We text, email, and update our status on social sites to communicate with others. “There's a definite place for social media,” Bechtle writes, “but it's not for making deep connections with people and growing relationships. It's for keeping track of others in a casual way...” This book is a good reminder that a key to healthy relationships is effective communication. Often, the text or email is just not enough. We need face to face conversation.
We are reminded how much of communication is beyond the mere words being said. There is body language and tone of voice that we miss by communicating technologically. That can be up to 90% of the tools essential for effective communication.
Bechtle wants us to communicate well so he gives us a strategy to use with various tools and techniques. This book is a good exploration of communication, looking at the needs of people, the tools we can use for conversation and the techniques for using those tools. He includes other aspects of relationships too, like how they mature and how communication problems develop.
I liked his thoughts on listening and how important it is to establishing authentic communication. He encourages us to be present, really listening, not thinking of our next response. His teachings on humility and pride are excellent.
Bechtle says we can always refresh our communication toolbox. We can learn new skills to be more effective communicators. He give practical steps to do just that. He has some good ideas to keep technology from taking over relationship times, like turning off cell phones during family meals.
The bottom line is that we must be intentional to communicate well and build good relationships. “Technology should be a way of enhancing our communication, not replacing it.”
I highly recommend this book to those who desire to communicate well. You'll learn essential skills for good communication, even when the conversation is a tough one.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
I was intrigued by the title of a new book I was offered to review. You Can’t Text a Tough Conversation by Mike Bechtle attempts to teach basic communication skills to a generation who has spent a lifetime condensing speech into a text. Although in some ways a primer, it had enough great reminders and new information to be helpful to even a somewhat practiced communicator.
The author breaks down the book into four main sections. The first basically makes his case for the need for teaching and learning how to communicate well. In the second section, he gives six tools for healthy conversations and six skills needed in the third section. The final section he uses to more or less put all of the pieces together into some general thoughts on communication circles, technology and more.
Sometimes books like this can be long on lecture and short on practical help. Honestly, from the title, that was what I was expecting from this one. Bechtle does a wonderful job though on making his point, but still giving tons of practical advice and tips. He shares personal stories to illustrate his points, but not so much that you begin to feel the book is more about him than the topic.
Throughout the book there were scattered about a dozen extremely powerful quotes and sections. To me those alone made the book worth reading and discussing. If you want to be a family that is faithful to God and productive in His Kingdom, communication is a skill your entire family needs to continually work on and improve. This book would be a great place to start the training and work.
Although the book is published by a faith based publishing company, there really was very little Bible in it – mainly a couple of Proverbs quoted. The concepts though are godly, even though the book reads more like a secular book. I wish since the author went with a faith based publisher, he would have explored that aspect of his topic a little more and included it in the book.
Regardless, this book has a lot of value for you and your kids. In fact, I would suggest having teens and more mature older children read it too. Then have some family discussions about the content. Does your family do these things well? What do you need to work on individually or as a family in regards to communications? Having strong communication skills will help your family in more ways than you can imagine.