Wilson peels back the layers of perception and communication to reveal that we’re all good enough.
Wilson begins her book discussing the four “organs” of perception: the mind, body, heart and spirit. She uses personal narratives to demonstrate how everyone uniquely conceptualizes their own lives, which can get in the way of empathy and communication. “I grew from a sensitive, intuitive, creative child into a well-educated, analytical adult who gave all of her attention to thoughts, words, and actions,” she says. “My focus was turned outside of myself…[and] I looked to others to validate my worth.” This internal conflict propelled Wilson to research how poor self-perceptions can hinder healthy communication. Next, using real-life examples, she identifies and discusses the four layers of communication. However, the transition between the four organs and the four layers is confusing at times since many of the concepts are interconnected. Wilson goes on to provide effective, seemingly simple advice to help people prepare for difficult conversations: “If your intention is to prove to someone that he or she is wrong, keep in mind that your conversation will just be an exchange of reactions.” Through case studies, she shows how her suggestions have helped other individuals change their perceptions, primarily via reflective thinking. With a client named Steve, Wilson illustrates how many roadblocks can come from the past. When Steve finds himself unable to move forward in life without a plan, Wilson asks him where in his past he may have developed a reliance on plans. “My dad,” Steve says. “He always had a plan, and we always stuck to the plan, no matter what. He taught me that planning was the key to success.” That realization, discovered using Wilson’s techniques, opens the door to fixing the dilemma.
Sound advice for fruitful self-reflection.