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 ***** C. Peterson's 'talker-listener' card to engage in productive dialogue

Of course, I know how to communicate—I ***** how to talk, and I can hear everything people say ***** me, what more do I need to do? Why do I need ***** read a book, in isolation, in the privacy of my study that attempts to tell me how ***** should communicate with others? However, individuals who have such a re*****ction to the title of ***** ***** We ***** Better? Communicating and ***** in Relationships by James C. Petersen (2007) should remember ***** there is a difference between listen*****g and hearing, ***** really engaging with others 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 ***** his or her ***** skills.

The book begins by examining why communication processes so often go awry. One of the core concepts of the work is that the ***** emotional people are, and the more emotionally attached they are ***** a p*****rticular point ***** view, the harder it is for them to listen. Their *****ing capability, if not their hearing capability shuts down. Peterson calls t***** the 'flat brain *****ory' of listening, w*****e stomachs ***** in overload, filled with ego rather than openness. This causes hearts grow bricklike ***** unresponsive to the emotional appeals ***** others. The courtroom process of adversarial interaction rather than a ***** negoti*****tion of common views are the primary paradigm of our modern culture. While courtroom battles may look like win-lose, they ***** in reality lose-lose. ***** the courtroom approach is counterproductive to our usual, primary goal when communicating. In everyday l*****e our primary goal ***** not to 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 ***** all-too-human tendency to fall into negative cultural and personal patterns of relating to others. Becoming a good listener reduces conflict and also makes us better storytellers ***** ***** *****

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


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