25 Ways to Win With People by John Maxwell and Les Parrott, PH.D.

Product Details:

ISBN: 0-7852-6094-3
Format: Hardback, 184 pp
Pub. Date: June 2005
Nelson Publishers

I have often said that I would rather hire someone who has good people skills and train them how to test, since it is easier to teach testing skills than people skills. After reading this book, my attitude about training people to get along with others is changing.

You probably know someone who always seems to rub others the wrong way and it seems pretty hopeless for them to get along with others. In fact, you may be that person.

The good news is that this book gives you 25 very tangible and achievable things to do that will make dealing with others an enjoyable and productive experience. Here are some examples. Each one has a short chapter devoted to it.

#1 - Start with Yourself

I found this to be the foundational chapter and I'm glad they placed it at the beginning of the book. If you don't understand and accept your value, it will be hard to add value to others. How we see ourselves has a big impact on how we see others!

#5 - Compliment People in Front of Other People

Say the authors, "A private compliment turned public, instantly and dramatically increases in value."

There are 23 other ways in the book, each of which will help anyone become a better "people person." If you take one of these chapters a week to learn and integrate into your life, you will see amazing things happen.

Another thing I like about the book is that each chapter is structured to give application, not theory. You will read all kinds of real-life examples about how the authors have used these ways in action.

Unfortunately, people relegate these types of topics to "soft skills" and give them lower priority than the "hard skills" of writing test cases, etc.  My view is that testing and software quality is fundamentally a human-oriented activity and the soft skills are just as important as the hard skills. This would be a great book to add to a team's library, read for yourself, or to wrap in a brown paper cover and give to that people-challenged person you may know!

Readability - 5
Coverage of topics - 5
Depth of coverage - 4
Credibility - 5
Accuracy - 5
Relevance to software quality - 5
Overall - 5 

Reviewed by Randy Rice