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Great book with concrete suggestions (an audio review)
I have a degree in English and a speech communications minor, so I wasn’t sure I had much to learn in the bastion of communications. I thought it was all pretty straightforward.
I’m happy to say, I learned a lot while listening to this audiobook. I took tons of notes, and so will pick and choose the sections I think were most valuable. Overall, though, this is well worth your time to listen to. Everyone can come out with something from this book.
The section on how to deal with people who are hard of hearing and deaf was wonderful. As an aware person, I always want to be inclusive. Now I have practical tips on how to converse with people with hearing issues. I especially liked the idea of a talking stick in a large group of people. It is a way of showing the person who is hard of hearing who is speaking, but it is also a visual reminder to others that speaking over each other is unhelpful. In fact, I think there are many times when a talking stick would be helpful in other interactions.
Preparing for a job interview may seem straightforward, but this book offers concrete advice on how to answer the five most common questions. If I had known some of these things, I am sure I would have been more successful in previous interviews.
The author makes suggestion on how to speak clearly, discussing intonation, enunciation, and breathing through your diaphragm. All of these are things I learned in my vocal class and are very helpful. He also discusses a ‘digital detox’, acknowledging that people say things online that they would never say to a person’s face. Being aware of our ability to hurt people with words is a good reminder that not all communication is clearly understood. He also makes suggestions on how to deal with rejection. He encourages the person who has been hurt to fight the urge to strike back.
The concept of empathy is addressed and I have experienced the power of being known as someone who is empathetic through my interactions with others. People feel comfortable opening up to me and it has made me better able to put myself into other peoples’ shoes. This book offers suggestions on how to approach someone who is hurting, to let them know you’re open to listening without pressure or judgement. Also, the author reminds us to fight the urge to solve their problems, instead let them know they are believed and valued for their honesty. In the days of the #MeToo movement, these skills are more valuable than ever. That being said, when someone is opening up and sharing painful issues, it is not the time for you to share your story. Find someone else if you are triggered, otherwise, the person trusting you may think you’re insensitive.
In discussing gossip, the author says to ask yourself questions such as “why am I feeling the need to pass this on, what are my motives, and do I even know if this information is true?” These are all questions I will consider the next time I’m going to pass along information.
Apologies, long-distance relationships, conflict, and how to give compliments are all addressed in detail. I could go on and on about all the great advice, but I truly urge you to listen for yourself. There is something in this book for everyone. I know I am going to hold onto my notes and review them at different times when I am having communication difficulties or when I am heading into a challenging situation. I’m so glad I listened to this book.
My only issue is that the author threw in that people who are good communicators are getting the “most attractive partners” and that this book will help you get “better romantic relationships”. That almost caused me to stop listening. As you can tell by the review, I’m glad I didn’t. Is the advice in this book helpful? Of course. Is this the best place to find advice on romantic relationships? Not really. Becoming more confident and improving your communication skills are important and should be the goals unto themselves. If you are a better communicator, you could possibly open yourself up to meeting many different people and that is another laudable goal. The “more attractive partners” line cheapens the power of the self-improvement suggestions.
I have to discuss Randy Streu. He was perfect for this book and he owned it. I had to keep reminding myself that he wasn’t the author because he was so beautifully authentic.
This is a great book with practical and useful suggestions that everyone can learn from.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I can't recommend this audio enough! My 15 year old son has Aspergers and his greatest deficit is communication. We listened to this together and were both able to learn. Highly recommend!
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. The fact that I was gifted this book had no influence over my opinion of it.
I enjoy the practical approach and the guidance offered in this book. Thank you Ian.
Author presented points precisely about daily conversation and day to day small talk...good book overall