Title: The Art of Conversation
Author: Judy Apps
Publisher: Wiley Capstone
Reviewer: Anne Duell, registered general nurse, Birmingham Community NHS Trust
What was it like?
We are presented with a small concise hardback book, which presents the reader with hints and tips to improve their communications skills and to become more confident communicators in their everyday working and social life. The structure of the books provides us with short but stimulating units. There is provision of numerous exercises that the reader can partake of to build their self-confidence and ability to put their theoretical learning into practice. The book is split into three sections, which focus on how conversation works, how to build the skills required to become a strong communicator and finally how to use communicate in difficult or challenging situations to achieve the desired outcome without the use of mind games.
What were the highlights?
The highlights of this book comes from it style and layout along with the use of anecdotal stories to underpin the message being presented.
Strengths & weaknesses:
The strengths of this book are incorporated in both its readability and usability. It is not a dry read but is engaging and entertaining. The author creatively links the practical elements of communication with the act or drama of communicating. An icon guide has been employed to provide at a glance the areas in which the reader should apply more focus. For readers whose mind may naturally wander while reading this is a great way to support them in refocusing on the important learning points.
In relation to the content of the book there are no weaknesses. It is well structured and presented. I would however suggest that the reader has a jotter or notebook at hand to make any notes to support their individual journey of learning.
Who should read it?
I would recommend this book to individuals who are insecure in actively engaging in the act of conversation. It may benefit some healthcare students in the earlier stages of their training; to further enhance the theoretical learning they receive surrounding the art and skill of communication. This book has a broad readership as it would be of benefit and support to individuals/ mentors who feel they are already good communicators but wish to sharpen their skills or move into the field of coaching students or patients in improving their communication ability.