This is a guide to survive challenging conversations and avoid the pitfalls that can sabotage them. Kendall says it is, “How to stop conversations becoming destructive arguments.”
He provides strategies to deal with the four fundamental situations: the tangle, the big argument, the bad place, and the lock down. The reader is advised to observe conversations and using different techniques, prevent trivial conversations from becoming toxic arguments.
Describing the spectrum of listening, Kendall states, “Remember, you always have a choice about how to respond.” He describes how pretending to listen, which includes listening in order to confirm a pre-informed point of view and self-referential listening, is listening through your own agenda. He also describes a deeper form of listing called “listening from nothing.”
Each chapter closes with a lesson. For example, Chapter 8’s suggests looking at methods that help the addicted advice giver since most advice just sounds like noise. In Chapter 12, he suggests: “Say ‘sorry’ without giving your story.”
Using these techniques may prevent miscommunication and blamestorming; it will definitely improve the quality of your conversations.
Book reviews by Barb Kummer. If you have written or read a book you’d like to share with our readers, write to Barbara.firstname.lastname@example.org
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