A professional communication instructor outlines a dozen strategies to improve interactions with others in this debut relationship guide.
In this primer, Turner details 12 communication tactics that she says readers may use to forge better relationship dynamics. They include paying closer attention (the author provides an exercise that shows how little one can recall regarding one’s own timepiece), avoiding “push/push back” (if you conversationally attack another person, Turner says, that person will naturally counterattack), and reducing sentences that use the word “but.” She also encourages abandoning one’s assumptions, embracing empathy, and realizing how one chooses one’s thoughts (“It’s not the person or event that causes our feelings. It’s what we think about it”). The book also recommends eliminating “can’t,” “would,” and “should” from one’s vocabulary as much as possible, paraphrasing and naming one’s emotions, and always striving for tact. Finally, she maps out a seven-step problem-solving process, including advice such as “aim for collaboration, not compromise,” and suggests eliminating “crabs,” or negative people, from one’s life. Overall, Turner offers tangible help regarding often simple but crucial ways to talk and listen. Although some of her chapters cover similar ground—tact and empathy, for instance, are closely aligned principles—she also offers an engaging array of down-to-earth examples and exercises to showcase how one can mindfully address and assess even silly attitudes (such as the idea that Thanksgiving must be celebrated in a particular way, for example). She also conveys her advice in a warm, relatable voice while also noting her own struggles with communication. Overall, it’s an excellent, engaging toolkit.
Encouraging, clear tips on transforming one’s dialogue and demeanor.