U&ME: Communicating in Moments that Matter - New and Revised Edition
by John Stewart
Taos Institute Publications, 2014 (new and revised edition)
Price: $20.00 US plus shipping and handling
Paperback, 281 pages
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Table of Contents
How’s the quality of your life?
Are you as happy as you’d like to be? Feeling satisfied with your job?
Getting along well with family members? Experiencing serenity, at least some of the time? Do you think your life situation is contributing to your longevity or pushing you toward an early grave?
Nothing is more critical to the quality of our lives than our relationships, and nothing is more critical to our relationships than how we communicate.
U&ME: Communicating in Moments that Matter shows how to improve the quality of your life by improving your everyday communicating. In the first part of the book, you’ll learn the connection between effective communication and The Big Question, “What does it mean to be human?”
Chapter 3 explains four differences between impersonal and interpersonal contacts, so you can make your communicating as personal as possible. The next seven chapters describe how to improve your texting, emailing, meeting management, and mentoring, your dating and parenting, your relationship with your spouse, your work projects, and your political communicating. The concepts in U&ME are research-based, and the dozens of practical skills have been tested by thousands of spouses, parents, students, managers, teachers, and religious leaders.
THE NEW REVISED EDITION - Announcement
John Stewart announces that the new, revised edition of U&ME: Communicating In Moments that Matter was just released in print and e-book versions by Taos Institute Publications. The first edition of U&ME was rated 5-stars on Amazon.com, and the new one is even more accessible and comprehensive. I wrote U&ME for the general reader, but it's also being used in adult learning and interpersonal communication classes.
The first two chapters appropriate Iain McGilchrist's argument (The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World) that contemporary culture is toxically imbalanced in what McGilchrist calls "impersonal" directions, and shows readers how they can enhance the quality of their lives by making their communicating "as personal as possible." This doesn't mean over-intimate or touchy-feely; it just means using one's listening and speaking to bring elements of one's uniqueness, choices, emotions-spirit-psyche, and mindful reflectiveness into one's communicating. Then 8 chapters apply the basic approach to online contacts, courtship and dating, families, business, learning situations, politics, multicultural events, and spiritual and religious contexts.
The approach explains the importance of "moments" in communication, why some moments "matter" more than others, how the human brain processes information both "impersonally" and "personally" (when a primary distinction is stimulus generalization vs. stimulus discrimination), cultural forces that push us in impersonal directions, how to cope with the facts that communicating is continuous and collaborative (socially constructed), and the connection between quality of communication and quality of life. A sample of concepts the book discusses includes mindfulness, mirror neurons, vertical & horizontal media, relational dialectics, information and identity messages, conflict management, person-centered leadership, dialogic listening, learning-centered teaching, thinking globally and acting locally, social capital and facilitation, and microaggressions.
The revised edition adds the multicultural chapter, eliminates the too-dense Chapter 2 and integrates its main ideas elsewhere, updates the neuroscience, and expands the political communication chapter with a discussion of what to do when Uncle Fred provokes a political argument at a family gathering.
If you've ever used Bridges Not Walls, you will find that U&ME develops a similar approach in a single voice and applies it even more broadly than Bridges does.
If you're looking for a resource that is very accessible, research-based, that can prompt serious discussions about depersonalization in every life-arena, and that is filled with concrete and practical listening and speaking skills, you might want to check out U&ME. Also see www.johnstewart.org.
John Stewart, Ph.D. is Emeritus Professor of Communication at the University of Washington and the University of Dubuque. He has been an executive trainer with Fortune 500 companies and his interpersonal communication book, Bridges Not Walls has sold over half a million copies. He has also written articles, chapters, and books about listening, dialogue, small group facilitation, team-building, language, and communication ethics. He lives with his wife, Becky in Dubuque, Iowa. His personal website and blog are at http://www.johnstewart.org.
John Stewart has done it again with U&ME: Communicating in Moments that Matter. He has written another book about communication that is at once highly readable, grounded in the latest research and thinking, original, and deeply practical. With the focus on people meeting in moments of communication, he has reached a new high in relating the best of theory to the everyday lives of real people, like you and me.
-- Gerry Philipsen, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus of Communication, University of Washington
There is genuine interpersonal communication and what passes for communication in everyday life. Throughout his distinguished career, Dr. Stewart has drawn our attention to the difference. In U&ME, he discuses the benefits of not settling and how we can achieve genuine contact.
-- Paul R. Falzer, Ph.D.
Clinical Epidemiology Research Center, V.A Connecticut Healthcare System
In U&ME: Communicating in Moments that Matter, Dr. Stewart has distilled a career of teaching, research, and practice in interpersonal communication into a highly readable discussion of the problems and opportunities of relationships in families, at work, and other settings. The book contains clearly worded principles and engaging vignettes, both of which are invaluable in helping readers apply the concepts.
-- Kenneth N. Cissna, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus, Department of Communication, University of South Florida
In U&ME: Communicating in Moments that Matter, Stewart extends the reach of his earlier work to include the everyday of our on-line lives, courtship and dating, family and friends, leadership, spirituality, and politics. Written in an accessible style with useful personal examples, stories, and exercises, U&ME is a must read for those committed to improving the quality of their relating, their relationships, and, consequently, their lives.
-- Kimberly Pearce
Co-Founder and President, CMM Institute for Personal & Social Evolution, Author of Compassionate Communicating: Poetry, Prose & Practices
U&ME: Communicating in Moments that Matter takes the complexity of this thing we call “communication” and boils it down to its very human core — to things we intuitively know and understand about how easy it is for our interactions to be nothing more than an attempt at communication. And then, it introduces practical skills that each of us can use to improve our communication. With chapters spanning everything from on-line communication to intimate relationships to leadership to the political sphere, this is a must read for anyone who is concerned with the state of our relationships today.
-- Kelly Larson, J.D.
Director, Office of Human Rights, Dubuque, IA
A highly accessible guide to communicating in interpersonal relationships in intimate, political, intercultural and virtual settings. Written in an engaging style with many case studies, the book will be of value to anyone interested in improving quality of life by creating moments that matter through verbal and nonverbal listening, and conflict management skills. A touching book. And a potentially life transforming journey for the reader and practitioner
-- Saskia Witteborn, Ph.D.
School of Journalism and Communication, Chinese University of Hong Kong
This work earns a “bravo” in terms of freshness, solidity, seriousness of purpose, and therapeutic (small “t”) potential for those who agree, or come to agree with the author, that “Nothing is more critical to the quality of our lives... than how we communicate.”
-- George Diestel, Ph.D.
Emeritus Professor of Communication and Humanities California State University, Fresno
John Stewart shows us that no matter what’s happened before, we can always choose to respond to another person in a way that makes us both more fully human. In U&ME he shares insights drawn from years of searching for and using effective, practical choices for responding to others—choices that can turn more of our moments with them into moments that matter in our lives and in theirs.
-- Robert Arundale, Ph.D.
Emeritus Professor of Communication
More reader comments from Amazon:
I am enjoying reading it now, and recommend it to others.
-- Cortney D. Vance Sr.
You will learn practical solutions you can use every day to be a better communicator, which will add clarity, depth and value to every interaction you have each day.
-- Lisa Davis
Read this book to understand both yourself and others better.
-- Steven A. Beebe
BRAVO for U&ME
Reviewed By George E. Diestel on February 21, 2014
U&ME: Communicating in Moments that Matter, by John Stewart, Ph.D, Taos Institute Publications
Whether expert or novice in the study of Interpersonal Communication, U&ME presents a fresh and laudable dive into the one variable which ultimately determines the quality of our lives--Interpersonal Communication. This book, by one of the beacons of American interpersonal communication scholarship, John Stewart, can help anyone understand the difference between an I-IT perspective and an I-THOU platform of life, and the radical and salutary consequences of learning to live the with balance between them.
This volume will satisfy the reader's need for both the theoretical as well as a friendly recodification of notions in the pragmatics of communication. The situations to which the author applies his new nomenclature are all within common experience and the communication challenges of quality relationships. This book seriously addresses the contexts of parent, lover, courtship, management, and church, as well as others which daily confront us all.
There are new models and structures presented in U&ME which are clear, coherent, and useful: i.e., always viewing interpersonal communication as: continuous, complex, and collaborative. The reader will feel in contact with the author throughout, especially when contemplating or discussing the many specimens of important and provocative dialogue transcripts included.
I like this book and here's why:
In "tweeter times" like now, it's rare for me to sit down and read something where I get the feeling that the person doing the writing slowed down enough to show us their most genuine and authentic picture of life as they know it. I have only read the first chapter of John Stewart's book "U & Me" and I already appreciate that he slowed down to write with an authentic voice about quality of life matters as he knows them. I'm touched by his reach for our deeper understanding of ourselves, our lives and our communication. I hope that other readers are also moved by the messages in this book as I have already experienced. This book has already exceeded my expectations.
-- L. Joubert
This book makes so much sense!
What I love about this book is that it is easy-to-read and practical, yet based on extensive and up-to-date research. It won't lead you wrong: It will make a positive impact on your relationships and your life.
-- Amazon Customer
Interpersonal Communication Matters in All Your Moments
The longer we move about in this world the more we reap the results of our interpersonal communication skills. If we are lucky, we score more on the positive side than on the negative. John's book is the result of decades of living, reading, writing, teaching, and most importantly, thinking. I know because he and I have shared a few of these years and moments beginning in the halls of our high school. My professional life has been spent in the area of mass communication. In that, I've been successful. I hope in my personal life I've logged more points in the positive column than in the negative. I know only too well those moments I failed. I count John as a friend so am biased. That said, if you are looking for some new ideas and tools in this area, I can recommend, with a clear conscience, you begin with this book.
-- L. Paulson
Very usable ideas for the 'ordinary' person......
I enjoyed reading this 'self-help' type book that is written for the ordinary person. I felt that the author was able to put his thoughts and ideas forth without sounding like a textbook. I liked his well-written 'examples' and really enjoyed the whole book. I've tried to use some of his very usable ideas in my recent communications and have felt successful! Five stars!
Smart, practical, and deeply human
This book is for anyone who values the meaning that our interactions with others give to our lives and, in the end, to our society as a whole. I live and work in the world of human rights, intercultural relations, and local government. I have spent years as a witness to the ways in which our inability to communicate with each other breeds frustration, anger, and sometimes violence. I have been part of countless committees where people with opposing viewpoints have struggled, and often failed, to understand one another. I have wondered aloud at our seeming inability to come to reasonable consensus about matters that in the end affect us all. I have been part of relationships that have stumbled and sometimes ended in ways that could have been prevented. I have studied and researched and experimented, and have felt the pain again and again as my own communication limitations caused me to be a part of the very problem I was purporting to want to solve. This book takes the complexity of this thing we call "communication" and boils it down to its very human core - to things we intuitively know and understand about how easy it is for our interactions to be nothing more than an attempt at communication. And then, it takes things one step further by introducing practical skills that each and every one of us can use to improve our communication, our relationships, and our impact on each other and on the world. With chapters spanning everything from on-line communication to intimate relationships to leadership to the political sphere, this is a must read for anyone who is concerned with the state of our relationships today.
-- Kelly Larson