Senin, 10 September 2012
Words Can Change Your Brain by Andrew Newberg & Mark Robert Waldman - Book review
Words Can Change Your Brain
12 Conversation Strategies to Build Trust, Resolve Conflict, and Increase Intimacy
By: Andrew Newberg, M.D., Mark Robert Waldman
Published: June 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover, 272 pages
Publisher: Hudson Street Press/Penguin
"Our brain has given us the potential to communicate in extraordinary ways,and the ways we choose to use our words can improve the neural functioning of the brain. In fact, a single word has the power ti influence the expression of genes that regulate physical and emotional stress", write Director of Research at the Myrna Brind Center for Integrative medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and Medical College, Andrew Newberg, M.D.; and Adjunct Faculty at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, Mark Robert Waldman, in their groundbreaking and eye opening book Words Can Change Your Brain: 12 Conversation Strategies to Build Trust, Resolve Conflict, and Increase Intimacy. The authors describe how despite our human gift of language, people are not always very effective at communicating with others, and require a deeper understanding of how words and nonverbal cues are critical for establishing successful interpersonal relationships.
Andrew Newberg, M.D. (photo left) and Mark Robert Waldman recognize how fundamentally important language is to our lives. Despite this importance, however, people very often fail to communicate well with other people. The authors provide evidence that people simply don't talk well in conversation. Words are selected that fail in meaning, intention, and result.
Which words are chosen are all too often spoken in the wrong tone, at the wrong speed, and in an ineffective cadence. Listening skills, when others are talking, are often weak and fail to hear the other person's meaning. At the same time, the unspoken body language and facial expressions may very easily convey a different message from the spoken words. To change this deficit in communication skills, the authors propose their twelve step strategy they call Compassionate Communication.
Mark Robert Waldman (photo left) and Andrew Newberg understand that if a person chooses different words, learns how to decode the unspoken messages of the face and body, and changes the tone and cadence of their speech, that their communication skills will improve. While that insight is valuable, it is only part of the crucial message conveyed by the authors. They present the research that points to how words will also change your brain, as well as the brain of the person with whom conversation is shared.
With this knowledge in hand, the authors share how enhanced communication, based on their twelve steps, will create trust, build closer bonds, aid in conflict resolution, and regain lost closeness. The twelve steps to compassionate communication are as follows:
* Stay present
* Cultivate inner silence
* Increase positivity
* Access a pleasant memory
* Observe nonverbal clues
* Express appreciation
* Speak warmly
* Speak slowly
* Speak briefly
* Listen deeply
For me, the power of the book is how Andrew Newberg and Mark Robert Waldman combine the theoretical framework of verbal and nonverbal language, with the practical techniques for improving interpersonal communication. The key insight of the book is how the very choice of words affects the brain of the speaker, as well as that of the listener. Building on leading edge research, the authors present compassionate communication strategy that builds a strong connection between people. That bridge is created through improved communication skills.
The practices for developing those bonds between people are ones that can be learned and applied in a variety of business and interpersonal settings. Through the practice and application of the techniques outlined in the book, the many languages of the brain can be developed and improved over time. For business people, the recognition that improved communication creates stronger relationships with customers has a positive effect on the bottom line.
I highly recommend the research based and revolutionary book Words Can Change Your Brain: 12 Conversation Strategies to Build Trust, Resolve Conflict, and Increase Intimacy by Andrew Newberg, M.D., and Mark Robert Waldman, to any business leaders, negotiators, front line customer service personnel, sales representatives, non-profit organization executives, professionals, members of government, government agency employees, union leaders, and anyone interested in improving their communication skills in the workplace or at home. This book will change the way you think about and approach communication with others forever.