Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Book Review [DON'T: Unlock the do in don't... by Bob Selden

Imagine every word that was ever said to you was positive, enriching and encouraging, you would probably be a different person today. The power of the spoken word in everyday living is the focus point in Don't, Unlock the do in don't: How Using the Right Words Will Change Your Life by Bob Selden. I received a free copy of this book via mail from the author. I was a bit surprised because when I saw the package, I was wondering what I had ordered from Australia. Being a professional communicator, I knew I wanted to explore the pages to see what could be learned.

My first impression was that there is a distinct difference in writing the English language between Australians and Americans, it was not difficult to understand but clearly different, so that took some getting used to. Mr. Selden takes a very stern research perspective in the book which could be a turn off for the lay man in reading this text. I find I just like to flow with the ideas of the writing instead of having to be told what researcher came up with the idea or proved the idea. This makes the text long and sometimes boring. However, the majority of the ideas that are presented in the text are very useful in helping to move from a negative frame of mind and a negative way of relating to yourself and others, to one that is more positive and nurturing. With the knowledge that everyone has dealt with negative communications in life, the author touches on several areas that most people need a change in like handling difficult conversations in love relationships, when those words "We need to talk." come up, conversations between parents and teenagers, critical conversations between friends, and conversations with yourself when no one else is around.

The book is written in three parts and I found the first part most for those who need to change their words to change their behavior to bring about an increased level of peace in life, but this is the part with a lot of research jargon that interferes with the flow of learning the tips. Mr. Selden however, has a nice way of summarizing and he included exercises to get you refocused on the main points he's trying to convey. The second part deals with some of the toughest lessons of change to more positive interactions in communications, using the words you, but and the tone of voice. When having a difficult conversation how often do people immediately play the blame game in "You never do..., Why don't you..." instead of taking responsibility with I in relaying their feelings, like, "I feel hurt." or "I'd Like my instructions followed." These changes in communication could help many people from personal and social misery when relating to each other. Part three of the book is a nice coaching part for communication in specific difficult relationships. The ideas are not necessarily unique but definitely good reminders of changing for the better when communicating.

Mr. Selden mentioned in his intro letter that Don't, Unlock the do in don't, was for every body, however based on my reading, it is not. I would recommend this book to business professionals who have the job duties of motivating and organizing people like HR departments, teachers, and parents who want to create positive effects in the minds and hearts of those they care for and have the responsibility of coaching and motivating. Don't reminds me of an academic book, but it's not however, it is for the professional who can understand this level of writing. I give 4 ankhs.

K. Akua Gray
April 11, 2017
Houston, TX

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