Book review: How to Get Your Own Way

Emma De Vita reviews the book by Craig Shrives and Paul Easter

How to Get Your Own Way
How to Get Your Own Way

Craig Shrives and Paul Easter are former officers in the British Army Intelligence Corps. Their book, How to Get Your Own Way, is about giving you "an edge that will help you slice through the noise of modern life to get more done and to defend yourself from those trying to manipulate you". Considering the experience of the authors, it's no surprise that their tone is a little suspicious.

They do make a valid point: that in order to get ahead in your career you need to win the attention of the right people. "Busy people don't care what you've got to say unless it directly affects or entertains them," they write.

The authors' most interesting revelations are in the chapter about biases - how to guard against your own so that you can defend yourself against other people's mind games, and how to exploit those of other people so that you can get your own way. These biases range from the Barnum Effect, when you fool yourself into believing that a generalisation made about you (for example, that you are a great judge of character) is accurate, to the Good Looking People Bias, when you think that a beautiful person is more deserving of your attention. It's time to be on guard.

Emma De Vita is books editor of Management Today

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