Practical Book Review ONE
Student ID: L03199308
Presented to Dr. Max Mills
In partial fulfillment of the requirements of
Introduction to Pastoral Counseling
Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary
July 02, 2011
Petersen, Jim. 2007. Why Don’t We Listen Better? Communicating and connecting in relationships. Portland, OR: Petersen Publications.
My Summation In Why don’t we listen better?, James Petersen teaches the world what it should have known all along: the key to effective communication is in the listening. Like a good investment made at the Buy rather than the Sell, or a wine that is better now than when it was bottled 40 years ago, human communication is somewhat of a minor paradox. The brain takes a finely tuned ear to communicate well, not a great voice with excellent diction, nor a sharp wit; not even a Superman-like sense of right and wrong can scale lengthy conversations in a single blowhard. Without the listener with a genuine desire to help the talker convey their thoughts, feelings, beliefs and judgements, the best laid argument drafted to set the world on fire with its irrefutable logic and compelling message destined to pluck complex chords on the heartstrings of its intended victim is just another drowned out monologue of noise. To prove this point, consider Petersen’s own words reflecting on his childhood as a flat-brained middle child: I sensed that most people were more interested in telling their stories than hearing mine. But then, to be honest, I was more interested in telling my stories than hearing theirs. I relished the times when others tried to understand my stories. I came to value friendships where understanding worked both ways (5).
To make matters worse, the more we talk and refuse to listen, the more our victims refuse to talk when