Item description for Saying What's Real: 7 Keys to Authentic Communication and Relationship Success by Susan Campbell...
Overview Elevating clear, honest communication to its rightful place in relationships, a teamwork consultant for Fortune 500 companies shows readers how to lower their defenses and communicate with directness and power. Original.
Whether with friends, lovers, neighbors, family members, or business associates, the bedrock of healthy relationships is always the same: honest, clear communication. Drawing on her years of experience as a relationship coach and a teamwork consultant to Fortune 500 companies, Susan Campbell shows readers how to drastically improve the quality of their everyday interactions by relying on a simple, straightforward approach to communication and letting go of their need to control the outcome. Practical techniques for dropping one's defenses are offered, as well as a fresh new perspective on using intimate relationships as a form of spiritual practice. Other useful tools include seven statements designed to bring the reader's awareness into the present moment, as well as handy communication-enhancing phrases and Campbell's insights on the most commonly encountered problems.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.25" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.5" Weight: 0.45 lbs.
Release Date Jan 18, 2005
Publisher HJ Kramer/New World Library
ISBN 1932073124 ISBN13 9781932073126
Reviews - What do customers think about Saying What's Real: 7 Keys to Authentic Communication and Relationship Success?
Good Start But Not the Solution Apr 11, 2008
Reading a book is never going to make your relationship better; only you and your partner(s) can do that. So if you are looking for a book to solve your problems, just stop right now. However, if you are looking for suggestions about what you can do to help your relationship develop better communication, then Susan Campbell's "Saying What's Real" claims to offer such advice.
In the introduction, Campbell discusses what she believes are the barriers to good communication: First, being raised to devalue ourselves and/or others, and second, the defensive response to that, which involves controlling others and the situation. I think these are good observations. She briefly discusses nine benefits you may develop using her seven key phrases to begin and promote good communication. However, I was hoping for an introduction to the author in terms of her authority or background on the issue. She is a therapist, but what type, where was she educated, and what other sources did she use other than observation of her clients for 35 years?
After the introduction, the next seven chapters all focus on one of the key phrases Campbell has used and urges her clients to use to help them communicate more honestly. Repeatedly she emphasizes that using these keys will require practice, suggesting that getting a "coach" or professional help can be useful for that. She offers several snippets of how people she's known have used these keys and the effects they've had on their lives. All these effects are positive, and that makes me a bit suspicious. Where are the failures, and why did it fail? We learn not only from our own mistakes but also from those of others.
Most of the time Campbell refers to her own clients, but from time to time she makes a general psychological claim. I doubt she is the first person to develop those claims, so I expect some citations of where those generalizations come from. Yes, there is a list of resources at the end of the book, but no bibliography listing what other research she is drawing upon. I know that for a general self-help book this may seem silly, but I never think that respecting other people's work and citing it is silly; in fact, not doing so can get one into legal and professional trouble. One can write a nicely flowing book for the layperson and still be academically sound in citation by using endnotes or footnotes.
I think these seven openers for communication can be useful, though given the fairly mundane examples of how they are used it will not be easy for those with more complex problems such as survivors of childhood abuse. The more traumatic the past that created your defense mechanism, the more you will need professional help. Campbell repeatedly says that you will need help to practice these skills, but I wish she had spent time on the rather large number of people whose pasts go beyond the routine denial of emotions found in most families.
For those people whose backgrounds are that routine sort, I think these keys are most useful. However, I would add that one person cannot make things work; you need everyone aboard with the program. Again, Campbell does not spend time on that reality, suggesting instead that once one person is using the phrases, the other will pick it up. I don't think that is necessarily the case, and if you are with someone who is unwilling to change or develop empathy, you will need professional help and potentially the ability to do what is best for you. Reading this book can be a good first step, but you'll need to do more than simply read it or attempt to use the phrases on your own for a while.
life changing Aug 22, 2007
this book has changed my communication skills with my fiancé emmensly. More importantly- changing my communication w/ myself. Recommended for everyone and anyone to read. The seven keys are really ways of telling yourself how you feel about what's going on when it's happening.
Saying What's Real May 15, 2007
To learn to be open and honest can change your life and your relationships. It has been an eye-opener for me.
The basics of good communication Jan 28, 2007
As the saying goes, it's the simple things that make a difference. In this case, the focus is relationship communication. The seven keys are as follows: 1. Hearing what you say, I feel . . . . 2. I want . . . . 3. I have some feelings to clear . . . . 4. I'm getting triggered about . . . . 5. I appreciate you for . . . . 6. I hear you, and I have a different perspective . . . . 7. I would like to talk about how we're feeling.
You might immediately notice the common theme of using "I" statements to express feelings. These precepts are elementary for good communication, and the author presents them in lucid terms, with engaging, narrative examples. Anyone could benefit from applying these principles, especially those new to the topic of relationship communication.
A must read! Sep 6, 2005
I came upon this book the hard way. I was raised in a family that rarely showed emotion and never talked about feelings. Although my former girlfriend tried several times to get me to talk about my feelings, I refused to do so and told her that was silly.
After she left me, I tried unsuccessfully to win her back. That's when I realized how terrible my communication skills were. I communicated the only way I knew how, which was usually either by attacking or by being defensive. Yet amazingly, until reading "Saying What's Real," I didn't realize this. I just thought I was logical. After all, I could win any argument with her or anyone else.
This book taught me that healthy communication is not about being right or getting people to do what we want. The author, Susan Campbell, makes the case that most communication comes from the (mostly unconscious) intent to control through manipulation, trying to impress others, lying so as not to hurt another's feelings, etc. She says that, conversely, healthy communication is about, "Creating mutually beneficial solutions... and sharing what we feel and think." In other words, healthy communication is about relating, which Campbell says builds intimacy and connection.
Since I wasn't comfortable with talk about relating and sharing, I initially thought the book's advice wasn't useful to men like me. After all, what man on this planet talks about how something made him feel? However, I kept reading and eventually become convinced Campbell is right. It became obvious that had I been able to really communicate and relate to my former partner, things would have turned out differently. She once commented how we often didn't seem to "get" each other. Now I know why.
After finishing the book, I went back and took 21 pages of notes. I plan to review them on a regular basis until I completely break my old patterns and make "real communication" and relating a habit. I'll also read this book with my next girlfriend when the time is right. It may be too late to salvage my old relationship, but I'm going to make sure communication is not a problem the next time around.