Don’t Take Yes for an Answer by Steve Herz [Book Summary – Review]

Are you fed up with witnessing other individuals getting promotions instead of you, or other people getting the work you wished for? You are most likely perplexed about the reason why this occurs all the time especially if you are as skilled and proficient as your contenders. This even becomes more perplexing when your boss constantly says she is delighted with the work you do. 

What is probably absent from your expertise are three key things that make you stand out as a leader. These three keys allow you to communicate properly while at the same time working on trust, this allows you to market yourself as well as your expertise to other people. 

You will discover ways to show the three keys in this book. As soon as you have learned them, you will take yourself away from inferiority and get to your maximum ability. 

Also, in these chapters, you will learn about the following

  • the reason praise isn’t usually important;
  • how you can learn about impacting other individuals from the song titled Stairway to Heaven; and
  • the key element that makes you bold and brings others to you.

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Chapter 1 – The impression you make on other people is far more significant compared to your skill.

Do you know the similarity between designer Ralph Lauren, British King George VI, and actress Lucille Ball? All three of them realized that something was hindering them from getting to their maximum ability. Also, significantly, all three of them took bold measures to defeat that obstruction hindering them from flourishing.

Lucille Ball’s hair color was brown and she changed that to red which gave her a renowned image. As for Lauren, he changed his Last name from Lifshitz. Then King George VI employed a speech therapist to end his stammer. These transformations differ in importance; however, all of these happened as the outcome of a similar truth. Regardless of whether it is appropriate or not, the impression you make at first matters. 

The main point here is that: The impression you make on other people is far more significant compared to your skill.

At times, the thing that hinders us is not as evident as a last name that sounds similar to a cuss. You can have the appropriate knowledge, experience, educational background, certifications as well as connections, and yet constantly fail to get the promotion you yearn for. 

Assuming you find yourself in a similar position, being unable to climb the ladder most likely doesn’t have any association with your technical know-how, but is related to the impression you make on others. Based on research that was done by the Carnegie Foundation, it was revealed that, when we talk about success, your capability to relate with other people is 85% more significant than your skill. 

Assuming you are a shy, dull, aggressive, and not a bold person, it will be pointless if you are intelligent. You basically will not be seen as a leader who can communicate with other people successfully. Also, that implies that you never make progress. 

Likewise, if you are unable to pass across your message properly, others will not notice the importance of your ideas. It is somewhat similar to you doing a significant presentation; however, there’s some spinach in between your teeth. Nobody will pay attention to the message you want to pass across; the only thing they will focus on is the spinach. 

Fortunately, by making use of the AWE approach, you can acquire skills that will change you into a very compelling individual in the room. It merges authority, warmth, as well as energy to assist you in communicating with other people from the minute you come across them. By doing this, you can form a genuine and captivating first impression. 

In the other chapters, we will examine every part of AWE. However, firstly, we need to take a fine, prolonged look in the mirror. 

Chapter 2 – Western culture tends to shy away from receiving feedback.

Ina was working as a senior executive for an average-sized company. Her responsibility was to give suggestions to the executive department. Ina was capable and a diligent worker. However, she lacked presentation skills. Her presentation was dull and nobody believed in her perspective. Also, millions of dollars were on the line.

The Author of this book,  Steve Herz was hired to coach Ina; however, she was not dedicated to this. Also, the blame cannot be put on her. Nobody informed her that there was a need for her to fine-tune her communication abilities; therefore, the coaching wasn’t seen as a big deal to her. If the management had told her earlier on, she might have been serious with the feedback. Rather, she eventually lost her job not knowing the reason it happened. 

The main message here is: That Western culture tends to shy away from receiving feedback.

A lot of us are living in cultures that think we are not that strong to handle constructive criticism or being turned down. This is the finding of the self-esteem campaign that took place during the late 1980s and 1990s in America. This properly arranged campaign of self-esteem distorted the definition of greatness. Praise was not a thing you earn anymore, it now changed to a thing you anticipate. Similar to Ina, it became harder for one to know places they need to work on if they wish to make progress in their profession. 

This particular culture of praising excessively starts as a child. Children get praise and gifts only for being involved regardless of their performance. Schools also follow this pattern. Public institutions as well as colleges reduce their criteria to get grants and reach a high proportion of graduation. When the students finish school, they lack an authentic sense of their skills. Additionally, they have been refused the opportunity to form resilience before they get into the work environment. 

These work environments work under the disguise of dread. They are extremely scared of costly lawsuits and due to this, nobody gets sacked anymore. They are made repetitive, moving forward or their agreements come to an end. Some places of work are afraid of charges of prejudice. This implies that females or people of color don’t get feedback that would help make them progress. 

For you to forgo mediocrity, you need to know that the majority of the people will not give you a truthful review of your performance. You have to stop believing the fallacy that you are intelligent already. Take charge of your victory by seeking coworkers that you trust and asking them straight questions on the places that need improvement. Also, significantly, be open to their replies. 

Chapter 3 – You can utilize your voice as a means to express authority.

The record consists of powerful leaders who understood how to stir up the crowd. The rousing speeches of Winston Churchill held Britain all through the Second World War. Mahatma Gandhi’s peaceful perseverance brought about Independence for India. Also, the recordings of the speech Martin Luther King Jr. gave  “I Have a Dream” keep encouraging people in the fight for civil rights. 

 The key thing that makes these leaders extremely captivating is their strong belief in themselves. Although their manner of delivery differs, all of them know that you can get people to have faith in you when you communicate with boldness and coherence. Also, as soon as you have earned their trust, you can then persuade them to walk in your path. 

The main point here is that you can utilize your voice as a means to express authority.

Authority is the first key in the AWE technique. Authority puts you in the leadership position, a person that others want to follow because they are motivated. You need to listen to your voice to accomplish that. 

You might believe that your voice is not important assuming you are not an advocate or a politician. Either you are giving your opinion to your supervisor, or suggesting the need for a new garden during your community meeting, you have to voice out with confidence. Or else, the crowd won’t pay attention to what you have to say talkless of believing that you are correct.

Therefore, how do you utilize your voice to gain other people’s trust?

The first thing to do is to listen to the tone. Unfortunately, there is a prejudice against those with a low tone of voice since we link it to age and; hence, intelligence. This has an impact on everybody even men as well. According to research that Duke University did, it was revealed that men with a low tone of voice make more money and direct bigger firms than high-toned male coworkers. 

The second thing to do is to control your pace. Say you are willing to convince a person, you are tempted to continue talking. However, this gets overwhelming for the person listening. For you to communicate with authority, utilize concise, cool, and declarative words. 

Also, do not be scared of quietness. Pausing and thinking before you utter any word is way more powerful than mumbling. Likewise, take note of filler terms or words, for instance, um, like, or you know. This shows a lack of experience. 

Lastly, keep your tone moderate. You are most likely aware from experience that someone who is the loudest in the space is not a person others respect. Instead of talking out loud, concentrate on saying every word and ensure you finish every word without derailing. Also, ensure to stretch your tone. The Monotone is quite dull and uninteresting. Making the crowd sleep won’t be of any assistance. 

Chapter 4 – Improve your presence to give authority.

Steve Jobs is well known for changing Apple which was close to going bankrupt into one of the most thriving worldwide brands. Jobs possesses a sense of authority, and he conveys this without the need to dress formally. His recognizable outfit consisting of wire-framed glasses, a black turtleneck, jeans, and a pair of sneakers established a connection with his audience, making him approachable. Tech-obsessed individuals around the globe who use Apple viewed themselves in his nerdy outfit. 

However, Jobs’ authoritative presence wasn’t solely based on how he dressed. Likewise, he possessed the art of body language. From Job’s confident stride to his impeccable posture, He projected himself as a person who is worthy of being a leader. Together with his knowledge in earning people’s trust and respect further propelled him to the status of a star.

The main point here is to improve your presence to give authority.

Your presence is the impression you leave on other people; it’s your aura. This aura has to harmonize with both your audience as well as your goals or else it won’t be impactful. Let’s look at this example, consider the security personnel at a nightclub. They exude authority from their physical appearance and boldness. This naturally encourages patrons to comply.

However, this pattern of authority won’t work if you are attempting to persuade a person to trust you. For instance, Clarissa Ward, the CNN chief international correspondent, shows a slight, deliberate authority that does not even attempt to proclaim itself. Doing this lets her get details from tricky matters, for instance, jihadists. By remaining collected and constantly being respectful, she can interview others effectively, even in situations when they are offensive. 

Ward recognizes that showing authority doesn’t involve being confrontational. Once you engage in arguments or conflicts, it tends to disrupt communication. Rather, individuals are better able to communicate in a setting that is among peers. Trust can be built by fostering a sense of mutuality instead of superiority. 

A person with genuine authority possesses the boldness to stop and allow others to create their ideas. Avoid sabotaging your sense of presence trying to persuade other people that your idea is valuable. Doing this will make you appear feeble and insecure. Rather, clearly say your idea. After, provide your audience with the opportunity to make their own decisions. By doing this, you show authority, say it is during a job interview or you are presenting your idea to a client. 

Chapter 5 – Authority is insignificant in the absence of warmth.

Sometime in the past, during the first year of the author directing the IF Management (which is a talent agency for journalists that are just starting). During that moment, he was preoccupied with working on his reputation and his list of clients. On one occasion, a driven, young newscaster reached out to him, seeking representation. Upon her visit to the office, he recognized her significant ability. Therefore, he did all he could to sway her with his most captivating stories. He was certain they would connect well. 

However, at the end of the meeting, a coworker of the author forecasted that the newscaster would never reach out again. The colleague predicted correctly. Rather than talking about the newscaster’s profession, Herz had monologued himself. He had shown authority, but without warmth, this signified that he was unable to connect properly.

The main point here is that authority is insignificant in the absence of warmth.

Warmth is the second key in the AWE technique. Warmth is the ability that enables you to establish authentic relationships with other people. If you don’t possess genuine warmth,  individuals are likely to shut themselves out to your authority.

Warmth builds understanding and it serves as the foundation for all human connections. Also, understanding is the cornerstone for cultivating trust, a pivotal element in any relationship. During the author’s encounter with the newscaster, he had concentrated a lot on promoting himself and he failed to demonstrate any comprehension of her career. As a result, she had no reason to put her trust in him to represent her.

Warmth occurs when you make an effort to discover shared interests with other people. This does not in any way imply that you cannot establish warmth with a person you do not share a common interest with. In situations like these, you have to put in more effort and be more clever to discover common ground. 

Showing warmth entails listening to other people; therefore, engaging meaningfully in the topics that matter to them. A lot of managers may not be comfortable about embracing warmth, thinking it might weaken their authority. However, the reality is quite the opposite.

Authoritarian supervisors drive productivity by instilling dread, and insisting on exceptional performance while displaying a lack of concern for their employees. In contrast, authoritative leaders motivate their employees to collaborate in pursuit of a common aim. This leadership approach cultivates creativity, dedication, and well as resourcefulness, all of which are valuable assets for any group. Furthermore, it enhances employee retention as it makes the staff feel nurtured and appreciated.

Employing a warm and empathetic approach, you can encourage individuals to unite and support your goal. You will see this come into play in the next chapter. 

Chapter 6 – You need to give your complete attention to others to establish warmth.

An embodiment of warmth is Al Roker who is NBC’s Today show weatherman. Calmed and welcoming, his cordial smile instantly makes others feel comfortable. However, it is beyond that. 

There was a time when the author and Roker shared the same space in an office in Manhattan’s iconic Fisk building. Although Roker was already widely known at that moment. However, he had a remarkable ability to make the author feel like the most significant person around. However, Herz observed that it was not a nice treatment. Roker extended this same level of attention to everybody he came across. This made people love him everywhere. 

The main point here is that you need to give your complete attention to others to establish warmth.

In order to establish warmth, focus on how your audience reacts. Although there might be tension at times, you have the ability to defuse them with warmth. In case tension happens while having a conversation, take a break and inquire about what might be troubling the other person. Paying rapt attention to her response will provide you with the opportunity to catch a breath. Similarly, it will reduce friction by making her aware that you are keen on listening to her. This display of warmth will reduce the defensiveness of your counterpart.

Additionally, be mindful of your body gestures. If your mind is not there, it will manifest in your body language. Your appearance may seem empty, or you might unconsciously place your hand on the doorknob. There is nothing that diminishes warmth more rapidly than being mentally absent; therefore remain fully present and concentrate on relating with your audience.

People who are warm accept other people as humans like themselves by putting active listening into practice. Active listening is the ability to concentrate on what another person is saying at that point and not think of your reply. Rather you are paying attention to the other party’s stance and ideas.

For you to carry this out, you need to let him talk without interrupting. Also, when he is done, you have to assert that you understood what he spoke about, irrespective of whether you accept his view or not. That is a successful approach to fostering trust and relationships. 

Likewise, listening actively gives you an understanding of other people’s worries and desires. This enriches you with significant details about issues that need fixing, placing you in a spot to help them.

Lastly, your voice is an important part of summoning warmth. Speaking immediately, extremely loud, or extremely high will put to death the warmth in your voice; therefore concentrate on the tone of your voice. 

Chapter 7 – Influence is the same as energy.

During the author’s first year of law studies at Vanderbilt University, he enrolled in a compulsory constitutional law course. This particular class was known for being extremely boring. However, in that particular year, there was a new professor named Barry Friedman and he taught the course. Also, he was quite fascinating. Regardless of his small size, Friedman owned the class. He could create a narrative centered around his content and he knew how to pass across that story in a captivating manner.

Each session was a captivating experience. As Friedman was walking around the class, he began slowly and gradually built up to a climactic point. It was akin to listening to Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven.” With energy oozing from him, Friedman stirred the class by showing how constitutional law impacted their day-to-day life. He was encouraging and this made Herz eagerly enroll in all of his classes.

The key message here is that influence is the same as energy.

The third key in the AWE technique is energy. It is the feature that kickstarts AWE. Authority brings about respect. Warmth lets you win other people’s trust. Energy encourages others to follow in your footsteps.

Energy merges confidence in your message with drive. If you are extremely confident in the message you are passing across, people listening to you will be persuaded to accept what you are saying. However, this can only occur if you are present, completely focused on the now, and genuine. 

What supplies energy and its strength is emotional connection. Regardless of whether you are meeting a person in the lecture hall or at the mall, demonstrate warmth through direct eye contact and this builds connection. Also, as soon as a connection is formed, then you can encourage them to trust your idea by making it personally meaningful to them. This approach was Friedman’s.

Therefore, warmth as well as energy are connected. You have probably been in the same space with somebody who is overzealous, a person who is totally indifferent to others. This is a clear example of energy without warmth. There is no opportunity for meaningful connection with someone who acts like that.

On the other hand, an individual who is warm but lacks energy will struggle to gain people’s trust. For example, an empathetic and kind worker with a low level of energy may be overlooked when it comes to promotions. She may not be perceived as a person who has management potential. In managerial positions, the ability to inspire and persuade teams is essential, making energy a crucial attribute. Simply being well-liked is insufficient. One needs to possess the ability to motivate other people to follow their lead.

Therefore, how can one harness energy to motivate other people without becoming oppressive? The following chapter will talk about that in more detail.

Chapter 8 – In order to utilize energy appropriately, concentrate on the needs of other people.

Say for instance you want to present to a large number of people. While you anxiously wait to be summoned to the stage, you begin to think about disappointment. What happens say you make an error? What happens if you encounter stage fright? How will others view you?

You get to the stage and you begin to notice that your knees as well as hands are shaking. It is obvious that your voice is shaking and you are beginning to sweat. You are extremely hunted by the dread of getting judged and you hardly finished your presentation.

The main point here is that in order to utilize energy appropriately, concentrate on the needs of other people.

The strongest thing one can do in order to give yourself energy is to concentrate on others. Questioning yourself on the things you can help other people with instantly changes the direction and it fills you with energy that is positive. 

Rather than being self-aware, say to yourself that you are capable of assisting other people by sharing your understanding or taking part pf community service – no matter what you do. By doing this, it will show that you are real.

When you concentrate on other people, you need to also modify your energy based on that. Pay attention to the different sounds of energy levels in your surroundings. Doing this will draw people to you. Then you are in a pace to communicate in a manner that they will accept as well.

For instance, a sports commentator who speaks so fast could be intelligent at getting spectators at the stadium eager. However, she would have to utilize a mellow voice and energy level if she’s at a dinner with her family, or when talking to her son who is twelve.

Also, energized body gesture is essential as well. Utilize open hand movements above the waist region, and allow your feelings to reflect on your face. With body language, other people are able to tell what is going on, and this relieves them. Also, by doing this, it boosts that vital feeling of connection. 

Develop a profound love of gaining knowledge and curiosity, together with a genuine passion to assist other people. Also, ensure you don’t conceal these emotions from others. Cultivating these traits will turn you into a person that people are drawn to. Also, as soon as people are drawn to you, you can utilize the AWE technique to share your ideas with others. By doing this, you can convince them to take up the responsibility and assist you in achieving your aims.

Don’t Take Yes for an Answer: Using Authority, Warmth, and Energy to Get Exceptional Results by Steve Herz Book Review

In the absence of great communication abilities, you will never get to your maximum ability since others won’t know your worth. Communication is not something that everyone possesses; however, it doesn’t imply that it can’t be learned. Begin by getting more conscious of how you talk and your body movement. Do you behave in a manner that motivates respect as well as boldness? After, accept the value of other people by paying rapt attention while you are engaging with them. This kind of cordiality will bring others to you. Lastly, immerse all communication with contagious energy. By doing this, other people will develop an interest in your opinions. When you merge authority, and energy together with warmth, you have gotten the key to success. 

For you to boost your self-awareness, you should record yourself. 

Going through videos of yourself you have recorded, is an excellent manner to heighten your knowledge of the impression you make on others. Make use of your smart devices to take videos of yourself as much as you can. Record messages for your loved ones, learn a monologue and video yourself voicing it out while you are headed or driving to a place. With your coworkers’ consent, you can also make recordings during meetings at work. With time, you won’t even remember that you are filming and will begin to behave naturally. View this video to have a knowledge of how you sound and your body gestures. After, you can now make amendments based on the AWE approach. 

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