Book Reviews

Taking the War Out of Our Words: The Art of Powerful Non-Defensive Communication

By Sharon Strand Ellison, 2007

Sharon Ellison’s premise is that when we communicate, either personally or professionally, we become defensive and engage in “rules of war” if we feel that we are being attacked. We shut down or use war-like defensive maneuvers, such as blame, sabotage, vindictiveness or self betrayal, to protect us from what we believe to be insults or attacks.  People become polarized and power struggles form that can often be hurtful and long lasting.  Conflict can escalate and is often difficult, if not impossible, to control.

Ellison provides you with effective strategies that allow you to express yourself positively, effectively and cooperatively and avoid the vicious circle that can result with power based communication. This book will give you the necessary skills and tools that will enable you to effectively de-escalate the conflict and communicate in respectful and meaningful ways. Many strategies, such as asking disarming questions, providing non-judgmental direct feedback, expressing yourself in a manner where you are heard and respected and setting firm boundaries are discussed in a very straight forward and clear manner.

Whether you are negotiating with your 14 year old, your neighbour, your partner or your boss, Ellison’s strategies provide the necessary tools that help you turn potential conflicts and disputes into conversations that are open, respectful and non-adversarial. This book would be ideal for those of you who are going through separation or divorce, as it will provide you with tools and strategies to help turn potentially explosive and hurtful arguments into positive and cooperative conversations, which take you toward resolution and away from war.

Verdict: This is a book that is definitely worth reading!

Where to buy online Read the introduction