Monday, February 8, 2010

Book Club... And Then Some!

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Get Motivated! Overcome any obstacle, achieve any goal, and accelerate your success with motivational DNA
by Tamara Lowe

Book Review by Richard L. Weaver II, Ph.D.

This is exactly the kind of book to which I am not attracted, especially when you read the lengthy subtitle or when you notice that for a book of 267 pages of text, there are only a meager 25 endnotes total for the whole book. DNA stands for “drives,” “needs,” and “awards,” and as the title of the book suggests, they are the heart or core of the book.

There are a number of useful ideas in this book that, according to the front flyleaf, is “grounded in eight years of research with more than ten thousand people — which simply means Lowe has “trained more than two million people in seventy countries” (written in her brief biography on the back flyleaf). We’re not talking formal, documented, controlled experimentation.

The first useful idea is that plotting your own DNA (how you are best motivated) is easy to do, and once done by following Lowe’s perameters, there is a chapter to describe you. The second useful idea is the way Lowe has categorized the eight motivational types: 1) directors, 2) visionaries, 3) chiefs, 4) champions, 5) supporters, 6) relaters, 7) refiners, and 8) explorers. I wish I had taken the time to plot my own DNA so I could share it with you; however, from just looking at the categories, if I had to guess at my own DNA, it looks like I might traverse a number of categories — but I don’t know.

The third useful idea is how each “communication style” differs. Each one is clearly and explicitly explained in a separate chapter.

There is much useful and interesting information on motivation. Her Chapter 16, “Finish First,” and the related 31, “Motivational Rules of Life,” (“Follow them,” she writes, “and success will follow you” — p. 248) are outstanding.

For a book to which I was initially not attracted, this is a well written, practical (applied), fun book, full of great quotations, useful advice, and a sense of enthusiasm and positive spirit. It is definitely a valuable book. You’ll enjoy it.

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The lost art of listening: How learning to listen can improve relationships, 2nd ed.
by Michael P. Nichols

Book Review by Richard L. Weaver II, Ph.D.

I have written about relationships all of my professional life, and I have included information on relationships in my textbook, Understanding Interpersonal Communication — which, I might add, is “on sale” at for $124.20! Also, I have co-authored a book on listening (with Curt Bechler) which is out-of-print, but lists the book, Listen to Win, “on sale” for $70.00! I mention these as my credentials for reviewing The Lost Art of Listening, which is a book that directly relates the two (relationships and listening), and I want to mention at the outset that this book deserves accolades and recommendations. It is well-written and a true pleasure to read. It is full of practical, applied information, which means you can both understand and use the information immediately. Also, it touches on the very core of the listening problem: that we seldom listen well to the important people in our lives. Most people think they already listen well so would not even consider this book relevant. The “Quiz” on pages 67-69 (along with directions for scoring the results) may help disabuse readers of this belief.

In this 314-page paperback (with a 5 1/2-page index), some may believe the book too forbidding at first glance; however, the author offers numerous examples, interesting and useful boxed inserts, short sections, highlighted (boldface) quotations that offer suggestions and insights, and end-of-chapter exercises that assist you in applying chapter information. It is clear just from a quick glance through the book that Nichols is an accomplished textbook writer — all the essential ancillaries are here. (If you check out his other books at, you will notice from the number of books and froml the reviews, that Nichols has achieved success in a number of subject areas.)

There is no doubt that following the author’s guidelines will not only make you a better listener, but they will contribute positively to improved relationships (his main point!). I recommend this book without hesitation or reservation. Every parent should read it, and anyone, too, who is planning to enter, is already in, or has experienced any failed relationships in the past desperately needs the information in this book.


Through our reading, researching, and writing, And Then Some Publishing (and our extended family of readers) mine volumes of books representing a wide variety of tastes. We use the books in our writing, test and try suggested techniques, and we read for enjoyment as well. We wouldn't spend the time reviewing the books if we didn't get something out of it. Read more reviews on other fantastic books at our website.

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