Essay - Practical Book Review Reflections on James C. Peterson's Why Don't...

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Practical Book Review

Reflections on James C. Peterson's Why Don't We Listen Better? Communicating and Connecting in Relationships

Introduction: "Hey, that's not what I meant!" Using James C. Peterson's 'talker-listener' card to engage in productive dialogue

Of course, I know how ***** communicate—I ***** how to talk, and I can hear everything people say ***** me, what more do I need to do? Why do ***** need to read a book, in isol*****tion, ***** the privacy of my study that attempts to tell ***** how I should communicate with others? However, individuals who have such a re*****ction ***** the title of ***** Don't We ***** Better? *****ommunicating and Connecting in Relationships by James C. Petersen (2007) should remember that there is a difference between listen*****g ***** hearing, between really engaging with ***** in meaningful communication versus simply exchanging words. Peterson's text attempts to give the reader effective strategies to improve personal communication processes. His approach ***** be useful to pastors, counselors, teachers, or simply everyone involved in a relationship who wants to improve his or her communication skills.

The book begins ***** examining why communication processes so often go awry. One of the core concepts of the work is that the more emotional people are, and the ***** emotionally attached they are ***** a particular point of view, the harder it is for them to listen. Their listening capability, if ***** their hearing capability shuts down. Peterson calls t***** the 'flat brain theory' of listening, where stomachs are in overload, filled with ego rather than openness. This causes hearts grow bricklike and unresponsive to the emotional appeals of others. The courtroom process of adversarial interaction ***** than a me*****ningful negotiation of common views are the primary paradigm of our modern culture. While courtroom battles may look like win-lose, they ***** in reality lose-lose. Using the courtroom approach is counterproductive to our usual, ***** goal when communicating. In everyday life our primary ***** is not ***** be victors over others, but friends ***** ***** neighbors, loved ones, and colleagues. Reducing ***** disturbances, clarifying thinking, increasing self-confidence, and building supportive friendships are all essential to counteract our fallible and all-too-human tendency to fall in***** negative cultural and personal patterns of relat*****g to others. Becoming a good listener reduces conflict and also makes us better storytellers and better people

Peterson ********** what he calls t***** '*****alker-listener' card or a kind of im*****ginary or invisible third person, a medi*****t***** to initiate ***** ***** division. Playing by the rules ***** the conversational game, taking turns, ***** not ***** in a war like street fighters all ensure that ***** ***** engaged in the communicative process are listening as well ***** talking. Peterson makes communication into a very liter*****l *****, with accessories as well ***** rules. During his ********** *****shops, he takes manila *****s and writes t***** word 'talker' ***** 'listener' on either side. This creates a sense of role-play to conversation—one person is not fixed in a s*****gular role of listening or talking, which ***** results


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