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Conversation Transformation: Recognize and Overcome the 6 Most Destructive Communication Patterns Paperback – February 7, 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dr. Ben Benjamin is a communications consultant, business coach, and writer. He holds a doctorate in education and is an accomplished teacher trainer; he has trained instructors who have offered his courses throughout the United States and in Europe. Dr. Benjamin is author of hundreds of articles, as well as several books.

Amy Yeager is a certified Senior SAVI Trainer. She has designed and led SAVI trainings for multinational corporations, schools, healthcare organizations, and other nonprofit institutions. In addition to her in-person training, she conducts Web-based phone seminars for ongoing skill development. She is a certified practitioner of the Alexander Technique and Self Regulation Therapy.

Anita Simon is co-developer with Yvonne Agazarian of SAVI®, the System for Analyzing Verbal Interaction. Dr. Simon teaches SAVI® regularly at a variety of professional conferences and at smaller meetings in the fields of psychotherapy, human resources, and education.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 1 edition (February 28, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 007176996X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071769969
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #496,609 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Failure to communicate effectively impacts all areas of our lives - from our personal relationships to our success in our careers/business lives. Unfortunately all of us engage in destructive communication patterns. Generally we are totally unaware of the unhealthy communication patterns we use on a daily basis.

Conversation Transformation is an extremely valuable tool for understanding and recognizing the destructive communication patterns we commonly employ along with trainings to help us change these patterns.

Before the authors begin the process of teaching the six most common communication problems, they give a short lesson on the way the brain works. This is extremely valuable. "Having insight can keep you from changing because (once you learn something new) you feel like you have already changed." So the first chapter provides a foundation for using the information in the book to make permanent changes in the way we communicate. This is a very short but also very helpful summary of the necessary steps you must go through to change habits, to take the information which follows and use it to change the way you communicate.

Then the authors deal with the six most troubling patterns of communication we engage in. The book has a chapter devoted to each destructive pattern. The particular culprit is described in detail, there is then a theory for dealing with the problem, followed by a series of training exercises - putting the theory to work. Most of the exercises are more effective when performed with others.

The six destructive patters are: yes, buts; mind reading; negative (or positive) forecasting; leading questions; complaints and blaming.
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Comment 27 of 28 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
"The Usual Suspects - When a conversation fails it is easy to blame the people or the topics. People have difficult personalities, motivations, or emotional states. Topics can have touchy issues and irreconcilable differences." Pg. 3

"The Hidden Culprit - All communication breakdowns can be explained in terms of one common factor: Behavior. The specific combinations of words and voice tones people are using." Pg. 4

It is interesting that on page 11 of the book the author's state, "When we first sat down to write a book on communication, we were troubled by a dirty little secret: people don't actually improve their communication by reading books." Which is what brings me to the book website. I love a book that comes with free stuff and this book really delivers. On the book website there is tons of free stuff including a couple of awesome tests for the reader to complete before and after reading this book. I just love that kind of thing and there is no doubt that working through some of these resources will ensure that the reader will retain new knowledge and actually be able to apply it in whatever situation it is most needed.

The book progresses from there as one would expect and others have noted so I will not go into detail. However what I will say is that for my money Chapter 9 provides the best tool I have ever heard of to improve communication. It is called the SAVI Grid. Anybody who is serious about improving their communication needs to paste that thing on their wall and share it with anybody who is interested....it will revolutionize your communication effectiveness.

Highly Recommended.

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Comment 15 of 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
It would be unfair to review "Conversation Transformation" purely as a book. "Conversation Transformation" is in fact merely one component of a very good blended learning process. For example, readers are encouraged to take an online pre and post-test of their communication skills. In addition to the comprehensive and well-designed learning exercises throughout the book, the reader is also encouraged to visit online for further exercises or to hear dialogue (for example, because this book is about conversations, it's almost impossible to illustrate voice tone in the written word).

The basic concept behind "Conversation Transformation" is that communication breakdown comes about because of the words used or the way the messages are framed, not because of the nature of the people or the complexity of the issue. What a refreshing change the authors bring to the topic of communication! So many books on the subject unfortunately try to turn the reader into an amateur psychologist. By contrast, the authors of "Conversation Transformation" focus on the real reasons communications break down - the words people use or the way they are expressed.

The good news about this approach is that every one of us can learn how to improve our communication merely by changing what and how we say things. The simple three step learning approach the authors suggest is:
1. Awareness - Seeing the way out of your rut through realisation, attention and observation.
2. Action - Getting into your new groove by substituting a new behaviour for an old one.
3. Practice - Staying in the groove by using behaviours that are rewarding, intensive and incremental.

Although this book could be described as quite dense or intense, it is necessarily so.
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