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

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

by

Alan Alda, the award-winning actor and bestselling author, tells us the fascinating story of his quest to learn how to communicate better, and to teach others to do the same. With his trademark humor and candor, he explores how to develop empathy as the key factor.

Alan Alda has been on a decades-long journey to discover new ways to help people communicate and relate to one another more effectively. If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face? is the warm, witty, and informative chronicle of how Alda found inspiration in everything from cutting-edge science to classic acting methods. His search began when he was host of PBS's Scientific American Frontiers, where he interviewed thousands of scientists and developed a knack for helping them communicate complex ideas in ways a wide audience could understand--and Alda wondered if those techniques held a clue to better communication for the rest of us.

In his wry and wise voice, Alda reflects on moments of miscommunication in his own life, when an absence of understanding resulted in problems both big and small. He guides us through his discoveries, showing how communication can be improved through learning to relate to the other person: listening with our eyes, looking for clues in another's face, using the power of a compelling story, avoiding jargon, and reading another person so well that you become "in sync" with them, and know what they are thinking and feeling--especially when you're talking about the hard stuff.

Drawing on improvisation training, theater, and storytelling techniques from a life of acting, and with insights from recent scientific studies, Alda describes ways we can build empathy, nurture our innate mind-reading abilities, and improve the way we relate and talk with others. Exploring empathy-boosting games and exercises, If I Understood You is a funny, thought-provoking guide that can be used by all of us, in every aspect of our lives--with our friends, lovers, and families, with our doctors, in business settings, and beyond.

Title:If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?: My Adventures in the Art and Science of Relating and Communicating
ISBN:0812989147
Format Type:
Number of Pages:213 pages
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    If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?: My Adventures in the Art and Science of Relating and Communicating Reviews

  • Cindy (Thoughts From a Page) Burnett

    5++ starsEvery single person on the planet should read this book. Alan Alda (who is a phenomenal writer) has written a highly informative book about the importance of communicating better. He then goe...

  • Trish

    Alan Alda is something of an institution at this point. He has parlayed his fame as an actor on a long-running well-written TV serial, M*A*S*H, into doing whatever takes his fancy. Good for him. He wa...

  • Andy

    Disappointing. I can't say I didn't get anything out of it, or that it's outright BS, but I expected better based on Alda's years of experience in training people on this topic. Nerd addendum: I guess...

  • Jake

    The greatest science communication failure of recent history occurred during breaking news coverage of the Higgs boson particle discovery. At least, that’s my opinion. This particle, claimed to be t...

  • David Kent

    As a scientist and author concerned about how we communicate with the general public, I was eager to read this book by revered actor Alan Alda. The book reiterates and expands on a lecture I saw him g...

  • Kristy

    ***I received my copy through Goodreads Giveaways in exchange for an honest review.***Alan Alda's hilarious psychology videos got me through high school AP Psych, so I thought this would be a good one...

  • Ann-Marie

    As I was reading this I could easily read it all in Alan Alda’s voice. That’s how well he wrote it (and I guess his voice was more imprinted on my brain than I thought). He kept things pretty inte...

  • Monica

    This is brilliant. Alda's emphasis on the role that empathy plays in communicating is brilliant--and his practical exercises backed up by research explaining their efficacy was incredibly useful. All ...

  • Jessica

    4 Communicating-Stars! ☆☆☆☆“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”This book was insightful, funny, i interesting and above all educating. I l...

  • Paul Franco

    Many years ago I saw Alan Alda on a TV show, something about scientific frontiers. While that’s mentioned in this book, he focuses on one particular subject, that of empathy.It all started with an e...