From professors Patton, Andrews, and Daily, a deep dive into the intricacies of communication.
The authors assert that physical, mental, spiritual, relational, and societal health is “directly linked to communication behaviors.” This dynamic vision of health operates on a continuum and is present throughout the life cycle, from a newborn’s cry to the last words of the dying. Patton, Andrews, and Daily break down and define the types of communication into intrapersonal (communication within oneself), impersonal (when communication occurs between people considered interchangeable), and interpersonal (communication within the context of a relationship) categories. Interpersonal communication, for example, has been shown to affect mortality, cardiovascular health, and more. A sign of healthy interpersonal communication is reciprocal self-disclosure, while playing games often signals a relationship’s downfall. On a societal level, frauds, scams, and disinformation campaigns are examples of poor communication run amok. To help readers discern truth from fiction, the authors offer tips for reality testing (“Before believing or sharing information on social media, ask yourself such questions as the following: Do I have the hard evidence to know it’s true? Does it come from reliable sources? Is the information helpful or useful?”). Empathy is touted as instrumental in most emotional negotiations. The book is well researched and thorough, with helpful diagrams and tables. It’s also up to date, incorporating information on the Covid-19 pandemic, pop culture concepts like “fake news,” and the effects of social media into the conversation. Unfortunately, the prose tends to be stodgy (“The statistics and conclusions resulting from mortality studies provide insights into the relationships between communication and length of life”). The authors offer ample insight into the hows, whys, and effects of communication, but they’re sometimes overly ambitious; one chapter tries to address everything from classism and racism to oppression and bullying before finally landing on communication behaviors that promote empowerment.
A dry but astute examination of how we talk to one another.
Pub Date: Jan. 14, 2022
Page count: 204pp
Publisher: Tridox Publishing
Review Posted Online: Feb. 25, 2022
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