Practical Book Review of Petersen’s Text
Dr. Glenn Dunn
Summary Communication is the oil that lubricates the engine of relationships. Good communication is important in business, family and social work. Coworkers need good listeners because communication makes for ease and flow with getting the work done. Taking time to listen to people is a virtue. Sometimes all people want is somebody that will listen to them. Every good listener must have balance. Listen awhile, talk and know when to stop, listen again until the person calms down. We must learn to listen deeper because most chronically angry people are harboring deep hurts. Real listening helps individuals understand each other and there seems to be something in such human connection that touches and changes us (Peterson, 2007). If people listen to each other, confusion and pain will be minimized. Better communication helps for a healthy relationship but if one can stop the desire to win every argument then there can be meaningful communication amongst family, friends and co-workers. It is often difficult to change ones thinking and behavior but if there is change it will deepen connections and increase commitment to constructive living. The flat brain theory of emotions formulated by Peterson describes how ones internal mood affects communication (Peterson, 2007). The head thinks and rationalizes, the stomach feels and the heart adds the tenderness. Understanding this principle helps one learn ways to redirect negative emotions into something positively constructive before it is spoken. Since what one thinks affects feelings, individuals should then focus on thinking more positively. Communication is always on two levels, sharing of information and connecting with people. Many people yearn for personal connection even in very officious environment (Peterson, 2007). According to Petersen the flat-brain syndrome should be avoided by all means. It occurs when our stomach feelings feed our hearts and heads with wrong information causing us to destroy relations by saying the wrong things. This can be combated by reducing the intensity of the emotional disturbance, clear thinking, remember who you are and seeking out your true friends for company. The flat brain tango is like a whirlwind you never saw coming. It sucks you up and you find yourself in a defensive fight you did not know how it started. Knowing how to avoid been sucked in will help in enjoying relationships. Not replying and not needing to win will reverse the flow and you will be the rational one to save the situation. Going beyond the tango is possible if the principles of talker/listener listed by (Petersen, 2007) are applied. The bordered talker who wants to unburden himself and the calm listener is able is able to create a healthy communication. Finally listening techniques should be learned and diligently applied. The listening part of communication is as important as speaking. One must endeavor not to be a ritual, Perry Mason or questioning listeners (Peterson, 2007). Individuals should not make the talker guilty or say that they understand when they have never had their experience. How one listens and what he does with what he hears goes a long way to heal or destroy. Respond
I wish I read Petersen’s book Why Don’t we Listen Better? as early as one day old. I believe I would not have had many of the challenges I have in my relationships. Even with my temperament blend I/D/S (Carbonnel, 2008); I would have learned to communicate better. My greatest pitfall is in the flat-brain theory of emotions. As much as I consider myself intelligent, I found out that I feel and perceive more than I hear and reason. I make decisions from my heart most times. I need to renew my mind especially after reading Anderson’s book “Gracism”. The Bible encourages us to renew...
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