Book Review: Petersen

Book Review: Petersen

Practical Book Review One: Petersen
by
Tom Radcliff
Introduction to Pastoral Counseling
March 19, 2012
Liberty University Baptist Seminary
Lynchburg, VA

PRACTICAL BOOK REVIEW ONE: PETERSEN
I.   Summation.
In our personal and professional relationships, everyone is affected by the way we communicate. And in our fast-paced world we live in it is becoming increasingly difficult for people to send and receive clear and meaningful messages. Effective communication is vital to healthy relationships such that the absence of it can bring any relationship to a “grinding halt” (Petersen 2007, 4). Why Don’t We Listen Better? is a tool box full of practical advice designed to help relationships flourish through enhanced communication techniques. Dissecting the intricate parts of communication, Petersen focuses on the elusive art of effective listening. Through detailed examples and realistic scenarios, Petersen demonstrates in vivid detail the profound role “real listening” plays in our lives. In the process, he candidly exposes his own shortcomings, which gives the reader comfort in knowing that even experts in the field can face challenges. This user-friendly guide is for readers who want to create thriving relationships through effective and productive conversation.
Although I found Petersen’s work to be an invaluable resource, I did not agree with everything the author suggested. For example, I was not convinced with the notion of using his Talker-Listener Card (TLC) as an objective third person mediating a heated discussion (Petersen, 55). The basic premise behind the TLC is to help people become better communicators by taking turns talking and listening. When the card is flashed, the objective is to oblige the other person to listen first before talking to their partner. I do not see this idea as being practical in the real-world arena of contentious communication. I foresee the card getting snatched out of the person’s hand and getting ripped to shreds as...

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