July 29, 2011
Peterson, Jim, Why don’t we listen better? : Communicating in Relationships. James C. Peterson, 2007. According to Peterson (2007) societies troubled relationships are that way because of a decline in communication. The book was well written and contained information and concepts that were very new to me. There are two concepts that were interesting: the ‘flat brain’ theory and the talker-listener card these explain why it’s hard to listen when emotions are involved while the card strategy provides a detailed and clear methodology for listening and being heard. The flat brain theory explains why our emotions come in the form of the rational understanding of one’s problems, which hinder the ability to listen well. Peterson (2007) explains listening techniques in a common-sense manner using the skills and experience as a counseling pastor. When there are clear communications of feelings and desires, good relationships can flourish all because we aid one another to listen carefully to deeper meaning to what we say by practicing being fair with each other, as well as offering equal time for those we are communicating with to speak and be heard. It was interesting to notice how the three main areas of the physical body the stomach, heart, and the brain is where emotions live. Peterson (2007) explains that communication is the lubrication designed to keep our functions of stomach, heart, and head working separately and together. (p. 16) This is where the stomach, heart and head talk fit; stomach talk puts feelings into words, heart talk puts our ownership and openness into word, while head talk puts our thoughts into words. If we are not able to distinguish the difference emotions in the stomach extends to include the heart, and then the brain, flattening it making it unable to make decisions. The idea of the flat brain theory is that openness is important to others and...