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.
My rating: 5/5 stars.
Mike Bechtle (EdD, Arizona State University) is the author of two previous books on relationships, a frequent speaker and blogger. He lives in California. You can find out more at http://www.mikebechtle.com/.
Revell, 240 pages.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.