Get Better by Todd Davis

Friday, September 28, 2018


Delray Beach, FL–I purchased the book because I liked the title – Get Better: 15 Proven Practices to Build Effective Relationships at Work.

It seemed like it was going to be the sort of book that contains observations and advice that are sensible but not remarkable. Like it was going to be a book made by taking a listicle and expanding each bullet into a chapter.

And that’s what it turned out to be. Not a bad book. But one that could be scanned (rather than read word-for-word) without fear of losing much.

Below, you can see seven of its ideas along with my reactions…

Idea #1: To be a good relationship builder you must start by identifying the various roles you play, both within your business and in your personal life.

Me: Half right. Building a good life requires that sort of thinking. Building a business affects your personal life (and vice versa), but there’s no rule that you have to pay attention to it.

Idea #2: Learn to differentiate between non-important urgencies and those that matter greatly in the long run.

Me: Yes. This is extremely important in terms of personal productivity and achieving goals. I’m not sure why the author included it, since it’s only marginally related to relationship building. But, yes, very important.

Idea #3: Focus on collaboration, not competition, by thinking how everyone can benefit.

Me. Yes. Competition has its place in business, but cooperation is much stronger and much longer lasting.

Idea #4: Become a good listener.

Me: I hate this advice. But I think it’s true. So long as by being “a good listener” you mean listening so that you understand what is being said (and not being said) with the goal of advancing the business relationship, not taking care of the other’s psychological needs.

Idea #5: Work hard to make your employees feel that you trust them.

Me: Yes… unless you don’t. If you don’t trust them, get rid of them.

Idea #6: Promote a safe and respectful work environment.

Me: This is a good thing to do if by “safe” you mean that people feel safe to work hard and contribute to the business. If you take “safe and respectful” to mean they don’t have to worry about getting their feelings hurt, you are focusing on the wrong thing. Every hour you spend dealing with gender pronouns, for example, is an hour better devoted to creating profits.

Idea #7: Learn not to react too quickly. Learn to mull things over before you respond.

Me: Right. I wish I could have learned to do that. I managed to grow my businesses without this skill, but it is something that would have helped me. I’m working on it and probably will continue to work on it till I fall over.