Welcome to She Said/She Said, where GGC Members are our book reviewers from across Canada, sharing their opinions about our book of the month. This month, we take a look at Persuasion: A New Approach to Changing Minds by Arlene Dickinson, published by Harper Collins Canada.
Suggested GGC Rating by our book reviewers:
“This book is suitable for young adults, ages 14 and older, it contains no violence, profanity, sexual content or mature themes within the content of the story. The book is classified under biography and business.”
She Said: Theresa Woolridge
Guider with the 100th Ottawa Brownie Unit
When I initially received Persuasion by Arlene Dickinson to review I thought, oh, how fortuitous, I work in Marketing, the first book I get to review is written about the art of persuasion. But, Dickinson describes how becoming a good persuader is relevant to everyone. “It’s a social skill that’s useful in all kinds of situations where you need to persuade people to give you a chance, help you out and see the world your way.”
She begins by explaining that principled persuasion is about connecting, not conning. That resonated with me because I’ve seen both approaches and conning always looks and feels like such a struggle where connecting is empowering, engaging and energizing.
She shares with readers ‘what not to do and what not to fall for’. She then describes principled persuasion and grounds it in three pillars, reciprocity and the ‘building blocks of character’, authenticity, honesty. I really liked that she wrote, “I need to believe the other person will benefit.”
Dickinson includes a section on how important it is to first learn how to persuade ourselves of our abilities. She then leads the reader through her process for persuasion.
While the book was written to teach the art of persuasion, Dickinson also shares her personal journey in order to illustrate her points. This inclusion of life experiences ensures that the book isn’t text-book like, but rather a story with applicable life lessons.
She Said: Melissa Moor
From struggling single mother to CEO of one of Canada’s most successful marketing firms, Arlene Dickinson turned her life around. How did she do it? Hard work, tenacity and a lot of persuasion. With energy and conviction, this Dragon’s Den star argues that everyone can harness the power of persuasion.
Persuasion: A New Approach to Changing Minds is a crash course in how to convince others that what is good for you is also good for them. One of the most successful women in Canadian business, Dickinson tells her story while providing insight into the art of persuasion.
Dispelling the myth that persuasion is dishonest, Dickinson explains that principled persuasion centres on building relationships. The book details every step of the persuasion process, from analyzing the situation, through preparing for an interview or a pitch, to delivering then reflecting on how you can improve.
Though most examples in this book come from the business world, Dickinson highlights that persuasion is useful in all facets of life. She acknowledges that being persuasive can be difficult, but offers suggestions on how to overcome common barriers. Persuasion, she argues, is a valuable skill for everyone.
Dickinson’s honesty and sense of humour make Persuasion an enjoyable read. While this book is marketed at an adult audience, teens who are interested in entrepreneurship and career development would find Persuasion engaging. Short chapters studded with fascinating anecdotes make this an accessible look into the world of persuasion.
The story of a woman overcoming difficult circumstances through hard work and dedication, Persuasion: A New Approach to Changing Minds, is a reminder that consistent effort pays off. This book tells girls and women that we have the ability to cultivate connections that will result in positive outcomes for all, whether we are running a company or planning the next Brownie meeting.
Melissa is a Queen’s student and a Guider with the
5th Ottawa Brownies,
17th Kingston Guides,
and the 17th Kingston Pathfinders.
She Said: Lisa Nevins
I had first heard of Arlene Dickinson from the television show, Dragons Den. The only thing I knew about Arlene was that she was the only female dragon featured on the show, is a successful marketing executive, can hold her own, is very pretty and wears fabulous shoes. That was enough for me to want to read her book, Persuasion, even though I do not have the entrepreneurial spirit I knew that I would learn something from reading this book. I learned more than I imagined. What a success story and more importantly what a remarkable, honest and truly authentic person Arlene is and what a role model!
In her book Persuasion, Arlene teaches us the art of being persuasive without being aggressive. This involves three core business principles: honesty, authenticity and ensuring reciprocity. With or without knowing we practice persuasion in many areas of our everyday life and in our business lives. Arlene made me stop and think how I want to be perceived. Being persuasive starts with believing in yourself, this is essential and she gives more detailed examples of how to be persuasive in her book.
There is something intriguing about Arlene, I think its her authenticity, she is beautiful on the outside but even more so on the inside. Halfway through her book all I kept saying in my mind was “WOW”. I thought she was just another Dragon. I really liked her before reading the book and now I just adore her. Her riches are just a small, (although not insignificant) factor of her being defined as successful. She is successful because of so much more, she is a person who is genuine and whose smile is infectious. She cares about humanity and making the world a better place.
I’m not sure if it was Arlene’s intent to become a role model and to be an inspiration to others. But she is, not to just business people but to young people, stay at home moms and non-entrepreneurs. I highly recommend this book, it’s a great feel good story and you will learn something!