June 20, 2010
Communication is an extremely important part of the human experience and any effort to improve one's skills is valuable. Most people think that they listen well, but do not. People often walk away from a conversation feeling unheard, misunderstood, and disconnected. Petersen uses real world examples and experiences to teach the reader how to handle difficult situations and people. According to Petersen, improvement in listening skills will result in an overall improvement in relationships.
The concept of how communication evolves is represented by three centers of our body: our brain, our heart, and ...view middle of the document...
It helps with clear description, goals, and actions of each in the communication process. The TLC is like a traffic light helping the individuals facing the card to understand what they need to be doing at that moment depending on whether they are the Talker, or the Listener.
The book moves onto developing good communication skills using honest, authentic listening techniques. We can start by avoiding the traps that listeners often fall into. There is a whole section filled with helpful suggestions in employing good questions, body language, and appropriate comments to keep us engaged with each other. The author also offers advice on helping us understand the communication process in stressful and unusually difficult circumstances.
Petersen's premise is to continually learn to listen better making communication a relationship building opportunity for everyone.
I am a born talker. I have always tended to tell everyone my whole life story whether they wanted to know it or not. While I have been told I am a great listener, I find myself continually thinking of how to respond to people and what I am going to say before I finish hearing everything they have to say to me.
Reading Petersen's book was eye opening to me. At times, it was painful because the reminder of how far I have to go with my listening skills was right there in black and white in front of me. However, the suggestions he offers as to how to listen and communicate better was invaluable. I believe that one of my spiritual gifts is that of listening and counseling others. I just too often want to get my own dialogue and thoughts and opinions out there instead of listening completely to what the other person has to say and letting them sort a lot of it out on their own. I have four children and I have been in the "fix it" mode for so many years that I forget, now that they are getting much older, that I need to sit back and let them figure things out on their own without my interjecting my opinions of how they should handle situations.
I think back to friends coming to me for advice and a listening ear. They always commented to me that I was a great listener, but I have discovered that I need to be a better listener than what I am now.
Petersen's book reminded me of the potential consequences of not listening well to others. It also explained some of the flat-brained syndrome and tango moments in my life.
The most profound truth I found in the book is how...