Sunday, August 10, 2008

Winning with People, A book by John Maxwell published by Thomas Nelson, 2004, 272 pages, Nonfiction, Interpersonal Relationships and Communication, Religious Aspects, Christianity.

Writing is only one of the skills a writer must work to develop and hone. I know that I’ve had to learn how to research, and yes, it is a skill. While I miss the good old days at the library, I thank God for the Internet. Still, to keep up with modern technology, I was forced to upgrade my researching skills to access the unlimited information on the Web. If we are blessed enough to get a novel published, overnight we have to become experts in marketing. The list goes on.
Writing may seem like the loneliest job in town, next to the Maytag repair man, but in fact we deal with many people. Working with other human beings is another ability we need to cultivate. We need to learn to network effectively, to pitch an idea to an editor or an agent, to encourage other writers in our local critique groups, and so on.

One of the finest books I’ve read on the subject of relationships is Winning with People by John C. Maxwell. Mr. Maxwell is a Pastor and a renowned expert on leadership who personally teaches thousands of people in seminars each year. He has founded several organizations committed to helping people reach their leadership potentials and he has written more than thirty books.

Winning with People crosses the barrier from Fortune 500 executive to the average Joe (or Jane, as the case may be), helping the reader improve existing relationships while building exciting new ones. Mr. Maxwell blends facts, humor, and personal experience to teach twenty-five People Principles for true success in life by winning with people rather than competing against them.

The life principles are broken down into five relationship levels and include: The Pain Principle: Hurting People Hurt People and Are Easily Hurt by Them, The Hammer Principle: Never Use a Hammer to Swat a Fly off Someone’s Head, The Big Picture Principle: The Entire Population of the World—with One Minor Exception—Is Composed of Others, The Exchange Principle: Instead of Putting Others in Their Place, We Must Put Ourselves in Their Place, The Bob Principle: When Bob Has a Problem with Everyone, Bob is Usually the Problem, The Foxhole Principle: When Preparing for Battle, Dig a Foxhole Big Enough for a Friend, The 101 Percent Principle: Find the One Percent We Agree On and Give it One Hundred Percent, and The High Road Principle: We Go to a Higher Level When We Treat Others Better Than They Treat Us.

There are many more and each one ends with thought and discussion provoking questions.
Mr. Maxwell is an excellent writer and a gifted people person. I discovered a great deal about myself (often painful truth) while learning the art of dealing with others. I highly recommend this book to anyone who cares about the people they love, work, and play with.


  1. Shirley, I've read other books by John Maxwell. He's a good motivator. I haven't read this one. Thanks for the recommendation. I might have to check it out.

  2. This would be a good book for character development also. I think we all can use some help in learning to get along with others. Your sense of humor comes through in your writing. I can hear your voice speaking this when I read it.

  3. I remember when I was younger, I was extremely shy. Someone bought me the book, How to Win Friends and Influence People. Having a book to help me respond to people and teach me how to relate to people help me alot. This book sounds similar.


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