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

Of course, ***** 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 ***** 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, ********** who have such a re*****ction to the title of Why Don't We ***** Better? *****ommunicating and Connecting in ***** by James C. Petersen (2007) should remember ***** there is a difference between listening ***** hearing, ***** really engaging with others in meaningful communication versus simply exchanging words. Peterson's text attempts ***** give the reader effective strategies to improve personal communication processes. His approach ***** be useful to pastors, counselors, teachers, or simply everyone involved in a rel*****tionship who wants to ***** his or her ***** 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 to a particular point of view, the harder it is for them to listen. Their ********** capability, if ***** their hearing capability shuts down. Peterson calls t***** the 'flat brain theory' of listening, where stomachs ***** in overload, filled with ego rather than openness. This causes hearts grow bricklike ***** unresponsive to the emotional appeals of *****. The courtroom process ***** adversarial interaction rather than a ***** 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 ***** our usual, primary goal when communicating. *****n everyday life our primary ***** is not to be victors over others, but friends ***** our 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 into negative cultural and personal patterns ***** relating to others. Becoming a good listener reduces conflict and also makes us *****tter storytellers ***** better people

Peterson offers what he ***** the ***** card or a kind of im*****ginary or invisible third person, a mediat***** to initiate dialogue not division. Playing by ***** rules of the conversational game, taking turns, and not ***** in a war like street fighters all ensure ***** ***** individuals engaged in the communicative process ***** listening as well ***** talking. Peterson makes communication ***** a very literal game, with accessories as well as rules. During his *****s *****shops, he takes manila cards and writes t***** word '*****alker' ***** '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 often results


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