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Book details
  • SubGenre:Conflict Resolution
  • Language:English
  • Pages:280
  • eBook ISBN:9780979155994

Why Don't We Listen Better?

Communicating & Connecting in Relationships

by James C. Petersen, D.Min., L.P.C. Ret.

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Dr. Jim Petersen, a veteran counselor, wrote this book to help readers gain communication skills that can improve their relationships, personal and professional. Petersen says most of us think we listen well, but don't. The book includes his funny-serious theory of the Flat Brain, which explains why we have trouble hearing each other and what we can do about it. Creative listening techniques to handle daily interactions and difficult relationships and the portable Talker-Listener card will help people hear each other, relax, think more clearly and build empathy and cooperation. These skills assume increasing importance as our country veers into ever-more volatile camps that strain relationships within families and between friends.
Dr. Jim Petersen says, "You can listen your way to better relationships." His often humorous book, loaded with practical tips, examples, and techniques, can bail you out of many touchy situations. It highlights an approach to getting along with folks with whom you really don't agree. His powerfully intuitive yet tongue-in-cheek Flat Brain Syndrome shows how and why we and others get upset and confused and what to do about it. We may think we're good listeners, but not many of us are. When others talk, we focus on what we think, rather than what they are trying to say. Few of us know how to use the power of listening to improve life for ourselves or those around us. Jim says that good communication uses the same skills in a professional office, on a date, in a corporate boardroom, or at a kitchen table. He discusses the need to abandon the win-lose mentality of the courtroom-like culture that so often puts us at odds with each other. "Listen" shows how to improve talking and listening/counseling skills using his pièce de résistance, the Talker-Listener Card. It emphasizes the "taking turns" mode we learned as children and can end arguing as we know it. From intimate to casual and work-related communication, Petersen's TLC is practical, easy to use and portable, a format that elevates idle banter and argument into the arena of authentic dialogue. When people use the Card they help each other relax, think clearer and build empathy and cooperation. Additional chapters on using the Card can improve listening for couples, difficult groups and families with a dinner table game. It is a great resource for counselors and teachers. He presents more than thirty time-tested listening techniques to help you deal with common communication land mines. A listening technique at the end of each chapter can get you started right away improving the relationships that matter to you. He wrote the book in short sections, which are labeled in a lengthy Table of Contents, so you can immediately find the technique or idea you want to review. His insights will give you creative ways to handle daily interactions and the more difficult situations of anger, grief, disagreement and decision-making.
About the author
This veteran retired pastor and professional counselor's unique approach to listening has changed lives. He distilled forty plus years of pastoral experience, counseling and teaching into this informal volume loaded with creative philosophy, practical life skills, examples, and techniques to practice. An experienced seminar and workshop leader, Jim has taught in the corporate world, city governments, colleges and universities, the hearing-impaired community, students, teachers, parents, couples and churches. The informal manner that endeared him to novices and experts alike is reflected in this valuable book (now third edition). It is for anyone who wants to communicate well with others and develop basic counseling skills. Jim retired from Southminster Presbyterian Church in Beaverton OR in 1999. The church granted him Pastor Emeritus status to honor his thirty-two years of leadership with there. He served two other churches in Oregon in his forty-year ministry. Until 2019 he was a Licensed Professional Counselor in Oregon. His degrees include Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary and a BA in mathematics from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, OR (Note the infinity symbols at the end of each chapter). He is semi-retired. He edited the Third Edition of Why Don't We Listen Better? while recovering from quintuple by-pass surgery. He lives and travels with his writer wife, Sally. (Most of the time they use the communication methods he teaches.) He and Sally manage Petersen Publications and enjoy condo living. He still plays a little tennis.