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

Of course, I know how ***** communicate—I ***** how to talk, and I can hear everyth*****g people say ***** me, what more do I need to do? Why do ***** need to read a book, in isol*****tion, in the privacy of my study that attempts ***** tell me how I should communicate with others? However, *****dividuals who have such a reaction to the title of ***** ***** We Listen Better? *****ommunicating and Connecting in Relationships by James C. Petersen (2007) should remember that there is a difference between listen*****g *****nd hearing, between 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 relationship who wants to ***** his or her communication skills.

The book begins by 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 ***** view, the harder it is for them to listen. Their listening capability, if ***** their hearing capability shuts down. Peterson calls t***** the 'flat brain *****ory' of *****, where stomachs are in overload, filled with ego rather than openness. This causes hearts grow bricklike ***** unresponsive to the emotional appeals of others. The courtroom process of adversarial interaction ***** than a ***** negotiation of common *****s 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, primary goal when communicating. In everyday life our primary goal is not ***** be victors over others, but friends with ***** 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 ***** relat*****g to others. Becoming a good listener reduces conflict and also makes us better storytellers and better *****

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


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