People Skills—Soft but Difficult
People Skills—Soft but Difficult
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People Skills—Soft but Difficult

Are Your Lights On?
What Did You Say?  The Art of Giving and Receiving Feedback
Exploring Requirements One
Exploring Requirements Two
Becoming a Change Artist
More Secrets of Consulting
Becoming a Technical Leader

About the Bundle

Perhaps you've been told that "lack of people skills" has been holding you back. No wonder: you may have had hundreds of hours of technical training, but little or no "people skills" guidance. You've heard it said that people skills are "soft," whereas technical skills are "hard." For you, though, technical skills are "easy," but people skills are "hard." If this description fits you, read this bundle.

The books of the People Skills bundle will show you practical ways to improve your skills at offering and receiving feedback; helping others clarify what they want from you; facilitating change and learning; leading others through difficult times; coping well with your own difficulties; leading teams to improved results; and being both liked and respected by your colleagues. 

As you advance in your career, you'll find yourselves referring back repeatedly to your People Skills bundle.

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About the Books

Are Your Lights On?

Are Your Lights On?

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The fledgling problem solver invariably rushes in with solutions before taking time to define the problem being solved. Even experienced solvers, when subjected to social pressure, yield to this demand for haste. When they do, many solutions are found, but not necessarily to the problem at hand.

Whether you are a novice or a veteran, this powerful little book will make you a more effective problem solver. Anyone involved in product and systems development will appreciate this practical illustrated guide, which was first published in 1982 and has since become a cult classic.

Offering such insights as "A problem is a difference between things as desired and things as perceived," and "In spite of appearances, people seldom know what they want until you give them what they ask for," authors Don Gause and Jerry Weinberg provide an entertaining look at ways to improve one's thinking power. The book playfully instructs the reader first to identify the problem, second to determine the problem's owner, third to identify where the problem came from, and fourth to determine whether or not to solve it.

Delightfully illustrated with 55 line drawings by Sally Cox, the book conveys a message that will change the way you think about projects and problems.

What Did You Say?  The Art of Giving and Receiving Feedback

What Did You Say? The Art of Giving and Receiving Feedback

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What Did You Say? is the second revised edition of a classic book on human behavior, written by three of the most famous organizational consultants: Charlie Seashore, Edie Seashore, and Jerry Weinberg.

Offering opinions is the second most necessary ingredient for human life. Studies show that we can go only three minutes without air, perhaps three days without water, maybe three weeks without food. . . and but three hours without offering somebody our suggestions, responses, or critiques. A perennial "hot" topic in management circles is the process of giving, getting and analyzing advice. 

This brief and engaging book can be of use to anyone who has to interact with other people. You'll enjoy the "read" so much that you may not realize how much you have gained - all in words of one syllable!

How to offer feedback when asked (or hired) to do so. Why feedback tells more about the giver than the receiver. How feedback is distorted or resisted by the receiver's point of view and defense mechanisms. And in dozens of enjoyable vignettes, how humans have struggled to understand each others' responses.

Some Reviews

If I had the power to transport one book back in time and send it to myself, this would be the one. This is the book I needed when I became a people manager. It's also the book I needed when I began to raise my kids. In fact, I can't think of a time in my life when I did not wish I had more of the skills this book teaches. A simple but very deep book that causes a new level of understanding about how to talk to people with each reading. The authors draw on the best ideas from the great psychologists and show how to use them practically in everyday interactions. The short volume is easy to read and full of examples that can be immediately applied. In my humble opinion, this book is indespensible when managing people at work and managing close relationships at home. The conversational and entertaining style is a plus.—R. Fink

Here is my bias - this is a must have book for anyone in the coaching, management consulting, facilitation or training business. In fact it is a must read for everyone. The authors follow a sensible and clear route that would be a benefit to any reader. It is small, easy to read and powerful. The vignettes display excellent examples and the exercises at the end of each short chapter are practical. The italics of fantasy and fact regarding "feedback" makes for an even faster read. You can browse through it quickly to find the passages where you wish to focus.

The book is short and sweet enough but you can find it completely summarized in three pages in the Epilogue. If it sounds as if there isn't much meat to this book, think again. It is deceptively challenging but not daunting. It makes a great reference book that I like to come back to time and time again.—Roberta Hill

I had several 'ahas' reading this clear and entertaining excursion into everyday interactions. Feedback should be given sparingly and taken thoughtfully - with a grain of salt. That's one (of many) useful messages demonstrated here. --Marvin Weisbord, author Productive Workplaces

This is a how-to book about relationships with depth, humor and insight far beyond the ordinary. (The authors) deal masterfully with the contradictory impulses we all feel to 'say it like it is' or flee in terror. --Barbara Benedict Bunker, Organizational Consultant, Professor, SUNY at Buffalo

The authors of this wonderful book have untangled and demythologized feedback! --Elsie Y. Cross, CEO, Elsie Y. Cross Associates

Exploring Requirements One

Exploring Requirements One

Quality Before Design
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John von Neumann once said, "There's no sense being exact about something if you don't even know what you're talking about." In a world that is growing increasingly dependent on highly complex, computer-based systems, the importance of defining what you want to make before making it—that is, knowing what you're talking about—cannot be stressed enough.

Here's an innovative book that gives you the understanding you need to give people the solutions they want. The collaborative team of Gause and Weinberg tells how you can assure the requirements are right—before the product is designed.

Written by two recognized authorities in the field, this book is a collection of ideas developed, refined, and tested during their more than sixty combined years of work with both large and small organizations.

The techniques formulated in Exploring Requirements are not confined to software development; they have been used effectively to develop a wide range of products and systems—from computer software to furniture, books, and buildings.

Systems analysts and anyone involved with the challenges of the requirements process will greatly benefit from this book.

Renowned leaders in the software industry have this to say about Exploring Requirements:

"Anyone who wants to build a product should understand this book."—Watts S. Humphrey, SEI

Exploring Requirements Two

Exploring Requirements Two

First Steps to Design
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John von Neumann once said, "There's no sense being exact about something if you don't even know what you're talking about." In a world that is growing increasingly dependent on highly complex, computer-based systems, the importance of defining what you want to make before making it—that is, knowing what you're talking about—cannot be stressed enough.

Here's an innovative book that gives you the understanding you need to give people the solutions they want. The collaborative team of Gause and Weinberg tells how you can assure the requirements are right—before the product is designed.

Written by two recognized authorities in the field, this book is a collection of ideas developed, refined, and tested during their more than sixty combined years of work with both large and small organizations.

The techniques formulated in Exploring Requirements are not confined to software development; they have been used effectively to develop a wide range of products and systems—from computer software to furniture, books, and buildings.

Systems analysts and anyone involved with the challenges of the requirements process will greatly benefit from this book.

Renowned leaders in the software industry have this to say about Exploring Requirements:

"Anyone who wants to build a product should understand this book."—Watts S. Humphrey, SEI

"Consciousness raising for systems analysts." —Tom Demarco, Atlantic Systems Guild

". . . a superb new book on systems analysis. . . . you simply must read and absorb this gem. It complements every brand-name systems analysis methodology currently being practiced." —Ed Yourdon, American Programmer

". . . provides an excellent set of principles amply illustrated by relevant and thought-provoking examples."—Barry Boehm, UCLA

"The title lays it out, that exploring requirements does imply quality before design, and the text provides the social, psychological, and intellectual processes to carry it out. Gause and Weinberg are unique in their experiences and abilities in the subject."— Harlan D. Mills, Florida Institute of Technology

Becoming a Change Artist

Becoming a Change Artist

Volume 7: Quality Software Series
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In Volume 7 of the highly acclaimed Quality Software series, Gerald M. Weinberg illustrates how skilled people (Change Artists) work to create a supportive environment for software engineering —an environment in which your organization can realize long-lasting gains in quality and productivity by learning the artistry of managing change.

As the author argues, the history of software engineering is riddled with failed attempts to improve quality and productivity without first creating a supportive environment. Many managers spend their money on tools, methodologies, outsourcing, training, and application packages, but they rarely spend anything to improve or to remove the leaders who created those situations in the first place.

From systems thinking to project management to technology transfer to the interaction of culture and process, Becoming a Change Artist analyzes models of how change really happens, and how change artistry creates the environment for all other changes.

More Secrets of Consulting

More Secrets of Consulting

The Consultant's Tool-Kit
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More Secrets of Consulting is a sequel or extension to The Secrets of Consulting, but the two books may be read in either order. One reviewer said: "Just buy this book and improve your life. I add Mr. Weinberg to a short list of those authors and persons in my life that have made me a better person and provided some direction to the chaos of the universe."

Another reviewer said: The "Consultant's Tool Kit" of the subtitle is actually a complex metaphor. Each component of the toolkit is a metaphor for a certain aspect of your personality and personal capabilities. For example, the wishing wand is a metaphor for understanding, and being able to ask for, what you want from a professional relationship. The chapter around this metaphor first explores why most people either don't know what they want or are unable to express it, and suggests ways to make your wishes clearer. It places this in a professional context, contract negotiation, and emphasizes how the personal ability to express and value your wishes will help you negotiate more successfully.

In a similar way other chapters focus on developing wisdom and new knowledge, managing time and information, being courageous with your decisions, learning how to say yes and no, understanding why you and others are in the current situation, and keeping yourself in balance, avoiding burnout and other self-destructive conditions.

These are all important not only to consultants, but to anyone trying to establish a more satisfying professional or personal life by managing problems, by self-improvement and by better handling their relationships to other people.

Michael Larsen said, " More Secrets of Consulting" is a gem of a book, and remarkably quick reading.. Needless to say, a single read through will not impart all the wisdom and experience of this book, but there's much to ponder, and it's my hope I'll be able to put much of this in practice in my most recent venture. Perhaps a year from now, I'll be able to come back and see how well I did :).

Matthew D Edwards wrote: "Developing MORE of your soft and thinking skills. This builds on the first book in this series and is the same caliber, class and application value as the first. More insight from a consultant/leader/teacher with years of experience.

Randy Given said, "This book is much better than the original 'Secrets of Consulting.' The original was released quite a while ago, and you can tell that the author has learned a lot in the meantime, and is better at presenting it. I would have given the original three stars, maybe four. This book I give five stars. Some of my bias may be that this book is more at the level of my current software consulting experience. Some of the topics (e.g., burnout) are sorely needed right now! It is good to see good books at good prices again. If you are a consultant, at least give this title a try.

Charles Ashbacher said, "If you were to buy this book and the previous one, 'Secrets of Consulting,' and read them, then your next step should be to place one in each of your hip pockets. For that is the only part of being a consultant not covered in these books. Wrapped in the guise of folk wisdom, the advice given here could and should be part of a business degree. For, no matter what the circumstances and the size of the companies represented on both sides, a business deal still reduces down to individuals who trust each other enough to 'like' each other in the business sense.

In many ways, you are being paid to tell your customers when they are not right and to do anything other than that is a moral breach of your contract. Weinberg spends a great deal of time in explaining how to deal with this critical situation and that advice hits the dime-sized target.

No one writes business advice better than Weinberg. If he ever decides to give up writing about business, he could make a career out of writing personal self-help books. It will be on my top ten books of the year list.

Becoming a Technical Leader

Becoming a Technical Leader

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Becoming a Technical Leader is a personalized guide to developing the qualities that make a successful leader. It identifies which leadership skills are most effective in a technical environment and why technical people have characteristic trouble in making the transition to a leadership role. For anyone who is a leader, hopes to be one, or would like to avoid being one

This is an excellent book for anyone who is a leader, who wants to be a leader, or who thinks only people with 'leader' or 'manager' in their title are leaders. The book can be described briefly as a guide to developing personal leadership potential, but it is much more than that . . . it is filled with useful insights into personal growth as a professional

Readers say it's always fascinating, and "focuses our attention on what it takes to make teams of thinking technical people work effectively together." Moreover, they say "it's always extremely practical and down-to-earth.

Becoming a Technical Leader is the "textbook" for Jerry Weinberg's world-famous Problem Solving Leadership Workshop. It consists of twenty-four well-reasoned, thought-provoking chapters on making the change from technical star to problem-solving leader.

About the Author

Gerald M. Weinberg
Gerald M. Weinberg

I've always been interested in helping smart people be happy and productive. To that end, I've published books on human behavior, including Weinberg on Writing: The Fieldstone Method, The Psychology of Computer Programming, Perfect Software and Other Fallacies, and an Introduction to General Systems Thinking. I've also written books on leadership including Becoming a Technical Leader, The Secrets of Consulting (Foreword by Virginia Satir), More Secrets of Consulting, and the nine-volume Quality Software series.

I try to incorporate my knowledge of science, engineering, and human behavior into all of my writing and consulting work (with writers, hi-tech researchers, software engineers, and people whose life-situation could require the use of a service dog). I write novels about such people, including The Aremac Project, Aremac Power, Jigglers, First Stringers, Second Stringers, The Hands of God, Freshman Murders, Where There's a Will There's a Murder, Earth's Endless Effort, and Mistress of Molecules—all about how my brilliant protagonists produce quality work and learn to be happy. My books that are not yet on Leanpub may be found as eBooks at <http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/JerryWeinberg>; on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B000AP8TZ8; and at Barnes and Noble bookstore: http://tinyurl.com/4eudqk5.

Early in my career, I was the architect for the Project Mercury's space tracking network and designer of the world's first multiprogrammed operating system. I won the Warnier Prize, the Stevens Award, and the first Software Testing Professionals' Luminary Award, all for my writing on software quality. I was also elected a charter member of the Computing Hall of Fame in San Diego and chosen for the University of Nebraska Hall of Fame.

But the "award" I'm most proud of is the book, The Gift of Time (Fiona Charles, ed.) written by my student and readers for my 75th birthday. Their stories make me feel that I've been at least partially successful at helping smart people be happy.

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