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, ***** know how to communicate—I ***** how ***** talk, and I can hear everyth*****g people say to 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 ***** how I should communicate with others? However, ********** who have such a reaction to the title of Why Don't We ***** Better? Communicating and Connecting in ***** by James C. Petersen (2007) should remember that there is a difference between listen*****g ********** 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 communication skills.

The book begins ***** examining why communication processes so often go awry. One of the core concepts ***** the work is that the ***** 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 not 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 ***** unresponsive to the emotional appeals ***** others. The courtroom process of 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. Using the courtroom approach is counterproductive to our usual, primary goal when communicating. *****n everyday l*****e our primary goal ***** not ***** be victors over others, but friends with our 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 in***** negative cultural and personal patterns of relating to others. Becoming a good listener reduces conflict and also makes us *****tter s*****rytellers ***** better people

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


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