If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on my Face? Written and Narrated by Alan Alda

If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?: My Adventures in the Art and Science of Relating and Communicating - Alan Alda

Alan Alda is a joy to listen to and he's a good writer. This book, despite its fun title, is a serious tome-focused on getting across how important it is to communicate clearly and effectively. Examples are cited, and exercises and games are detailed to help you do exactly that.


Focusing on the other person in a conversation, (not just waiting for your turn to speak), and noting their facial expressions and body language are key. According to Alda, if you are not willing to be changed by a person/conversation then you are NOT really open and listening.


It turns out that empathy is really important in effective communication. One of the exercises in this book mentions watching a person's face during a conversation and specifically noting and NAMING, (silently), the emotions you see on their face. This will sometimes tell you what they are going to say or do next. It tells you if they're understanding what you're saying, or if instead they are bored or confused. At times and with practice, it will sometimes seem to people that you can read minds, but what you're really doing is truly LISTENING.


Because Alan Alda has such a warm, comfortable style I learned a lot from what in less capable hands could have been a very boring book. It also might be due to the fact that Alda is an extremely effective communicator. I have already started to put some of these games and exercises into practice and I believe they have already helped me in certain areas of my life.


If you are open, (read: WILLING TO BE CHANGED), then I highly recommend this book!


*I borrowed this audiobook from my awesome public library. Libraries RULE!*