It’s Not Just Who You Know (Book Review)

'It's Not Just Who You Know'“It’s Not Just Who You Know” by Tommy Spaulding is the May choice of the 12 Books group at Goodreads.

The author starts out strong with engaging stories that describe how the relationships he developed helped him to overcome a learning disability and become a leader. However, by the time I reached the middle of the book I was worn out by the level of connection and amount of networking involved. The author is connected to many well-known people, and my thoughts turned to discouragement that this was way more than the average person could ever expect to manage. One review on Amazon describes Tommy Spaulding’s approach as “extroversion on steroids,” and after awhile introverts like me will likely begin to find the ideas daunting. Yet, there is useful information that can be employed on a smaller scale and I’m glad I read the book.

The Five Floors of Relationships

The author’s model of understanding relationships is retrofitted from the five levels of communication commonly studied in communication theory. Relationships range from the basic transactions of the First Floor to the high level of Fifth Floor relationships.

The Back of the Business Card

The book shows how to build relationships beyond the basic information that is on the front of a business card. Think about turning the business card over to the back and filling in the blanks by discovering more about a person’s interests with observation, questions, and listening. He coins the term netgiving rather than networking for a focus on what we can give rather than what we can get in our interactions with others. Many of the articles I’ve read about networking also recommend this approach.

Nine Key Traits are helpful in achieving real relationships: authenticity, humility, empathy, confidentiality, vulnerability, curiosity, generosity, humor, and gratitude. With short chapters on each of these traits, the author shows how many of the traits can be developed.

There is a need for information about how to develop relationships, and this book provides insights beyond Dale Carnegie’s classic book “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”


A First Look at Communication Theory

Altman & Taylor’s Social Penetration Theory at Wikipedia


I seek to create order from the chaos of complex information. Join me at the Daily PlanIt to gain insights, inspiration, and information to increase skills for a better life. I unlock the power of teaching reading with phonics in the pursuit of literacy at In my spare time I explore books and movies, often choosing titles available on both screen and page.

Posted in Books, work skills

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