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35 of 38 found the following review helpful:
The Authors of "Sway" Explore the Hidden Factors Behind "Clicking" May 25, 2010
By Kevin Currie-Knight
The Brafman brothers are back. In their previous bestseller Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior, these two (one a psychologist, the other a business consultant) looked at the hidden mental factors that sometimes get in the way of wholly rational decision making. In Click, they turn their attention to the hidden components behind human connections. What are the ingredients that increase likelihood of enduring and trusting connections? Why do some instances lead to 'clicking' and others do not?
The Brofmans' survey of the literature has yielded several factors that lend themselves to making personal connections (what they call "click accelerators": vulnerability, proximity, flow, similarity, environment, engagement, and (of course) a little magic. Each chapter is structured around one of these factors, explaining in lay terms the data around how each works to enhance the likelihood of personal connection.
To take two of these, let's look briefly at "proximity" and "environment." For the former, the authors detail several studies (one involving police cadets in Maryland, another college students) demonstrating that we are often closest to those who sit, live, or work physically close to us REGARDLESS OF COMMONALITY. In other words, when asked to list the cadets they are closest to, the police cadets consistently chose those who sat and worked near them, and this factor was a more powerful predictor than any other.
Now for "environment." Here, the authors' message is that one's surroundings play a crucial role in deciding whether the people in them will form relationships. Particularly of interest is that, as studies with war veterans have shown, the more traumatic and stressful the environment, the more likely the people in it are to become close. (My thoughts are that this goes nicely with the chapter on vulnerability, because those in stressful environments tend to depend on each other more, and hence show each other their vulnerabilities. That may well make their bond stronger).
All in all, I liked this book. I didn't find anything spectacular in it but I will chalk that as much up to personal interest as to the book's quality (I am mildly, but not excitedly, interested in its topic). There is not too terribly much surprising or counter-intuitive information in the book, but what it does do well is take something familiar (the feeling of clicking with others) and analyzes it in a way few of us really do. It will not be very useful to those (business folk, maybe) who want to learn how to improve interpersonal skills, as it offers little by way of concrete advice. For the rest of us, who are just interested in the psychology behind 'clicking,' the book is a good, interesting, and fairly quick read.
20 of 22 found the following review helpful:
Bet you'll use at least one thing you learn from it. Jun 07, 2010
By J. Lee
Why do we sometimes just instantly "click" with people? The Brafman brothers have come up with a "recipe" they believe answers this question. And, they've written a well-organized, engaging and easy-to-read book which combines the results of interesting social psychology research with anecdotal stories to get it across.
Each ingredient of the recipe for making more immediate and deeper connections - which include making oneself vulnerable, proximity/touching, resonance, finding similarities, and environmental factors (like working together to overcome an adversary) - get their own chapter. The least useful or interesting of these for me was the chapter on Resonance, which seemingly just means being present and in the mentality that you want to connect.
But, the rest of it was incredibly fascinating to me. I particularly enjoyed the social psychology experiments they discuss - like pairing people up to work on a project and having half of their work partners casually touch them during the work, and the other half not to determine the importance of touch, or seeing if a person would donate more to someone if they shared the same birthday. As worthwhile are the great stories they interlace that demonstrate the powerful results that people can accomplish when they "click".
Bottom Line: Whether you want to improve professional or personal relationships, or just enjoy exploring human dynamics - you'll enjoy this book. And, unless you're already doing them all, I'll bet you find yourself at least trying out a couple of the things they mention.
27 of 32 found the following review helpful:
The Book Didn't Entirely Click For Me. Jun 04, 2010
By Michelle R
I selected Click because I generally like this type of book; however, there just didn't seem to be enough substance. Click is not a long book, by any means, but the information contained didn't even justify that length. If you sat people down and asked why people click, most fairly astute people could give you a fair summary of the findings of the authors. If the person has paid attention to similar topics in the past, he or she could do even better. People with things in common, who are similar, who spend time around one another, who go through traumas together, tend to click.
I did find one of the first parts of the book to be interesting, when it was discussed how allowing yourself to be vulnerable aids connection with others. It's of course logical but I'd given it little thought in the past -- how when you trust someone with your feelings, a bond is forged, and how taking that leap of faith is a simple way to connect.
In the end though I really didn't feel that there was enough to this book to maintain interest and that it needed to be expanded. Books like this should make the reader understand more and see the world and their interactions with it in a new light, and I really don't think that happened here. It'd be interesting enough to check out of the library or buy at a greatly reduced price, but I feel underwhelmed when I take the lack of overall substance into account.
7 of 8 found the following review helpful:
Really thought-provoking and thankfully not what I expected. May 29, 2010
What makes us, as individuals, connect instantly to some people? Why do we regard clicking as utterly random when it, like most psychological things, isn't really all that random? Why isn't something this important to us as a culture explored more by researchers?
Those are all really good questions, and weirdly, most of them haven't really been asked before in popular literature. This book actually does ask those questions -- and then follows up by asking the very logical next question: If clicking isn't all that random, how can someone learn to make it easier to happen?
This isn't really a "relationship" book in the sense of romantic love, though it touches on it here and there. What it really is is a study of one of the most important things that can possibly happen to a person: the experience of making an intense and almost instant connection with another. In that sense, "clicking" can happen in business and platonic as well as romantic settings, and it is in those other senses that the book spends most of its time. By extending that feeling of instant mutual connection from romance to business, it slowly leads readers to realize that those non-romantic connections can be just as beneficial to our mental health and happiness.
The psychological studies it mentions are intriguing and delightful to read; I hadn't realized just how little research there is in this field, but what little there is is eye-opening. The authors have carefully identified five different precursors to the experience of "clicking," with the implication that duplicating these five precursors will make clicking far more likely, sort of like how putting the right oils and proteins in a flask and running lightning through it will make the rise of artificial life more likely. "Clicking" is very much a "lightning-in-a-bottle" experience now, but hopefully continuing research will make its occurrence a little better-understood.
Business owners and managers will be quite interested in this little book -- though hardly the whole enchilada, it makes some excellent points with regard to molding and shaping group dynamics. I could actually identify with this part very well; I've been part of businesses that didn't seem to care about how healthy the group was, and part of one now that really does care and which (unwittingly?) practices most of the precepts in this book.
The last part, about how people who click easily tend to mirror others and self-monitor their own behavior, seemed a little out of place in the book; I'd have wanted it either not there at all or expanded vastly. It was fascinating, don't get me wrong, but the book was sparse on how someone can learn to be self-monitoring and I suspect that this part of the research is much spottier.
Overall, though, a great book for anybody to read, especially those who are interested in making connections or helping their employees build an effective group.
2 of 2 found the following review helpful:
some good info, but not a lot Jul 21, 2010
By Just Me
This book was a worthwhile read, though I wish that it was more information dense than it is. It's not a long book (not real short, either), but it seems to use a lot of pages to convey the information it contains. I would have preferred a more in-depth coverage of the subject, rather than the large number of little stories it contains. Of course, some people will perfer this book the way it is -- different people learn differently and like different things. That said, this book does a nice job of combining info on relationships, positive psychology (including flow), and some of the info contained in books such as Bounce. Because of that, I recommend this book for anyone, unless they've done a lot of reading in all of those topics already, in which case this book would pretty much me review.
The Brafmans explain how "click accelerators" work. Click accelerators are those things which can bring about a nearly instant feeling of closeness between strangers. The click accelerators are: vulnerability, proximity (some interesting studies are covered in this chapter), resonance (the combo of flow and presence), similarity, and a safe place (joint adversity and frame). Also significant in quick connections are "high self-monitors", which are people who: have fluid personalities, modulate emotional expression, quickly incorporate norms, manage others' perceptions, and act as network hubs. These people can make connecting to them much easier than it is with other people. They are also the focus of much recent advertising techniques.
According to the Brafmans, "clicking" can lead to: a magical state (flow, sort of, at least), quick-set intimacy, and personal elevation. Interesting info on how teams work together much better if the members click (which can be aided by the factors discussed earlier in the book), in part because the team can enter flow together and in part because a team which has clicked is better at handling conflict well -- not brushing it aside and not getting emotionally upset, but productively addressing the difference of opinion about how to achieve their goal. Good info for personal and work relationships.
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