LIBERTY BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY ONLINE
PRACTICAL BOOK REVIEW
WHY DON’T WE LISTEN BETTER?
Communicating & Connecting in Relationships
AN ASSIGNMENT SUBMITTED
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE COURSE
INTRODUCTION TO PASTORAL COUNSELING PACO 500
In this book review of James C. Petersen’s Book, “Why don’t we listen Better?”, I will start with a thorough summary, followed by my personal reflections and “Ah Ha” moments and follow up with how this book can and will be applied to my life and work. My attempt will be to give credit where it is due as well as challenge certain areas that I may not completely agree with. In doing this I do not intend to patronize the other or any other source, but instead to simply offer up additional areas in which we can all think through. Summation
James Petersen very simply uses “five major divisions” (Petersen 2007, 8) to assist us in learning how to communicate better. A very big focus in doing this is to encourage listening skills in all parties. The first is his concept of “the flat-brain theory of emotions” (Petersen, 10) in which he talks about the emotions associated with the stomach, the heart and the head and how they are to work together to change our behavior. “One simple theory of behavior suggests that we humans move from a state of bother to a state of calm….We get curious(bothered), we jump on the internet…(behavior), we get the info, and we relax (calm).”(15). This is when all three are working correctly and communicating well. Petersen discusses why these do not always work correctly in the world stage. In this same section he discusses communication as two levels. “Level one communication gives and receives information and discusses points of view.”(18). “Level two goes deeper than words. It moves us toward more satisfying relationships.”(19). He also brings up two ideas, “the flat-brain syndrome”(23) and the “flat-brain tango”(33). The...