In comments about her book They Just Don’t Get It! Changing resistance into understanding, author Leslie Yerkes of Catalyst Consulting Group wrote the following:
I discovered five behaviors for turning resistance into understanding. The behaviors are like the ‘aikido’ of communication. It is so simple but these insights run counter to what has been taught and modeled as leadership behavior for decades.
It was the reference to Aikido that caught my eye. For many years now, I’ve applied the underlying philosophy and practical aspects of Aikido to business activities and relationships. (Luckily, I’ve never had the need to use it in a self-defense situation.) My curiosity was piqued.
I have to admit that I very rarely make it all the way through business books. Even the really good ones to me seem to get a bit repetitious, if not monotonous, in what they are trying to tell me. (I like to think that it is because I’m a quick study and can connect-the-dots without having to get to the end, but who knows.) That was not a problem with this book.
A short book to begin with (137 pages in a smaller than usual size), the book also has a lot of white space and illustrations. Yerkes, along with her co-author Randy Martin and illlustrator Ben Dewey, get their message across by telling a story. The story chronicles a marketing team’s struggles on a particular project from the point of view of the team leader.
It is a sparse, straightforward telling of a story that most of us have lived through at least once. As I read through the different stages of the story, images flashed in my mind of numerous experiences from my past that could easily have been inserted into the story.
Following the story is a more convential description of the lessons from the story. More than once while reading through this conclusion I thought, “Well, of course, that’s obvious.” But of course, it is only obvious in hindsight. Like most stories with a moral, it takes a good story teller to take the things we should know (and think we know) and make them make sense.
Disclosure: The author offered the book as a complementary copy in hopes that I might mention it here.