Persuasion: A New Approach to Changing Minds
Author: Arlene Dickinson
Country: Canada
Genre: Business
Publisher: Collins Canada
Publication date: September 2, 2011
Pages: 304

 

“Principled persuasion is all about relationships, whether with co-workers or managers, siblings or friends.”

I’m always on the hunt for an uplifting book with a message when I came across Arlene Dickinson’s book Persuasion.  Arlene is best known as a venture capitalist investor on the Canadian version of the Dragon’s Den franchise.  Clocking in at a little over three hundred pages, it is well written and an easy read.  At the core of her book is the belief that persuasion is not a dirty word, but a reliable and desirable method to better personal and business relationships.  This belief allows her to stay true to her beliefs and seal deals without selling her soul to do it.

Persuasion begins with Arlene’s personal background which is truly a rags to riches story. The fairy tale begins with disaster, her divorce at 31.  With nothing more than a high school diploma she had to find a good job in order to keep sole custody of her four children. Arlene took a job at Venture Communications, a local marketing company.  She knew little about marketing, but was willing to learn because four other mouths depended on it.  In a year she was a partner and a decade later she was the sole owner. She admits she made many mistakes along the way, but it all helped her fine tune her central belief that ethical persuasion was the key to all parties getting what they wanted and to being happy with the deal.

“Every one of us has events in our lives that change who we are. Those events can become a negative or a positive influence, depending on whether we choose to use them as engines for propulsion or excuses for defeat. While it would have been easy to have a ‘woe is me’ reaction to a failed marriage and an acrimonious custody battle, I decided to view my circumstances as a springboard.”

The book is a great guide to social interactions as Arlene shares relatable experiences to explain the importance of listening and creating relationships that works for both parties and how persuasion can be used in business and other life situation.

The book is especially great for those who have to pitch for a living.  Selling whether widgets or ideas is a numbers game and it isn’t in the pitcher’s favour. Persuasion offers hope through difficult situations and gives great advice and examples of success and failures.  Arlene shows how she turns negatives into positives and how a single mother of four without an MBA can become the CEO of a large and successful company.

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Persuasion: A New Approach to Changing Minds Author: Arlene Dickinson Country: Canada Genre: Business Publisher: Collins Canada Publication date: September 2, 2011 Pages: 304   'Principled persuasion is all about relationships, whether with co-workers or managers, siblings or friends.' I'm always on the hunt for an uplifting book with a message when I came across Arlene Dickinson's book...