Society today is fragmented. There are frequent examples of harsh and abrasive discourse in social, employment, personal, and political settings. Name-calling, conceit, and vulgarity are frequently used in social media, and other forms of social interaction and discussion.
Individuals must understand the content and intent of communication. The missing link in quality and effective communication is listening. Everyone wants to be heard, but they fail to realize that all parties must listen. Listening is an essential skill and is more than simply hearing.
Communication is essential in all facets of life because it concerns not only the physical process of talking and listening, but also emotional and psychological concerns and ethics. The nature of the conversation brings expectations and either opens or closes doors to further communication.
George A. Goens. PhD served at all levels of education as a teacher, administrator, superintendent, as well as a graduate school associate professor. He has authored seven books and co-authored four others.
Chapter 1: Democracy
Chapter 2: Communication
Chapter 3: Ethics
Chapter 4: Listening
Chapter 5: Voice
Chapter 6: Active Listening
Chapter 7: Dialogue
Chapter 8: Mindsets
Chapter 9: Thinking
Chapter 10: People
Epilogue: Wisdom and Honor
Educator Goens focuses on how communication is made up of two parts: speaking and listening. Both are vital in making a connection, but the onus seems to fall on the listener. Interchanges come in many forms, including instruction, discussion, music, and face-to-face or digital conversations. The key ingredient in every exchange must be mutual respect, which is all too often missing in today’s interactions. Goens approaches the problem by delving into the importance of the ethics, voice, and mindsets of both the speaker and the listener. A listener’s preconceived notions can limit his or her receptivity; a speaker’s attempts to make his or her point may result in failing to listen to the other person. In a true dialogue, parties may not come to an agreement, but they will feel recognized and understood. Goens challenges readers to examine their assumptions, biases, and primary beliefs and make the effort to come to a discussion with an open mind and a respectful manner. Conversations in politics, social media, and family gatherings can only be made better by Goens' methods.
In this disharmonious world, Getting The Message, artfully illustrates our societal failings highlighted by our inability to truly listen to messages being hurled at us through what seems to be an unending stream of information resources. Goens carefully explores the impacts and processes it takes to process a message and its intent. This book serves as a training manual to understand the perils of not truly hearing a message and provides a path to better one’s ability to understand information.
George Goens has given us a healing message for all times, but one that is uniquely positioned to enlighten us in times of crisis that heighten our hunger for meaningful communication. Goens acknowledges the inadequacy of language alone to communicate; he opens us to the power of the non-verbal to hear the total message. In his understanding, this is not a passive act. Deep listening can take us into new territory, perhaps challenging us beyond our comfortable filters and gifting us with new insights.
An excellent book on a topic we all take for granted. From Mortimer Adler to Ellie Wiesel the author cites historians and others that have demonstrated that listening is more than hearing and is a critical part of communication that is rarely taught.