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


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Practical Book Review

***** 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 to communicate—I know how ***** talk, and I can hear everyth*****g people say to me, what more do I need to do? Why do ***** need ***** read a book, in isol*****tion, in the privacy of my study that attempts to tell me how I should communicate with others? However, individuals who have such a reaction to the title of ***** ***** We ***** Better? *****ommunicating ***** ***** in ***** by Ja*****s C. Petersen (2007) should remember that there is a difference between listening ********** hearing, ***** really engaging with ***** in meaningful communication versus simply exchanging words. Peterson's text attempts ***** give the reader effective strategies to improve personal communication processes. His approach can be useful to pastors, counselors, teachers, or simply everyone involved in a relationship who wants to ***** his or her ***** skills.

The book begins ***** examining why communication processes so often go awry. One of the core concepts ***** the work is that the more emotional people are, and the more emotionally attached they are to a particular point of view, the harder it is for them to l*****ten. Their listening capability, if ***** their hearing capability shuts down. Peterson calls this the 'flat brain *****ory' of listening, w*****e 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 ***** adversarial interaction ***** than a me*****ningful negotiation of common *****s ***** the primary paradigm of our modern culture. While courtroom battles may look like win-lose, they are in reality lose-lose. ***** the courtroom approach is counterproductive ***** our usual, ***** goal when communicating. *****n everyday l*****e our primary goal is not to be victors over others, but friends ***** our neighbors, loved ones, and colleagues. Reducing emotional disturbances, clarifying thinking, increasing self-confidence, and building supportive friendships ***** all essential to counteract our fallible ***** all-too-human tendency to fall in***** negative cultural and personal patterns ***** relat*****g to others. Becoming a good listener reduces conflict and also makes us *****tter storytellers ***** better people

Peterson offers what he calls the 'talker-listener' card or a kind of im*****ginary or invisible third person, a medi*****tor to initiate dialogue not division. Playing by the rules ***** the conversational game, taking turns, and not ***** in a war like street fighters all ensure ***** ***** individuals engaged in the communicative process are listen*****g as *****ll as talking. Peterson ***** communication into a very liter*****l game, with accessories ***** well as rules. During his *****s workshops, he takes manila *****s and writes the word 'talker' ***** 'listener' on ei*****r side. This creates a sense of role-pl*****y to conversation—one person is ***** fixed in a singular role ***** listening or talking, which often results

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