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Why Don't We Listen Better? Communicating & Connecting in Relationships Paperback – January 8, 2007


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Why Don't We Listen Better? Communicating & Connecting in Relationships + Listening: The Forgotten Skill: A Self-Teaching Guide + Bridges Not Walls: A Book About Interpersonal Communication
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Petersen Publications; 1st edition (January 8, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0979155908
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979155901
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #191,797 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

What an eye-opener! When I started the book I thought I was a good listener. Now I know better. I am a card carrying listener/talker now. Insightful, thought provoking and thoroughly enjoyable to read. --Jim Misko, Northwest Ventures Press, Anchorage, AK

Why Don t We Listen Better? is a sensible guide to transforming verbal confrontation habits into good, healthy communication. Best of all, it comes with a Talker-Listener Card that provides a handy tool for practice. I carry the TLC in my wallet to introduce others to this listening strategy or as a reminder to keep even the most difficult and challenging conversations on a positive track by listening rather than trying to win. --Ben Vose, Astoria, OR

At last! The ingenious little card gets its due. I have used them for years. I keep one by each phone to remind me to be present in conversations with friends, family and clients. They enhance relationships with children (especially teenagers), with partners, and with parents. Why Don t We Listen Better? will open your eyes (and ears) to a new world of effective communication techniques. Pam Gross, B.A.Ed., Co-author of Want to Find a New Better Fantastic Job?, Founder of CareerMakers Inc., Portland, OR USA --Pam Gross, CareerMakers, Portland, OR

Review

Dr. Petersen's practical guide to better communication not only answers the title question, but takes the reader and user of his techniques on a journey into a higher quality of life … This is more than a self-help book. I've used it to teach communication skills and insights in my marriage and family course in college.
–Gerald W. Bertsch, B.A., M.Div. Retired pastor. Current author, teacher, and consultant.
Fond du Lac, WI


“The Talker/Listener Card is a simple idea that is enormously useful! I have used it and the book to great effect in many areas of ministry. I have used the concepts in pre-marital counseling, deacon training, Stephen Ministry, and youth ministry. It has been a vitally helpful tool in communication in my marriage and with our children, too.” Laurie Vischer, M.A. M.Div., Associate Pastor for Congregational Care, Westminster Presbyterian Church Portland, OR

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Customer Reviews

This is more than a self-help book.
Gerald W. Bertsch
This book by Peterson has a lot of good techniques for communicating better with people.
discipleman
Anyone can benefit from reading this book, and I highly recommend it!
Teresa Presley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Peter A. Mcgovern on January 31, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book was recommended by a psychiatrist friend of mine. It was well written (although I did find some typos) and contained information new to me.

I found two concepts that were particularly useful:

1. The 'flat brain' theory &
2. The 'talker-listener' card strategy.

The 'flat-brain' theory explains why it is hard to listen when emotions are involved. And the author's description of the 'talker listener' card strategy provides a detailed and clearly-explained methodology for both listening AND being heard.

The author's common-sense explanations of listening techniques add quite a lot to the value of the book and obviously have been honed over the years through the author's experience as a pastoral counselor.

My wife and I read this book to each other, and spent a lot of time discussing the content as we went along. I highly recommend this method of reading. Now we both use the 'talker-listener' method when discussing 'hot' topics. It helps us listen to each other's point of view and we usually both feel 'heard' even when we disagree. I also find myself listening better almost anytime I find myself with someone who is talking.

Over-all, if you are in the market for a book that will make a big difference in your ability to communicate (talk and listen) in difficult situations, then this is your book!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Angela S. Sullivan on March 13, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Peterson uses creative imagery to describe poor communication habits and the relational dysfunction that occurs when we fail to listen to one another. He has termed the phrase, "flat brain theory" to explain what happens when we allow our emotions to affect our thinking which in turns affects our relating. Emotions are often felt in the stomach area. When we are afraid, we have a feeling in the pit of our stomach. We often describe excitement as butterflies in our stomach. Many people state they have a "gut feeling" about something. The brain area describes our cognitive functioning relating to facts. We use our brains to come to conclusions or evaluate facts and eventually make our case. The heart area describes the actual desire to relate. In its natural state, it operates from a win-win mode. It gives and takes, listens and speaks. Healthy communication requires an individual to use his brain to state the facts, his stomach to express how he feels about the facts and his heart to use that information to relate to another individual in a fair, loving way.

Petersen suggests that often unresolved conflicts or other emotions reside in our feeling area (stomach) when they are not properly dealt with. When an opportunity arises, those unresolved feelings will often swell up into a vast array of emotional responses. This swelling process expands the stomach area (figuratively) which in turn flattens the heart and subsequently the brain area. As this happens, the squished brain does not function properly and this affects the hearing, seeing, and speaking of the affected person. In addition, the squished heart is no longer functioning from a loving win-win stance, but instead becomes defensive and attacks.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Gerald W. Bertsch on July 30, 2007
Format: Paperback
Dr. Petersen's practical guide to better communication not only answers the question that is the title of his book, but takes the reader and user of his techniques (the innovative TALKER/Listener card) on a journey into a higher quality of life. Good relationships start with clear communication of expectations, feelings, and desires. They flourish when we help each other listen carefully to the deeper meaning of what we say by practicing basic fairness with each other and by offering equal opportunity to our partners to speak and be heard correctly. This is more than a self-help book. I've used it to teach communication skills and insights in my marriage and family course in college. I recommend highly.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Margaret J. Rystrom on April 17, 2007
Format: Paperback
Being a nursing student I need to be able to hear what others are telling me and then have the skills to listen even harder. I deal with a lot of people that communicate differently than I do and don't have a lot of time to get to know them. This book helped, and continues to help me, do my job.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Maren Schmidt on May 18, 2008
Format: Paperback
Jim Petersen's book, Why Don't We Listen Better?, is easy to read and easy to follow. If you are in a crisis communication situation, you can start on the road to communicating better in less than an hour with the talk-listen card that is included with the book.

Using the talk-listen card helps relieve tension by allowing participants to focus on the job they should be doing at the time. This technique makes talking about things you might be upset about less intimidating and scary.

If I could be Queen For A Day, I'd ask that everyone learn the techniques presented in this book, and be a "card-carrying" listener.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By B. J. Campbell on December 4, 2007
Format: Paperback
As a pastor, I deal with people all the time whose relationships are struggling. Dr. Peterson's book finally gets to the bottom of much of our communication struggles. Without placing blame on anyone, his insights may be the one tool we have all been looking for, to be heard and to finally understand one another. I can't recommend this book highly enough to all who would like to understand people better or to improve their relationships.
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