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86 of 93 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Done it again
WORDS CAN CHANGE YOUR BRAIN

Newberg and Waldman have done it again! Oprah picked their last book as a "Must Read" for 2012, and in this book they've identified 12 brain-based strategies that can surely help - at home or work - to improve communication skills. The technique is called "Compassionate Communication:" you enter a state of deep relaxation and focus,...
Published on June 14, 2012 by Neil Schuitevoerder

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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 12 Steps to more efficient commnunication
The material presented in this book is very interesting; I listened to the audio book format and must confess if it weren't because I was listening to it on my commute to work I would probably never have finished it. I am glad I pushed through, because halfway (or towards the end of the book) I find out (spoiler alert) that studies have shown that when you speak slowly...
Published 10 months ago by Eve


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86 of 93 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Done it again, June 14, 2012
This review is from: Words Can Change Your Brain: 12 Conversation Strategies to Build Trust, Resolve Conflict, and Increase Intimacy (Hardcover)
WORDS CAN CHANGE YOUR BRAIN

Newberg and Waldman have done it again! Oprah picked their last book as a "Must Read" for 2012, and in this book they've identified 12 brain-based strategies that can surely help - at home or work - to improve communication skills. The technique is called "Compassionate Communication:" you enter a state of deep relaxation and focus, which includes an inner values exercise, then, when you converse with another, they teach you specific techniques involving nonverbal expressions and vocal tones. One strategy creates a "Mona Lisa" smile that causes the listener's brain to neurologically resonate to the speaker to build trust and foster cooperation. I've used many of these techniques and they can be powerful. The book includes a 20 minute training exercise and I've seen people tear up after a few minutes of practice.
Here are some of the highlights of my favorite chapters:

In THE POWER OF WORDS, the authors show how negativity can undermine a dialogue. They discuss the 3:1 positivity ratio that has been proven to improve personal relationships and work productivity.

In THE MANY LANGUAGES OF THE BRAIN, the authors cover cutting edge research involving the evolution of speech. Some words even have specific flavors!

THE LANGUAGE OF CONSCIOUSNESS: This was one of my favorite chapters because it shows how everyday consciousness is governed by a constant flow of inner speech. When you interrupt it, your conversations can become really meaningful.

THE LANGUAGE OF COOPERATION:Apparently it takes about seven seconds to create a state of "neural resonance" between two people, and research even sheds light on how plants communicate with each other.

THE LANGUAGE OF TRUST: In this chapter the authors elucidate about micro-expressions on the face and how to read the subtle emotions in others. Of interest is the section on how to tell if a person is being honest or deceitful.

Ch 8 guides you through twelve steps, backed up by over 100 scientific studies. Ch 10 offers specific advice for using Compassionate Communication with couples. I found this very useful. Ch 11 shows how to apply it in work situations, and Ch 12 shows how easy it is to use with children. This was an extremely useful and fascinating book, original and easy to read!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 12 Steps to more efficient commnunication, January 31, 2014
By 
Eve "SniperEve" (Clifton, NJ United States) - See all my reviews
The material presented in this book is very interesting; I listened to the audio book format and must confess if it weren't because I was listening to it on my commute to work I would probably never have finished it. I am glad I pushed through, because halfway (or towards the end of the book) I find out (spoiler alert) that studies have shown that when you speak slowly and using a monotone voice, the message is carried across "neutrally", the listener will have a chance to absorb what is being said and the message won't feel "aggressive". WOW! That explained why the book was read in a monotone voice speaking very s-l-o-w-l-y that at times had me zone out. The book also states that you should convey your message in 30 seconds or less, more than that and you will lose your audience.

I loved that this book was based on neuroscience. At one point in the book, Mark Robert Waldman explains how when we use words "for" both positive and\or negative exaggeration they generate distrust and disconnect in the listeners... Words like: amazing, excellent, fabulous, fantastic, incredible, marvelous, etc.... Good for me to know... now I need to go through all my reviews and remove all those words and make sure I am not using them in that way in my conversations...

In "Words Can Change Your Brain... " Andrew B. Newberg and Mark Robert Waldman shows us the power we have with our words. It was a very interesting read and while its not an "exciting" subject, the book does have useful "takeaways" to help us communicate more efficiently and positively.

While it was a good book (audio), I feel it was very wordy, I was almost relieved when I finished it. Don't know how to explain it, but it almost felt like it would take a long time for the "point" to be delivered. At times I would space out and "rewind".
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended for people with mouths, June 14, 2012
This review is from: Words Can Change Your Brain: 12 Conversation Strategies to Build Trust, Resolve Conflict, and Increase Intimacy (Hardcover)
Another great book from two of the world's most respected nuero-researchers

Word's Can Change your brain is one of the most insightful and practicable books for improving your day-to-day life.
Why is that? Because we talk a lot - probably too much as the book points out.

Throughout life we hear platitudes about the value of listening more than speaking, but Words Can Change Your Brain drives it home as something you want to do for yourself (assuming you'd like to be smarter, live longer, cultivate positive feelings, have deeper relationships, be more productive, influence people, resolve conflicts, etc.) Further, the book provides you with simple, research backed strategies to effective, perhaps life-transforming, conversation.

If the meaning of life is found in relationships, I can think of no better investment than to study communication; and Word's Can Change Your Brain is the perfect place to start.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking, December 29, 2012
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I had not read any of their other works and after reading other reviews I was a little leery. Turns out I enjoyed this book and have incorporated some of the concepts into everyday use. There is a bit of repitition, but it is necessary as the exercises require you to repeat actions or thoughts in order to make them part of your everyday routine.

There is an offer for MP3's to support the exercises, but when I went to their website, they wanted an additional $27 for them, which was not disclosed in the book. If you are interested in positive pscyhology, this seems like a good read.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Want to be a great leader? Try listening, June 21, 2012
This review is from: Words Can Change Your Brain: 12 Conversation Strategies to Build Trust, Resolve Conflict, and Increase Intimacy (Hardcover)
I am writing this review from an organizational perspective, and I hope to be especially helpful to those in organizational leadership roles. Leaders have to do a lot of talking in order to make themselves understood. Or do they? Newburg isn't so sure. She's putting her bet on listening. But this isn't the "shut up and listen" type. Nor is it the active listening promoted by so many therapists. This is a neurologically-based method for providing the optimal listening experience to whoever you are communicating with. This means that their ideas and insights can be maximized, to provide the most useful input possible

For example, the author recommends a 3:1 positive comment to negative comment ratio. This is the same ratio recommended in the groundbreaking Practice of Creativity by George Prince. In fact, a lot of the material in this book is a rehash of that classic material. However, the book certainly builds on older material, and updates it with contemporary research.

The objective is to foster an environment in which a speaker feels free and open to become vulnerable, to take verbal risks, and to make mental and communication connections that they would avoid in a less "safe" environment. So, if you are a leader looking to bring out the best ideas, information and trust in your subordinates, you really ought to check this book out. And, as I mentioned above, I also recommend the much earlier Practice of Creativity.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book, December 3, 2012
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This review is from: Words Can Change Your Brain: 12 Conversation Strategies to Build Trust, Resolve Conflict, and Increase Intimacy (Hardcover)
I found this book not only educational, but also an eye-opener to the miriad of ways we uplift or drag ourselves and others down with our thoughts, our words.
I found the exercises transformational in the way I approach a theme I need to discuss with my boss, my friends, my colleagues and all who I deal with on a daily basis.
By putting the right thought into the right word has created many positive changes in my life. I've been doing the exercises with a friend and both of us got a lot out of these exercises.
I would recommend this book to anyone who want to improve their relationship with others and with themselves by using these powerful exercises.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Words Can Change Your Brain, September 7, 2012
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This review is from: Words Can Change Your Brain: 12 Conversation Strategies to Build Trust, Resolve Conflict, and Increase Intimacy (Hardcover)
This book, with its' theme of Compassionate Communication, lays out 12 very effective strategies for dealing with a variety of conversational situations. The more difficult the situation is, the more valuable this format is ... therefore we must practice long before the situations arise so that we can act instead of react. I can attest that using the 12 strategies in a number of critical personal and professional scenarios yielded outcomes far better that they would have prior to knowing about these tools. Wholeheartedly recommend!
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!, June 14, 2012
This review is from: Words Can Change Your Brain: 12 Conversation Strategies to Build Trust, Resolve Conflict, and Increase Intimacy (Hardcover)
I took a Compassionate Communication workshop taught by the authors, then practiced with my husband. We tried speaking super slowly, following an exercise in the book. Suddenly all my anxiety fell away. We continued doing this for 4 hours and worked through problems that we hadn't resolved from ten years earlier. Our love and intimacy has blossomed, so yes, I recommend this book to all couples and family member
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Words can change your brain, February 14, 2013
This review is from: Words Can Change Your Brain: 12 Conversation Strategies to Build Trust, Resolve Conflict, and Increase Intimacy (Hardcover)
I read Words can change your brain, in exchange for review from NetGalley. The book was written by Andrew B. Newberg and Mark Robert Walman.

The book discusses how communication can build trust, resolve conflict, and increase intimacy. People need to chose their words carefully, listen, and observe non verbal body cues.

The right words (or wrong ones) can affect stress levels (physical and emotional), behavior, meaning, tangible benefits, and intangible beneifts.

The book also discusses the 12 strategies of compassionate communication: 10 of which includes:

relax
stay present
cultivate inner silence
increase positivity
reflect on deepest values
observe non verbal cues
appreciation
speak warmly
speak slowly
speak briefly
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent, January 4, 2014
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I like these sorts of books and like the idea of this book. I got this one after borrowing a library version that was too scratched to play. I can't say much about it though because:
One, the reader is not very engaging. Audio books need good readers. With this one, his voice is too monotone and after maybe 5 minutes I find myself losing interest. Like when I had a boring history teacher in school, I find myself wishing he would get to the point.
Two, this isn't really a book for the car or the mp3 player while doing other things. It requires you to practice activities such as writing or meditating, which I enjoy, just not while driving. I did bring the discs into the house to use on my disc player but haven't gotten to listen yet. The boring reader doesn't encourage me to listen.
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Words Can Change Your Brain: 12 Conversation Strategies to Build Trust, Resolve Conflict, and Increase Intimacy
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