If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look On My Face Summary, Review PDF

Award-winning actor and screenwriter Alan Alda went to the dentist thinking it was a routine procedure. When he inquired about the nature of the upcoming dental procedure, the dentist impatiently grunted, “Shackles.” Although Alda didn’t understand what the man with the scalpel was up to, he kept quiet and let him do it.

It would have been nice if Alda had kept talking. The dentist’s seemingly routine procedure turned out to be quite experimental, and now he can’t smile normally. This is, of course, terrible news for an actor.

Alda’s visit to the dentist shows the importance of clear communication. If we want to be successful in life, we need to develop into excellent communicators, able not only to receive the information we need, but also to give it.

Alda explains how you can use the skills he’s acquired as an improviser, actor, and interviewer in your own life and work. With these skills, you can become a communication professional.

You may be wondering if you should read the book. This book summary will tell you what important lessons you can learn from this book so you can decide if it is worth your time.

At the end of this book summary, I’ll also tell you the best way to get rich by reading and writing

Without further ado, let’s get started. 

If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look On My Face Book Summary

Lesson 1: Compassion and logic make for a persuasive speech.

To convey our thoughts and feelings clearly, we must take advantage of the personal connection that occurs when we speak to others.

Science has found that this resonance is real. Research has shown that the brain of a monkey watching another monkey grasp an object responds in remarkably complex ways.

Neurons known as mirror neurons are linked to our empathic nature because they become active when we observe another person performing a behavior. For example, a person may trigger their own happiness neurons simply by noticing a happy expression on another person’s face. When they feel bad, we feel bad.

The ability to put oneself in another’s shoes or empathize with them is an essential prerequisite for meaningful interaction with other people.

Yet there’s another side to this caring character. It’s not as strange as it sounds to overlook the fact that another person has his or her own opinion. To overcome this, we need to use our logical thinking skills.

Suppose a study was conducted with children under the age of five. The children observe a woman enter the room, put down a cookie, and leave the room. A few seconds later, a man enters the same room and puts the cookie away. When the mother returns, the children immediately assume that she remembers where they hid the cookie. Since she doesn’t know the area, she can’t provide any help.

We adults may not be quite as selfish as these children, but we still have a bad habit of ignoring the feelings of those around us in order to assert our own. If we want to get our way, we’ve to use our heads. Body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice are all forms of nonverbal communication that can reveal what someone is really thinking and feeling in a conversation. If we’re lucky, our conversation partners reveal some of their innermost thoughts and feelings to us.

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Lesson 2: Depending on who you’re talking to, you may need to change your wording a bit to make your point.

The best way to make an impression and get your point across is to be engaging and concise. The most important aspect is to get noticed, and a story is the best way to do that.

Think about how David Muller announced to the world that his thin glass was a new record. He didn’t just give a boring technical talk about his discovery, he told a story. He described the accidental discovery of his invention together with a fellow student. While processing graphene, they found some “dirt” in the system. At first they thought an air leak was to blame, but a closer look revealed that the sludge was made of wafer-thin glass.

This interesting anecdote helped popularise Muller’s invention.

To further improve your communication skills, try using the “Yes, and…” technique. This strategy is widely used in the world of improvised comedy. The trick is to take what someone else says, change it, and present it as your own.

When the author’s colleague, Larry, was confronted by an armed thief, he applied the game in a novel way. Instead of reacting angrily, he looked the young man in the eye and offered to help. He tried to understand the young man’s perspective and develop a plan to solve their mutual problems. When things didn’t go the way he wanted, Larry just kept going. The thief finally put down his gun, and the next day Larry helped the young man find a job.

This story is an example of how genuine information exchange often happens in unexpected places and through unexpected mediums. Look for opportunities to make meaningful connections with others, as this is often the key to helping people overcome their differences.

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Lesson 3: If you master the art of improvisation, you can better interpret nonverbal signals in social situations.

When it comes to communicating with others, many of us make things more complicated than they need to be. We overcomplicate things by trying to include irrelevant information or using unnecessary jargon.

The best thing we can do is to limit ourselves to the essentials. Not everything can be described in words. Body language, tone of voice and facial expressions contribute greatly to communication and can be used to great effect because they work on such a fundamentally intuitive level.

With a few improvisational methods, you can send the right nonverbal signals. A pair of scientists from Stony Brook College were recruited by the author for an improvisation session. They confronted each other and tried to mimic each other’s actions. The leader realized that it was imperative that he slow down so that the pursuer could keep up. Eventually, the tables turned.

In the following phase, neither of them became the leader, but they still had to work together. For this reason, they had to pay attention to how they looked to others.

Conversation began after both individuals had a good understanding of the other’s nonverbal signals and their own. Again, they tried to mirror and respond to their partner.

In this way, the ability to decode even the most basic nonverbal signals is improved. There is also the possibility of playing charades. Nonverbal cues and tone of voice can also be used to infer a connection between two people.

These strategies can also be used to learn to empathize with others and recognize their feelings. The author enjoys honing this skill by speculating about the reasons for others’ actions.

Just try it out, you have nothing to lose. Think for a second about the feelings of your colleagues and the people you see on the subway.

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Lesson 4: The last two principles of effective communication are based on a thorough understanding of the situation and the preferences of the listener.

You should have learned the art of conversation by now. However, two other techniques are essential. First, remember that you must adapt your approach to the particular audience with whom you’re speaking.

Helen Riess, associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, has noted that.

She and some of her patients were filmed while wearing a skin conductance monitor as part of an experiment to record their stress levels.

One therapy session in particular left Riess shaking her head. A young, seemingly confident patient was having trouble keeping his weight down. While the data showed the patient had significant anxiety, Riess’ levels remained relatively constant. Clearly, she’d not understood the patient’s true feelings.

Riess looked at the storage media again. After some time, she began to recognize the patient’s nervous tics and gestures. In short, Riess sharpened her empathy skills to be able to use emotionally charged scenarios in her future psychotherapeutic work. Overall, the patient was successful and lost 50 pounds.

Although the ability to empathize is admirable, there are times when it would be unwise to do so. A friend of the author once went to the doctor with foot pain. The doctor could no longer bear the increasing symptoms and fell to the floor holding his head. The patient was understandably shocked by this kind of sympathy.

Second, remember that effective communication usually means simplifying, not explaining complex and confusing details.

Imagine a security expert giving an organization a highly technical breakdown of how to attack its internal network. If the warning isn’t heeded, the security of the system may be compromised.

As a rule of thumb, try to avoid technical jargon. Remember that what doesn’t make sense to you may be crystal clear to someone else. Put aside preconceived notions and get ready to get down to business.

If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look On My Face Book Review

If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look On My Face is a great book I’d like to recommend to anyone who is interested in communication. If you spend some time digesting the ideas, it might make a positive impact on your life.

Drawing from his own life experiences, Alan Alda is passionate about communicating the value of clear and effective communication. Thanks to his acting experience, Alda is able to teach others the art of improvised communication.

A look back at you.

Eye contact increases feelings of empathy. Direct eye contact with a single person in a group can provide a natural oxytocin boost, especially when speaking in front of a large audience.

About The Author

Alan Alda is known throughout the world for his work in film, theater, and television. Seven Emmys, three Tony Award nominations, the Television Hall of Fame, and an Oscar nomination for his performance in The Aviator are just some of the awards he’s received. Alda’s filmography includes such classics as Crimes and Misdemeanors, Everyone Says I Love You, Manhattan Murder Mystery, and Bridge of Spies, as well as his role as Hawkeye Pierce in the long-running television series M*A*S*H.

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