people have their hands withdrawn it is usually signifying they want distance, it gives off the message “Don’t get to close” or “Don’t touch me.” The tilting of the head only happens when someone feels very comfortable, because the neck and head are very vulnerable body parts. Our eyes are a very good body part to notice, when someone is uncomfortable they tend to blink, squint or rub their eyes frequently, but when a person is comfortable with the conversation they will maintain eye contact with the person they are speaking too. Once a person starts to practice their own skills in nonverbal observation, they start to see more and more examples of how the body interacts in real life.

“The Power of your Behavior”

The nonverbals of success start with your state of mind. You must want to change how others view you or how you view yourself in order for a change to happen.  A smile is a great thing and can send out goodwill but for some reason people sometimes fail on making this gesture. Greeting people with a smile is the best way to greet someone. There are different forms of smiles, there is the public smile with closed lips, the polite smile where we show our teeth, then there is the true smile we offer to those that we love. Once you realize the importance of the smile you may start to use it more often. Your posture and stance can be observed from a great distance and can give off many different vibes. How you stand can help to dominate or disseminate a situation. When someone is standing with their shoulders slumped or is slouching, or swaying from side to side it can give off the feeling that they are uncomfortable or do not care about the conversation being had. How effectively and smoothly we move makes a big difference in how we are perceived by others. Our movements can have a powerful effect on others. The power of movement can change the whole dynamic of a meeting or conversation. People keep respect for people who keep their composure in situations that get heated or cause discomfort. As backwards as it may sound, there are nonverbal of the voice. New casters, interviewers or anyone who will be making a speech all try to deepen their voice and speak with a certain tone and flow. It is always obvious when someone is uncomfortable making a speech; their voice starts to shake and becomes higher pitched. Research has proven that the audience tends to tune out or ignore the speaker if they do not like the sound of their voice. Pauses and silences are powerful; they express things like confidence and deliberation. Speech hesitations are not the same as pauses, things like “um” and “ah” or constant throat clearing are signs that show nervousness and lack confidence. Once the audience sees the nervousness or lack of confidence in the speaker, they begin to tune out the speaker and the speaker lacks certain credibility in the speech. Our habits can communicate a lot about us as individuals. Keep in mind that everything you do at work will be noted by other colleagues and will most likely be talked about. Things like being late for work, leaving early, not finishing assignments or never volunteering could potentially become your downfall. Only you can control how you are perceived by other people and how you are treated will be a result of your actions. The choice on how you act and are perceived is up to you, and it will embrace everything from your attitude to your appearance.

“The Power of how you look”

Two researchers decided to do research and see just how significant looks and appearance really are. They found that people who are considered good looking tend to be hired more frequently, get raises faster, and on average earn about 10 to 15 percent more than their colleagues. By keeping good hygiene and grooming yourself can and will make a difference. People have a choice to dress for themselves or others, in the world we live in people will appraise you according to how you look. You image is nonverbal, but can say many different things about yourself. When you dress for the occasion it shows respect for you colleagues and profession. How important is dressing well? Researchers found that if someone is dressed well and drop something it will be returned to them 83 percent of the time, while someone who is not dressed nice and drops their wallet it is only returned to them 48 percent of the time. People tend to be more willing to follow your lead when you are dressed nicely. Casualness can hurt your credibility and give off a more relaxed attitude. How you are dressed shows people the respect you have for yourself. When you dress nicely and take care of yourself you are showing people you are professional and care about how others view you. The way that you are dressed when you meet someone for the first time can make or break their opinion of you, and first impressions are very important.

“Managing how your Organization is Perceived”

The comfort dividend is something that takes you from good to exceptional. Try to view your business from the eyes of a prospective client, this may show some problems that were unknown to the staff. Call your company switchboard and see things like how long does it take before your call is answered, what is said in the greeting and how well is the tone of voice, how long and often were you put on hold and were you treated with respect. Call your company’s customer service number and see how well your requested information is provided. Order and item from your company and see how quickly the site loaded, how easy it was to find what you are looking for, and if you were able to complete the order without any annoyances or interruptions. Ask a friend to go into your business and see how properly they were greeted, and what their first impression was when walking in the door. Finally walk through your own workplace and observe: does it look orderly, do the walls, carpets and furniture look new not dingy, how is the energy level of the office, do people greet each other with eye contact, how clean are the bathrooms and break rooms, is the overall effect of the place appealing, see what you like best about the office and what you like least about the office, and would you want to work here twenty years from now. The first impression a client has of the office is very important, a person is not going to want to do business with a company that has a dirty or cluttered front office, it will give off the impression that they handle their clients in the same lazy manner that the office is handled. Make sure that the receptionist is always dressed properly and has a welcoming attitude since they are the first person that client will come in contact with. The importance off the greetings can never be overestimated

“Best practices for best Results”

While for some giving a presentation is easy, others do not see it that way. Practicing your speech or presentation is the best way to prepare for it. There are some nonverbal things that you can do to make sure you give the audience the best presentation, first prepare and rehearse. You can never rehearse to many times, it will only help you become more comfortable with your information. Find a speaker that you like and mirror what he/she does. Get to the event early so that you can meet some of the audience members and begin to relax. Set up you equipment early to make sure that everything is working properly. If you are nervous it is not a bad thing to let your audience know in advance. Be sure to use the stage to move around and not hide behind the lectern. Use your hands and gesture frequently. Point to the screen with your hands and not with a laser beam. Speak with a deeper voice, and if you are nervous try to not let your voice become high pitched. Finally leave your audience wanting to hear more, do not exhaust your subject with your audience. There are also ways to make sure that your nonverbal maximize our chances of making a positive impression. First you need to prepare to succeed. Always anticipate what kind of questions will be ask so that you are prepared to give sophisticated answers. Be sure to look the part. A smile sells you so do not forget to always smile. Except that you will be nervous and try to find ways to deal with it. It is normal to feel nervous, it just needs to be kept under control.

“Emotional Nonverbals”

As much as we would like to think that the office is all professional, we are only human and that is not always the case. Emotions always tend to operate in the workplace. There are many things that cause tension or emotional stress inside the workplace, things from disagreements between coworkers to angry customers. The important thing is how these issues are dealt with. Coworkers may need to take steps away from each other for time to cool down before the situation escalates. Dealingwith angry customers is a stressful and difficult task to do. Managers have to listen to the customer and let them vent about their problem then apologize and try to fix the situation to keep the customer happy. Workers need to make sure that there is an equal balance of fun and humor in the workplace as well. Humor needs to be a way for employees to escape from the stress of everyday life and jobs and release that stress trough fun and humor. If no fun or humor is had in the work place, the job could eventually become a miserable place for the employees to be at ultimately creating more stress.

The Video Lounge

This video goes along with what my book is talking about. The lady in this video is a body language expert and explains what people are thinking and feeling by certain gestures that they do.

Personal Insights

Why I think:

With business conditions today, what the author wrote is – or is no longer true – because:

I believe what the author wrote about is still very much true in today’s world.  He explains not only how to read other peoples body language and try to figure out what they are feeling, but also gives information on how to conduct your own body language so that you do not give off the wrong message.  He also gives information about how to act on job interviews and how to dress for the interviews and everyday office wear. This is a concept that I feel can never not be true due to the fact that we will always have to work with others and be in constant communication with colleagues.  People will always have to work and go on job interviews, so I feel that this topic will always be important in helping people in the professional world.

Then, all of the following bullet-items are mandatory to write about:

If I were the author of the book, I would have done these three things differently:

1.            I feel that the comfort/discomfort paradigm could have been explained a little bit better. The first time I read about it I was left somewhat confused.

2.            The first chapter and topic starts off a tad slow. It seems like the book is going to be boring form the first section, but then it gets interesting. I would have made the opening chapter a bit more exciting to get the attention of the reader earlier.

3.            If I were the author of the book I would not have told so many personal stories and stories about the FBI. I would stick to the information I was trying to relay to the audience. Sometimes the stories become too much information.

Reading this book made me think differently about the topic in these ways:

1.            I did not understand the importance of a strong voice, and how an “annoying,” high pitched voice can lose the attention of the audience altogether.

2.            I know have a much greater respect for companies with excellent Web sites. I did not realize that if people did not find what they want in 7 seconds they leave the site. The people that put together great, successful site work extremely hard.

3.            I do not think I fully understood how important your body language really is and how we can be setting off bad signs and not even realize it. I am not much more aware of the things I do and even how I stand.

I’ll apply what I’ve learned in this book in my career by:

1.            After reading this book I feel more prepared for going on a job interview. I know the correct body language to use and how important the first impression is, eye contact is key.

2.            I will definitely make sure to have humor and fun in my work place. Not just by jokes or pranks but just being able to laugh at things, otherwise the work environment could become miserable. It is also a stress reliever from all the negative things going on.

3.            I will also make sure to always look professional while working. We are all human, so we judge people on appearance and those that look professional and neatly put together make the best impression and gain the most respect.

Here is a sampling of what others have said about the book and its author:

“Joe Navarro spent his professional life studying nonverbal language and testing those insights in high-stakes environments. We are fortunate that he is willing to share those insights in this marvelous book. It is a must read for anyone is business and anyone not in business.” –Brian J. Hall, Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School

“I love this book for a quite a few reasons but to start with it starts out and sets up the explanation that everything counts, all of you interactions, your clothing, your attention to detail or lack of, and your interpersonal communications skills. In a noisy world with many choices some of yours are made without really understanding why, that also goes for your clients. I read just about every book that comes out on body language and this one is great and not just a rehash of the last one that came out a few months or years ago.” –customer review

The reviews for this book are all the same. People have nothing to say but positive things about it. They feel it is a must read and extremely helpful in all aspects.  It really explains all you need to know about body language and how to read your own and others.


Bell, Scott S. (2010, March). Customer review. Retrieved from

Hall, Brian J. Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School.


Contact Info: To contact the author of this “Summary and Review of Louder than Words,” please email


David C. Wyld ( is the Robert Maurin Professor of Management at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana. He is a management consultant, researcher/writer, and executive educator. His blog, Wyld About Business, can be viewed at He also serves as the Director of the Reverse Auction Research Center (, a hub of research and news in the expanding world of competitive bidding. Dr. Wyld also maintains compilations of works he has helped his students to turn into editorially-reviewed publications at the following sites:

Management Concepts (

Book Reviews ( and

Travel and International Foods (                


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The Six Minute Book Summary of The Book, Fierce Conversations, by Susan Scott

August 23, 2011

The Six Minute Book Summary of The Book, Fierce Conversations, by Susan Scott

Executive Summary

Susan Scott is a best-selling author and leadership development architect, who currently runs her own company – Fierce, Inc.  Her goal is to enable business leaders and CEOs across the globe to actively engage themselves in fierce conversation, not only with others, but most importantly with themselves.  After 13 years of actively engaging herself in consultation and fierce conversation, Susan decided to write a book to enable others to take part in meaningful, fierce conversation.

Fierce Conversations – Achieving Success at Work & in Life, One Conversation at a Time provides a simple, but specific, outline, along with detailed examples of her endeavors, to enable anyone to take part in meaningful conversation.  Susan emphasized two things throughout the entire book in order to ensure that the message was clear.  The first of which was the word “fierce,” which is defined as: robust, intense, strong, powerful, passionate, eager, unbridled.  The second thing Susan most emphasized was, “coming out from behind yourself and make the conversation real.”  Her constant emphasis on this phrase developed throughout the book, which eventually highlighted its true importance as it progressed.

Susan’s chapters correspond along with a list of helpful steps for fierce conversations, which are appropriately titled “Mineral Rights.”  These steps were also aided by a tool titled “The Decision Tree,” which helps the delegation and professional development of decisions made within a company or business.

Fierce Conversations dwells on the act of listening.  We must learn to listen to what others are saying and reflect on what is said, rather than engage our minds in what we will say next or allow our mind to wander while someone else is speaking.  Susan emphasizes that if a topic is brought up by someone else, even though it may appear to be pointless or off-topic to us, it must be important to them or have some deeper meaning related to the issue at hand.  Without being a good listener, we cannot properly identify the issue and therefore progress with meaningless talking or blowing of hot air with little, to no, content.

This book was written very well, and has much humor at points in order to captivate the reader’s attention to our similarities.  Fierce Conversations was written in clear terms in order to relate with the reader, along with an ingenious compilation of information to give great supportive structure throughout the book.  Susan gave many prime examples of common thoughts and situations that anyone can relate to.  Overall, Fierce Conversations is a very well-structured and thought out book.  I highly recommend it to anyone.

The Ten Things Managers Need to Know fromFierce Conversations

1.            Focus on being Fierce – Don’t focus on being the boss; focus on the relationship between you and your employees.  Encourage yourself to create a passionate and lasting relationship with someone else, or an employee, by relating to what they have to say.

2.            Interrogate reality – challenge your employees and co-workers to express how they really feel, rather than locking everything up in a box and trying to ignore it.  Relationships will fail unless the other person expresses how they feel or what they’re thinking.

3.            Make the Conversation Real – don’t allow your personal wall to block who you truly are to others.  Challenge yourself to come out from behind your emotional barrier and speak to others in an equal emotional light and authenticity.

4.            Be Prepared to be Nowhere Else – When we devote our attention to nothing else than the words being spoken, and the person speaking them, we acknowledge the importance of what they have to offer and their existence.  If our eyes roam the room while they speak in an uninterested manner; they will not feel appreciated and feel as if their contribution to the company or relationship is not valid.

5.            Confront Your Toughest Challenge – Take the time to properly identify the problem or issue at hand.  Dodging the problem or issue will do nothing but prolong the dilemma and allow the most extreme result to come of it.

6.            Obey Your Instincts – Don’t allow others to influence your instinctive decision or observation.  Make your own conclusion based on your instincts and inner thoughts, while allowing others to do the same.

7.            Take Responsibility for Your Emotional Wake – Regardless of our wake being positive or negative, our wakes are larger than we realize them to be.  Our emotional wake is the aftermath of what we’ve said during or after the conversation and how it’s affected the other person we are having a conversation with.

8.            Let Silence Do the Heavy Lifting – Allow silence when having a conversation; the more important the topic, the longer the silence.  When we allow a moment of silence in between some of the things we say, it will allow the words to sink in.

9.            Use the Mineral Rights Guideline – When dealing with a problem or complex issue, use Mineral Rights as your tool for indentifying, clarifying and taking appropriate action.

10.            The Decision Tree is Your Playbook – Establish a hierarchy within your company or business to delegate what types of decisions lower managers (or people who work directly with problems) can make to allow quicker response toward fixing the problem.

Full Summary of Fierce Conversations


Susan begins the book by first establish the meaning of “fierce” with the reader.  Fierce – meaning robust, intense, strong, powerful, passionate, eager and unbridled.  Fierce conversations are the threshold of creating and maintaining a healthy relationship between ourselves and a boss, co-workers, family, friends or loved ones.  These fierce conversations may even be able to mend relationships that are already deteriorating.  The idea behind fierce conversations is to come to terms with reality.  One person’s reality may be different than another person’s; it relies on truth, which it held by both people.  No one has the absolute truth when it comes to a fierce conversation because both people’s perception of reality is part of the truth.  Fierce conversations are designed to intensify relationships by interrogating the reality of both sides and ending them with conclusions that appeal to both observations.  The phrase emphasized most here, and throughout the book, is “come out from behind yourself and make the conversation real.”  The idea of this statement is to encourage people to take down any sort of emotional barrier or to challenge an avoided topic that needs to be discussed.

Master the Courage to Interrogate Reality

This chapter started with a quote by Lillian Hellman to support the idea that people, and their interpretation of reality, is always changing.  Lillian wrote, “People change and forget to tell one another.”  The degradation of relationships – whether it is work-related or private life – is due to the fact that people don’t communicate their change in thinking, living or viewpoint of reality.  If we want to ensure the lasting of relationships, we must first consider someone else’s reality as part of ours.  Our relationships with other people rely on openly speaking what we are thinking; and some fail because we do not say what we’re really thinking and leave the other person in the dark.

Susan compiled a short list of questions to help us come to terms with and interrogate our own reality.  Some of these are:

“What are my goals when I converse with people?”“How often do I find myself–just to be polite–saying things I don’t mean?”“When was the last time I said what I really thought and felt?”“When was the last time I confronted someone at work or at home about his or her behavior and ended the conversation having enriched the relationship?”“What is the conversation I’ve been unable to have with someone?”

These questions will help aid ourselves in interrogating our own reality, but understanding how it affects another person’s reality based on our decision of withholding what we really want to say or courageously speaking our interpretation of reality.  Everyone’s reality is valid and is worth being considered, if realities are not explored by both people in the relationship it may cause a buildup of emotional tension that will take twice the time and energy to clean up after than it would have been.  The three steps of interrogating reality with another person are:

Make a proposal – make it a point to tell the other person that you value the other person’s view and ask them to engage in fierce conversation. Check for understanding – check for understanding on how we interpret someone’s expression of their own reality. Check for agreement – once the other person’s reality is expressed, we must express ours and discuss if both realities agree with each other.

The most important thing about interrogating reality while engaging in fierce conversation is to avoid laying blame.  Inviting other people to express their reality and then laying blame on them will give the impression that we didn’t really want to consider how things are in their eyes or how they interpreted things; and usually activates our defense mechanisms.  Both people leave the conversation without the relationship being enriched, but deteriorated instead.

Susan explained removing the word “but” from our vocabulary; the reason for this being, if we began a statement with a compliment and then use the term “but” as a transition, this may lead the other person to believe that we just used that as an opener in attempt to keep their guard down.  Instead, use the term “and” as a transition in this type of situation to show that not only is what we first said true, the next statement is also true.  I explained this to a potential employer at one point during an interview I had went through, and he replied with, “You’re right. Whenever we say the word ‘but’ everything else we just said before then gets forgotten and thrown out the window.”

Come Out from Behind Yourself into the Conversation and Make It Real

“You cannot have the life you want, make the decisions you want, or be the leader you are capable of being until your actions represent an authentic expression of who you really are, or who you wish to become.”(Scott, 2004)

This is one of the most important points when engaging in fierce conversation.  We must encourage ourselves to openly express our thoughts and emotions while speaking with others to give the conversation substance and authenticity.  This can be a very uncomfortable position to be in, but when this unknown territory gets explored more frequently it will become natural.  For example, if I wanted to express the importance of something and don’t communicate or stress how important it really is to me, it may come off as a lack of interest.

People often don’t express their true thoughts and feelings in a work setting because they feel that work should be left at work and personal life should be left at home.  Susan argues this by showing that we are who we are, everywhere we go.  For example, if someone we dearly loved recently passed away.  The sudden loss and emotional shock is carried with us at home, and at work.  It is impossible for us as human beings to turn off all emotions and our personality in our private lives with a façade or masking who we truly are.

In order for us to make conversation real, it may require us to have a conversation with ourselves to determine our own reality or to resolve an inner conflict.  Susan included a list of 7 steps, called Mineral Rights, which will aid in having fierce conversations from ourselves.

Identify your most pressing issue – what the most important issue that needs to be resolved is. Clarifying the issue – determine how bad the problem is and how long it has been going on. Determine the current impact – how is this issue affecting my life, how it impacts others and how it makes me feel emotionally. Determine the future implications – how this will affect me in the future if it is not resolved, how it will affect others and our emotions. Examine your personal contribution to the issue – how we have effectively allowed the issue to persist, get worse and the actions / decisions we have made contributing to it. Describe the ideal outcome – what the desirable outcome from addressing and resolving the issue, and how we feel emotionally about such resolution. Commit to action – follow through with your decision and be determined to overcome all obstacles on the path to resolving the stated issue.

Be Here, Prepared to Be Nowhere Else

“If we wish to accomplish great things in our organizations and in our lives, then we must come to terms with a basic human need: We must recognize that humans share a universal longing to be known and, being known, to be loved.”(Scott, 2004)

These words, written by Susan, sank very deeply when I first read them.  The importance of recognizing the existence of another person and valuing their reality is key to fierce conversation and the value of relationships that form, or deepen, because of them.  Devoting both time and attention into what others have to say is fulfilling the other person’s need of being known.  By listening to what others have to say, we are attempting to understand their interpretation of reality through empathy.  However, listening is only half the battle, pay attention to the other person’s body language, tone of voice and level of emotion they speak with as well; we must show interest, concern and the value of what another person is saying to us.  Sitting slouched in a chair, avoiding eye contact and staring at the wall shows lack of interest and tells the other person that you aren’t really interested in what he or she has to say.

Susan dwells on the importance of if we really ask someone something; they will really answer in return.  Showing complete interest in what another person has to say will not only produce the results you want, but it also encourages him or her to do the same in the future and establishes a strong relationship with that person.  People’s realities are always changing.  Establishing a relationship is the easy part, but maintaining such relationships is the difficult task.  We must be willing to engage in fierce conversation on a regular basis to ensure that both parties understand where each is going and how their views have changed, if any have changed at all, because the conversation is the relationship.  Susan relates conversations to being like a beach ball, which is divided in four sections and a different color on each.  If we held the ball from our position with the blue section facing us, everything from our perspective will be blue but will be a different color from another person’s angle or point-of-view.

“A fierce conversation is not about holding forth on your point of view, but about provoking learning by sitting with someone side by side and jointly interrogating reality.  The goal is to expand the conversation rather than narrow it.  Questions are much more effective than answers in provoking learning.”(Scott, 2004)

Susan concludes this topic by discussing what she learned at an early age and called, The Decision Tree.  The decision tree in my eyes was more like a map of delegation and consisted of four categories, which are:  Leaf Decisions, Branch Decisions, Trunk Decisions and Root Decisions.  The goals of the decision tree are: to identify clearly which categories decisions and actions fall into, to provide employees with a clear upward path of professional development, and to assist companies in consciously developing grassroots leadership within their organizations, freeing up executives to take on more challenging responsibilities themselves.

Leaf Decisions:  Make the decision and act upon it.  Don’t report the action(s) taken.

Branch Decisions:  Make the decision and act upon it.  Report the action(s) taken at regular daily, weekly or monthly intervals.

Trunk Decisions:  Make the decisions, but report the decision before acting upon it.

Root Decisions:  Make a joint decision with the input of many people.  If poor decisions are made, it could potentially harm or destroy the organization in the long run.

Tackle Your Toughest Challenge Today

We must effectively prepare the presentation of an issue before a meeting or fierce conversation to prevent incoherent or incomplete explanations of the problem.  Susan quoted Pat Murray directly to support her claim.  This quote is, “The problem named is the problem solved.”  This is true because Susan later goes on to explain that if we do not accurately identify the problem, the time and effort put into trying to resolve the issue will be wasted.  Taking a little more time to properly identify an issue will be less costly and more rewarding in the long run.

When speaking to people one-on-one to resolve an issue, it’s important to have a well-planned and thought out opening statement which, as Susan suggested, should last 60 seconds.  Susan stated that there are ten components of the confrontation model, and they are:

Opening Statement:

Name the issue – the problem named is the problem solved. Select a specific example that illustrates the behavior or situation you want to change – examples are important, so be sure to think of an example that best supports your issue. Describe your emotions about the issue – describe the emotions you’re feeling because of the issue and that you are affected by it. Clarify what is at stake – clarify what is at stake for you, others, the customer, the team, the organization or the family. Identify your contribution to this problem – recognize any position you may have played in provoking or prolonging the issue. Indicate your wish to resolve the issue – be sure to use the term “resolve” when stating this, and support it by restating the issue. Invite your partner to respond – encourage the other person to join in fierce conversation you by inviting them to voice their thoughts and emotions on the issue.


Inquire into your partner’s views – this is the part where listening is most important.  Asking questions is priority at this point, only make statements to clarify or for further understanding.


What was learned? – use this point to make understanding on how the issue being discussed will be resolved and the methods for achieving resolution. Make an agreement – make an agreement with the person and determine how you will hold each other responsible for keeping it.

Obey Your Instincts

Instincts are composed of listening to your internal voice and acknowledging your reference point.  Don’t persuade yourself that your instincts are incorrect, or as some say “uneducated thinking.”  Examine and evaluate more than surface evidence; look forclue or hints in body language, intent and emotion behind another person’s words.  Express how you feel emotionally, this may be difficult and sometimes embarrassing, but is crucial to emphasize that you are affected by the problem being discussed.  Although our instincts are correct sometimes, they are also sometimes wrong.  Sometimes we can’t get passed our own conclusion that someone has a hidden agenda against us and intended something completely different from what they were saying; don’t fall into this trap.

Take Responsibility for Your Emotional Wake

Remember that everything you say affects someone else emotionally, be conscious about how, when and what you say.  Sometimes we make comments that may have caused someone to suffer emotional collapse, and also speak words of inspiration for someone later in life.  Our words have a lingering effect (emotional wake) on the people we interact with.  We, however, have no idea how another person to react to what we say, so it’s best to take your own personal precautions to be more conscious about others when we speak.  Be prepared to deal with conflict if the other person does not react to your words as planned.

Let Silence Do the Heavy Lifting

Allow silence after statements or questions in order to provoke thinking and mental digestion of what was said.  Silence gives time to reflect on and identify the problem at hand, rather than the effect of everything that has happened as a result.  This promotes resolution, rather than the person playing the blame game.  The more emotionally loaded the person is over the issue, the more time of silence should be allowed.


These previous seven principles that Susan elaborated on in Fierce Conversations are the basic tools needed to engage in fierce conversation with other people.  Although some may be difficult to follow at times, they are certainly important to consider for the sake of your organization, personal relationships and yourself.  Fierce Conversations is a must-have in today’s fast-paced world.

“Fierce conversations’ mission is:  Change the world– one conversation at a time.”(Scott, 2004)

The Video Lounge

Susan effectively uses the skills taught within her book, Fierce Conversations, while telling others about such conversations.  She allows effective silence for her words to sink in, while successfully expressing powerful emotion and intent.

The speaker in this video gives direct quotes and elaboration on very important qualities of the book’s information.  It is a very effective, but brief, overview of the book as a whole.

Personal Insights

Why I think:

The author is one of the most brilliant people around, because:

She wrote her book in terms that could be understood by anyone, and gave more than adequate examples to support her information.  She added a good mixture of serious, in-depth elaboration of a topic and mixed it with a splash of humor throughout.  Overall it was a very well thought out book and I encourage anyone interested to read it as well.

With business conditions today, what the author wrote is true, because:

With today’s fast-paced personal and business environments, we often become “too busy” to engage in fierce conversation with people.  I encourage everyone to sit down with one person, without distractions, and to talk while listening intently to what they have to say.  As Susan consistently emphasized throughout her book, the conversation is the relationship.

If I were the author of the book, I would have done these three things differently:

1.      The beginning; it was a slow start and took time to gain speed.

2.      Although the examples were very helpful, it started to get a little overbearing reading about several examples to express a point.  I would trim down a few of the non-crucial examples or stories.

3.      Some of the chapters were long and contained information that could potentially be a chapter of its own.

Reading this book made me think differently about the topic in these ways:

1.      At first glance of the title, I expected to learn to be a ruthless and feared opponent in debates.  I was shockingly mistaken after reading the Preface.

2.      Fierce conversation is not about mastering persuasion and convincing others to succumb to my personal way of thinking.

3.      Expressing emotion and empathy is a caring way to encourage conversation into resolution.  The cold-hearted and careless approach is not favorable to lasting relationships with others, whether it’s business or personal.

I’ll apply what I’ve learned in this book in my career by:

1.      Actively engaging myself in a healthy relationship with my co-workers by exploring fierce conversations and building relationships upon them.

2.      Listening more, and talking less. Listening to what others have to say and devoting my full attention to them is most important. I will try not to engage myself in “versations” any longer.

3.      Applying the Decision Tree where applicable.  I am starting to take part in a management role and it’s a new experience for me.  I intend to apply this process where, and when, I can.

Here is a sampling of what others have said about the book and its author:

“Scott maintains a consulting firm, Fierce Conversations, which provides leadership programs on creating positive change through powerful communication. The conversations she refers to may be the very ones that you have been avoiding in your relationships at work or at home. They involve bringing those brutally honest and sometimes painful subjects to the surface with your coworkers, your spouse, and especially yourself. The case studies from her consulting practice are very instructive. Typically, personal conflicts may be so destructive as to sabotage the day-to-day operations of a company and affect performance, morale, and income. In her meetings with coworkers, Scott attacks the issues head-on, getting everyone to speak up about the things that he or she has been thinking but dares not say. The result is a clearing of the air, a breaking of tension. Sometimes people are “made available to industry,” her euphemism for being fired. The results are usually powerful, and Scott’s workbook exercises will allow readers to have effective, life-changing fierce conversations of their own.”(Siegfried)

“As Ken Blanchard notes in his foreword to this book, a course in conversations won't be found in an M.B.A. curriculum. But the key to real business success, according to author Susan Scott, is what she calls "fierce conversation," an honest, meaningful, authentic exchange between two people. Reminding us that "the conversation is the relationship," she counsels us to speak with clarity, conviction, and compassion.”(Barnes & Noble)

Summary of Reviews

Both reviews were accurate generalizations of the book and did highlight several important points about it.  However, the structure of Mr. Siegfried’s review was a little dramatized and over-the-top.  He did highlight one very important characteristic about the book when he stated, “creating positive change through powerful communication.”  Along with Barnes & Nobles’ when explaining the book’s purpose is to establish, “an honest, meaningful, authentic exchange between two people.”


Barnes & Noble. (n.d.). Retrieved from Barnes & Noble:

Scott, S. (2004). Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work & in Life, One Conversation at a Time. New York: The Berkley Publishing Group.

Siegfried, D. (n.d.). Retrieved from Booklist Online:


Contact Info: To contact the author of this “Summary and Review of Fierce Conversations,” please email and 


David C. Wyld ( is the Robert Maurin Professor of Management at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana. He is a management consultant, researcher/writer, and executive educator. His blog, Wyld About Business, can be viewed at He also serves as the Director of the Reverse Auction Research Center (, a hub of research and news in the expanding world of competitive bidding. Dr. Wyld also maintains compilations of works he has helped his students to turn into editorially-reviewed publications at the following sites:

Management Concepts (

Book Reviews ( and

Travel and International Foods (                


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The Six Minute Book Summary of The Language of Trust: Selling Suggestions in a Globe of Skeptics by Michael Maslansky

August 12, 2011

Chris Rugh 

Leadership Speaker

The Six Minute Book Summary of The Language of Trust: Selling Ideas in a World of Skeptics by Michael Maslansky

Executive Summary

The author of The Language of Trust, Michael Maslansky, is one of Corporate America’s leading communication and research strategists.  He advises Leading Corporation, industry associations and nonprofit organizations on what to say and how to say it. This book is about a new world that is growing as we speak from seeds of words we use. In a very real sense communication skills are really important. Our good communication skill will help us do better business, have good workplaces, and personal relationships.

The Language of Trust: Selling Ideas in a World of Skeptics is a book about how to use language to undo the skepticism that has being created. This book is based on more than a decade’s worth of research into how consumers respond to difficult and controversial topics. Whether your goals are introducing a new product, or re-framing the policy debate, language carries more influence than you might fully believe. Language has become a big contributor to decline trust and rise skepticism.  Language is an art, everyone practices daily. We create our own rules were language becomes meaningful, and efficient, were our goal is to give the person a meaning. Language can be manipulated and can be used in advantage way. Language makes people manipulated other people. People trying to manipulate you help you when you haven’t request it, need it or want it. The goal is to make them owe you. This rule works like this “if someone does you a favor, you owe him a favor in return”. Another way you can trick people into thinking that you feel for them and that you stress the importance of their choice. You just have to be a good speaker.

Plato knew a lot of language and he said, “Rhetoric is the art of ruling the mind if men”. Back in Twenty–first century, rhetoric was known as “spin”. This book is to use language in a credible way. This book wants to show how to use language and undo the spin of skepticism that this world has created. It’s may focus is giving you the best advices in building trust when the facts and records of the situation are on your side.

The society in this new era is really skeptical; maintains a doubting attitude, as toward values, plans, statements, or the character of others. It is surprising how different conversations in personal and professional lives reflect skepticism. Some of the examples they give in the book is when a salesperson is selling a product, the first thing he says is that their product is better than the competitors. The buyers first thing that comes to mind is that he will think about the product and called them back next day. This skeptics that cross your mind has turned you off and tuned you out, and you are not sure if you want the product.

The goal of this book is to anyone who sell ideas, products, services to people that doesn’t want to hear it. For the people who is challenge in speaking this author explores words to use, words to lose and new order of how to structure well your messages. They give real world examples where they show how people react and help to know what to say. The point is to show how to communicate in a new language in this new era of mistrust, and help you with the language of Trust.

This book is based on the author opinions. It has accumulated a lot of feedback from quantitative and qualitative research with votes, employees, shareholders and different companies’ staff about how to communicate in ways to overcome the skepticism and present new ideas. A skeptical audience who you need to reach is the language of trust that will help you succeed.

The Ten Things Managers Need to Know fromThe Language of Trust

“The language of Trust is the language of your audience” the language of trust is not about yourself is about the audience.  All communicators need to become agents for customers  because in this new era “ he who exalts himself shall be humbled, and he who humbles himself shall be exalted”.

“The Language of trust puts control in the hands of your audience”. The decision making process has changed. The fastest way to make someone to buy a product is to give them objective information. Your language needs to compete in a way that your ideas or product will become a victor.

“The language of Trust is Authentic” The principles of communication have to appear honest and authentic. Always give statements of trust and they will be more likely to listen your message.

“The language of trust recognizes that we all have flaws” the language of trust is built to with the idea that you can have an imperfect product or document and still attract and retain customers.  Consumers have to be open and don’t expect a product or company to be perfect.

5.“The language of trust validates objections” a new approach  for this new era  that helps a lot is  to change from being a person with an agenda to someone who lives where your listeners live and experiences what they experience,

The four principles of credible communication are be personal, be plainspoken, be positive and be plausible. Each of this principle underscores fundamental nature addressing skepticism.

“Make yourself Real” one the fastest way to lose skeptic is to make a message sound like a fine print. To build trust you have to communicate with less corporate speak and more authentic language.

The idea of selling a product is to make your message personally relevant to your audience. It doesn’t matter that you think something is important.  Is listening first and understanding your audience situation.

People who challenge in lifetime speaking habits. They tell you what words to use, words to lose and new ways to structure your message. Is a great example of real –world examples that show you how to react and what to say.

Building trust is extremely important, one of the first things you have to do is change the words “you “or “me” to “we” or “our”. This little detail of changing the words will put you on the same side of the table and your audience perceives the whole conversation in a different way.

Full Summary of The Language of Trust

Chapter 1: America’s Post –Trust Era

“Welcome to 2008 the year of trust finally died”.  In 2008 was when trust in this country reached the breaking point.  The consequences can be seen, 500 companies were research and they said is could be seen daily. I doesn’t matter of you were food seller or beverage company, your credibility is challenge because people don’t want to hear what you have to say. They look for exceptions instead of reasons to believe you. Americas level of trust has gotten to a point were you have think twice what to say because the trust levels are down in every market segment. We are living and communicating in the PTE (Post-Trust Era). Yesterday trust has become today’s skepticism.  A skeptic is someone who challenges ideas in search for truth.  An optimist person knows everything will good, and cynic knows everything will be bad, but and skeptic is someone who has to gathered information. Typically they become more and more skeptical as they gather more experience. In this new PTE you can see skeptics people everywhere, from young to old.

Some of the reasons why people are becoming more and more skeptics are:

“We have much more information”  The world is connected in a digital community were  the first thing they do before making a purchase is check online to see the consumer ratings and all the feedbacks. Another reason is “We have seen behind the curtain” sellers have an art in marketing and communicating trying to sell the best product to our society. Consumers have become more sensitive and specific so they don’t believe the entire message they use to sell their products.  The consumers don’t want to be told what to think so they reject any suggestion simply because it comes from companies and institutions.

A big event of erosion of trust in American life is how symbols have increasingly dominated public discourage.  Each is a symbol “a shorthand representation of a much larger ideological perspective”. Each of this symbols challenges to a company or industry, this symbols have dominate the debate in the Americans public life. Some examples of this symbols are: The symbol: “Plastic water bottles “ , What it says: “Anything to make a buck”, The symbol: :”High credit cards rates”, what it says: We will take advantage of you at every turn”. Companies are getting rich everyday at the expense of the customers.  If you see industry after industry it becomes really difficult to find something positive this company is doing because it dramatically impact the way companies are doing business.

The Implications for how we communicate

The challenge of communicating in a PTE has gotten to a point were companies, and politicians could tell their story and know that they will not be heard.  In this new world it is really important to know and understand all the new rules. This new rules are explain in seven lessons that explains us how this has changed. This guidelines died with the end of trust.

“The truth will not set you free”.   Most of the communicators believe they can get the people to understand their point of view.  They use a lot of facts to gain trust. The problem is that in PTE everyone has their own version and they try to find a point were they try to disprove it. This idea of having facts brings another problem that people don’t want to hear a huge story. You can have print out and facts sheet but they don’t really care what you are talking. This new era has brought a lot changes when it comes to explanations because if you don’t give them authenticity and straight talk they can demand you.

“Your Truth is not what matters to people”. Most of the organization have their internal lexicon made up of jargon that people outside the organization can easily understand.  This is supported by a set of facts that is called “Their Truth”. The big problem of this is that the organization think their truth  is correct , but what really matters is the view of the audience.  An example of  “Your Truth” is “TARP funds are a small percentage of our capital” but “Their Truth” is “It’s ALL TARP Funds”

“The fifth Amendment is a death sentence” In the PTE you are guilty until they prove you innocent. Silence is considered a way to guilty. This is use by companies when they do something bad or one of their products becomes recalled.

“You can only tell one story” Every department in the company can tell a different story about their reason of layoff depending on their audience.

“You are often your least credible source” People are always suspicious from the information that comes from the website of the company.

Chapter 2: It all starts with words

It starts with words and those who learned the language of trust are the one  who will have success un the new era.  The effects of skepticism and accessibility is an audience that won’t  listen. People have already made u their minds about their position with the different products. An example is Pc vrs Mac. They only hear and seek what their existing beliefs. Another important reason why  the new anguage of trust is really important and necessary is because skeptical people  can shut you ut and shut you up. That why you have to adopt a new kind of language  that must be strategic and authentic.

 “ The language of Trust is the language of your audience” the language of trust is not about yourself is about the audience. 

“The Language of trust puts control in the hands of your audience”. The fastest way to make someone to buy a product is to give them objective information. Your language needs to compete in a way that your ideas or product will become a victor.

       3.            “The language of Trust is Authentic” The principles of communication have to appear honest and authentic.

“The language of trust recognizes that we all have flaws” the language of trust is built  the idea that you can have an imperfect product or  document and still attract and retain customers. 

5.“The language of trust validates objections” a new approach  for this new era  that helps a lot is  to change from being a person with an agenda to someone who lives where your listeners live and experiences what they experience,

Engaging the Skeptic

The people who receive your messages fall within a continuum, with optimists at in end, and skeptics in the middle.  Your goal is to create a skeptic dialogue and follow the four principles of credible communication.

Be Personal: Selling ideas and product is a need to tell the audience something they need, want or agree. It’s really important to focus in what they want to buy not what we want to sell.

Be Plainspoken:using simple and direct language

Be Positive:a positive acceptance of the agreement.

Be Plausible:having an appearance of truth or reason; seemingly worthy of approval or acceptance; credible; believable

In this era of mistrust, words are really important. Is not what you say, is what we they hear.

Chapter 3: Be Personal. “The Personal Principle: It’s Not About You , It’s About Them”

The first thing in building trust is to know that selling a product has to do with your audience beliefs and what they think. Personalizing it’s extremely important in speaking to a person’s   individual situation that trying to put people in categories. The idea of personalization is seen everywhere, communicators tend to talk of what is comfortable to them. They usually focus on what they want to say instead f thinking what the audience wants to hear. Another thing they focus is on facts that talk   only about the product.

There are four components of personalizing a message to build a relationship of trust.

Make it Relevant:  Your first job is to make your message important to your audience.  It is really important to always think of your audience opinion because is not the same what you think is important at what they think is important

Make it Tangible: Always explain the facts and terms that relate to you.

Make it Human: If your point is to connect the audience with a product or an issue, you need to make it human by telling them personal stories.

Make yourself real: It is extremely important to build trust, so you have to communicate to someone with trust ad speak more authentic language.

Chapter 4: Be Plainspoken. “The Plainspoken Principle: If they can understand you, It’s your Fault”

 Communicating with clarity is a foundation of the language of trust. In a world of skeptics, if people can’t understand what you are saying they have the mentality that is your fault not theirs. You have to gain customers in engaging their attention and trust. They are three guidelines for using plain language to communicate with your audience:

People don’t know what you think they know: Sellers most of the time assume that the audience have the same knowledge as them, but they don’t.  This is the result that the audience doesn’t admit that they didn’t understand and instead they don’t buy what you are selling.

Simple does not always means short: A lot of people make the mistake to simplify the language when they are selling a product. It is really important to use five words of clear story than use two words and leave people.

Say enough but not so much: Communicators say to much information, and makes the message get lost. Is more important to say the message in an effective and plain way, in which you are saying your point.

Here are some examples of how to use plain language. Don’t use: Adjacent to, Use: Next to, don’t use: Parameters, Use: Limits. , Don’t Use: Subsequent, Use: Next.

Chapter 5. Be Positive. “The Positive Principle: Negativity Breeds Contempt”

Toda y the language of trust is built on much more positive approach to communications. Some of the key principles are: Positive is not Pollyanna, Positive is forward-looking and Positive is for things, not against them.

Positive is not Pallyanna

Turning real fact into an optimist  view of the world is what make positive language work Your language has to be positive  and it must reflect the audience view of the world without asking  to get involved in something that simply don’t believe possible. 

Emphasize your company’s commitment to customers; always start in delivering the customers that hey value mos. This is the place o tart in appositive message even if you had bad news to deliver. Always have credibility and always remind them that you know what is important for them.

Acknowledge the problem and your commitment to find a solution is o recognize the issue on your audience mind and find a solution that works for your customers and company.  Customer has to know your role and responsibility. 

The company has to build credibility, because if they keep on making mistakes people are not willing to stay with the same company. 

Chapter 6: BE Plausible. “The Plausibility Principle: Life Isn’t Perfect; Neither is What you are selling

The hardest part of creating plausible message is that they often confused with weakness.  Plausible message is often weaker that traditional marketing messaging. The good thing is that is more believable so it become a stronger message that is trusted it transparency and honesty. They are tree keys for creating a plausible message.

Plausible language is neutral:

Neutral statements replace judgments with factual statements. Plausible messages don’t tell the audience what to think, they focus on providing the right information skeptics need to make up their minds in a way that favors the communicator. Neutral statements give details.  Plausible speech tends to be longer on information and shorter on hyperbole.

Plausible language is complete. The business have been built with the idea that  they have to find the best way o get people to believe in their products. You have to build credibility by building the complete picture.

Plausible language avoids superlatives. TO be credible you need to walk the line between brash and weak. One of the keys in finding new solutions to our problems is through partnerships that bring an industry  together.  Partnerships come together in solving big problems and are more likely to succeed than individuals.

Chapter 7: Getting to Listen: Engagement before Discussion

In the PTE we do not have the luxury of talking of skeptics in your communication process. The word engagement in business has a meaning of trust that revolves around relationships.  In the PTE this is becoming everyone culture.

The Rules of engagement

Rule #1: Understand Their Truth

Understanding their truth is a two-step process. The first step is to make sure you have a picture of their audience. The next step is to thin in depth about their perspective.

Rule #2: Find Common Ground

The language trust is built on a foundation of engagement. In order to communicate effectively they must build a message and start by getting the listeners to their heads agreement.

Rule #3: Ask and you shallreceive

The goal of engagement to get people talking is to put them at a center of a dialogue. The best questions are the ones that you don’t know the answer. Good questions are designed to learn what the other person wants and opposed to what the other person will buy. Customers usually know what you can do for them.

Chapter 8: That’s Not What I meat: Context Before Specifics

The selling of selling products has moved in a totally different direction. The first one to speak the language will be the first to gain trust and respect of the skeptical consumer. This new generation has added a new completely dimension to what public relation.Communicating in this difficult environment requires more than selling products. This is the only way to reach consumers to re-establish credibility.  Doing so requires an entirely new language: the language of trust.

Chapter 9: That’s not what I meant: Context before specifics

This section has proved to be the most controversial part of this book. This chapter interprets how to influence the way people interact facts.  The process of selling the products has totally changed in a different way.  You will be the first to gain trust and to speak the language which this will make you be a skeptical consumer. This new generation of trust is seeking a completely new dimension in public relations.

Chapter 10. The Language of Trust in a Digital World

The research of a presentation or speech is the easy part. The hardest part is applying he message to real world situations. This final chapter is a compiled list of what not to say. Trust can be broken in a misplaced phrase, and then removed the credibility from communicating in a first step . They are seven “anti trust laws” of statements that should be avoid at all costs.  They also included twenty banned phrases that illustrates what an anti-trust means.

Using the Language of Trust online

You do not have to tell your story in 140 characters

Be a part of the conversation whenever you can be

Liking and navigating is part of your message.

Be a provider, not a hider.

Always let other people comment on your site.

Be the voice of reason.

Great customer engagement is the best way to build trust online.

Chapter 11. The Anti- Trust Laws: Twenty Banned Phrases

“Are you kidding me “? Statements

“Trust me” or “Trust us”.

“If I could promise you this, would you buy”

“We speak your language”

Sincerely  unbelievable statements

5. “Your call is important to us”

6. “We care about our customers”

7. “Our interest are aligned”

“Too good to be true” Statements

8. “A best-of-breed product”

9. “Achieving your dream retirement”

10.“We give you guaranteed results”

“Because I said so”

11. “Our products are safe:

12. “This is the right product for you”

“The fact is” “When Worlds Collide”

    13)”What you need to understand is”

     14)”Our hands are tied”

    15) “If we don’t do this, it will hurt our business”

“ I can explain”

16)” This was taken out of context”

17)”I voted for the billion before I voted against it”

18) Anything in fine point

Fear mongering Statements

19)”Are you concerned about security for your family?”

20)” Act now or you’ll miss this opportunity.”

The Video Lounge skeptics world

Personal Insights

Why I think:

With business conditions today, what the author wrote is longer true – because:

The language of trust has become really important because in this PTE were people   are more connected than ever.  Today we have become more experts and the clients come to us with messages that represent exactly what they want to say. The most important side effect is how the words we use will help us get out of this mistrust era. This society demands trust and is mandatory to treat people with respect.  The Language of trust is a way to succeed and it is extremely important what we say to each other. The Language of Trust is for anyone who must sell ideas, services and even themselves that live in a skeptical world.

If I were the author of the book, I would have done these three things differently:

1.            If I were the author I would not give twenty common phrases to drop the vocabulary of a PTE (Post-trust Era).

2.            If I were the author I would have written the power of choosing the right words differently.

3.            If I were the author I would give more detail and focus more in the phrases that are focus to big audience.

Reading this book made me think differently about the topic in these ways:

Reading this book made me learn that “The Language of Trust” is for anyone who must sell ideas, products and services. People come to us with messages that represent exactly what they want to say.

Plausible language is neutral, complete and superlative.  This is a strong messages that is rejected or disbelief.  Plausible message are weaker and but you have to try to look at these ideas in detail and see how you can create a new sense of credibility.

The language of Trust is the language of your audience.  Always I have to remember that is not about me is about the audience. I have to see their needs and concerns.

I’ll apply what I’ve learned in this book in my career by:

I will apply this in my career by knowing how the structure my message: I have to put engagement before discussion, always think of their interest and be specific with the context.

I will apply this in my career that is really important  to communicate with clarity and simplicity.  People don’t know what you think they know.

I will apply in my career that a great customer engagement is the best way to build trust with people. The first thing to overcome with skepticism is use to use tools that help you communicate in way that the audience feels a relationship with me.

Here is a sampling of what others have said about the book and its author:

 “Marketers, financial advisors, and communicators of all types should take note of the lessons in this book….More than most, Michael understands the enormous challenges we face, and this book provides an essential set of tools and practical approached for reconnecting with customers who may have lost faith in what we offer. It isn’t enough for us to have a good story to tell; we must also be able to tell a good-and credible-story. The Language of Trust will help any communicator who muct win over a skeptical audience.”
-Cathy Weatherford, CEO of Insured Retirement Institute

“Trust has never been more important in the corporate world-because there’s so little of it. For years, people have tried to figure out how to communicate trust. Now, finally, Michael Maslansky has unlocked the DNA of trust. Anyone who cares about their employees, their customers, or their reputation has to read this book.”
-Dr. Frank Luntz, author of Words That Workand What Americans Really Want…Really

“Michael Maslansky has written the ultimate guide to winning trust in a world that has lost it. He writes with wit, wisdom, and a commendable absence of jargon. If you are concerned about trust, and all of us should be, then this book is an indispensable starting point.”
-Lord Gould, former polling and strategy advisor to Prime Minister Tony Blair, and Deputy Chairman of Freud Communication

“There are many books on effective communication, but this book is unique in the way it recognizes the importance of language and messaging as ways to build trust when talking to customers, partners, or employees. The Language of Trust will help any executive who must communicate with strength and credibility.”
-Suzanne Coulter, president of Polo Retail Corporation

“To successfully earn trust in face-to-face or Facebook communication, embrace the proven concepts in The Language of Trust–they’re as important to your life as involuntary breathing. It’s just common sense.”
-Thomas L. Harrison, LHD, chairman and CEO of Diversified Agency Services division of Omnicom Group Inc.


Contact Info: To contact the author of this “Summary and Review of The Language of Trust,” please email 


David C. Wyld ( is the Robert Maurin Professor of Management at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana. He is a management consultant, researcher/writer, and executive educator. His blog, Wyld About Business, can be viewed at He also serves as the Director of the Reverse Auction Research Center (, a hub of research and news in the expanding world of competitive bidding. Dr. Wyld also maintains compilations of works he has helped his students to turn into editorially-reviewed publications at the following sites:

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