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Practical Book Review: Why Don’t We Listen Better?

Practical Book Review: Why Don’t We Listen Better?

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Published by LaKenya Browder

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Published by: LaKenya Browder on Jan 18, 2013
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Running head: PRACTICAL
BETTER? 1Practical Book Review:
Why Don‟t We Listen Better?
LaKenya BrowderLiberty University
BETTER? 2Practical Book Review:
Why Don‟t We Listen
„Why Don‟t We Listen Better?‟ by James
Petersen is about improving our communication.
Communication derives from the root word “to commune
” sharing and connecting with others.
Although communication skills can help improve relationships, skills are not the only solution.According to Petersen, there are two levels to communication: Level I, a disconnected style thatinvolves the facts and
discusses each other‟s
point of view; and Level II, a connected style,where trust and sharing develops. We must understand ourselves, how we think and feel, in orderto fully engage in effective communication (Petersen, 2007).Petersen (2007) divided talk functions into three parts: stomach, heart and head. Thestomach is the personal part of us, our emotions and feelings, which are not debatable. The heartis when we give and receive concerns, suggestions, and support; while at the same time stayingopen to consider other options. The head is the logical part of us, when we put our thoughts andperceptions into words, which is always debatable.Petersen (2007) describes the Flat-Brain Syndrome as a process that occurs when thestomach, heart and head functions short circuit: the stomach overloads, the head turns bricklike,the brain goes flat, the hearing is skewed, the seeing is distorted, and the mouth works overtime.When this happens we are unable to listen, think, act, or even relate to others effectively. In orderto counter this process, Petersen (2007) suggests the emotional disturbance be reduced in thetalker first, to induce clearer thinking and better decision making. Then one can build self-confidence and friendship through effective listening. The Flat-Brain Tango is a vicious cyclethat occurs when both persons continue to defend and attack each other, which render identical
BETTER? 3results. Since this is based on the need to win, letting go of this need is essential when trying toavoid this dance, which will require a significant amount of self-examination (Petersen, 2007).Petersen (2007) developed the Talker-Listener Card (TLC) to remind each person to taketurns talking and listening. This method can eliminate arguing by causing each person to focuson the
point of view, one at a time. The talker has the problem, and their goal is to sharetheir feelings and thoughts without accusing, attacking, labeling or judging the listener. Thelistener is calm because they do not own the problem. Their goal is to provide safety, tounderstand, and to clarify without agreeing, disagreeing, advising or defending. Petersen (2007)listed some basic listening techniques that address communication traps, special circumstancesand heavy listening situations. The TLC can add objectivity in group discussions, whenmoderating two-party conversations, and with couples (Petersen, 2007).The philosophy of the TLC goes far beyond mere technique, straight into the hearts of thepersons involved. The personal qualities of each person in the communication process surpassesany methodology learned when it to comes to communication. Empathy, genuiness and warmthplay a crucial role in effective communication, building stronger families, friends andcommunities (Petersen, 2007).ResponseI most identify with the "Thud" person. At one time I was able to stand my ground, but Inow find myself defending, which has been defined as being the same as attacking. When I amattacked, I initially start out with a certain amount of grace. But as the attacker keeps going, Ilash out with a heavy accusatory, criticizing defense, which in turn causes a counter-defense.Sometimes I find myself in so many tangoes within a day, I start to get dizzy.

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