This book gives plenty of realistic scenarios: my teenager son hardly tells me anything, I have to work with a co-worker who's constantly angry, my boss doesn't get what I'm saying, and my spouse and I are always fighting. As you're listening to these scenarios (complete with realistic dialogues), you think "Yes, I've been there. What do I need to do to fix it?" The author then gives solutions that move people from arguing to empathizing to listening. The solutions aren't earth shattering. The secret is knowing the right things to say. Just as the solution to being healthy is exercising and eating well. The secret is finding a routine that works for you. I'm sure I'll be referring back to this book. After I absorb the ideas, I would have to go back and find the methods and dialogues that would fit me.
Professor Drout provides a foundation on writing and rhetoric in an amazing conversational format, as if he's talking to you directly and explaining things that you didn't understand in English 101. He explains terminologies well and provides plenty of examples to allow you to slowly absorb the concepts. I'm starting on volume 2, which is more technical. I don't remember all the information after the first listen through. I expect I will be listening to these audio books again.
About 1/3 of the way through this book I was still doubting it's depth. It promises to give some pretty powerful insights at the beginning, and I was not initially getting that. But eventually the book does deliver on it's promise. His stories of real-life interventions paint a clear picture of the source of many of our day-to-day problems. Since we are so busy, we develop fast ways of interacting with our world in a kind of one-dimensional way. We tend to see things from one simple perspective: our own.
I'm in sales, and often find myself sitting across from someone who is closed off and not letting me in. After all, I am trying to sell them something. But after listening to this book, I have a way to go beyond the transaction and connect with the person. What are they feeling? Is it fear, anger, insecurity? How can I make them "feel felt"? If I slow down and recognize that their needs are real and not just distractions to be talked over, we can communicate. That can result in a sale which I might not otherwise have gotten, which is good. But it nearly always results in better communication, which plays a very important part in all the other things I would like to accomplish in life. Thank you, Mark. Well Done.