Help me find communication skills books
November 28, 2011 11:26 AM   Subscribe

Book filter - I am looking for books and other resources that teach interpersonal communication skills.

Backstory: Mother and daughter have a seriously lacking communication skill. They are unable to talk to each other without devolving into yelling matches.

They asked me to mediate between them last week and I believe I was able to drive home the point that they do annoying stuff to each other not because one is spiteful to the other. But rather that they are unable to articulate what their expectations and wishes are. They seemed to understand that and today I just received a request for recommendation for books that will teach them useful communications skills.

Thoughts? Any suggestion is welcome.

Might be relevant points: The daughter is first born and she just entered college this year. There is also cultural gap between them as the daughter is born in the states and the mom is from an Asian country.

And yes - I have suggested family counseling. This is a good first step though.
posted by 7life to Human Relations (5 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: The gold standards for this are Deborah Tannen's books. The most relevant probably would be You're Wearing That?: Understanding Mothers and Daughters in Conversation and I Only Say This Because I Love You: How the Way We Talk Can Make or Break Family Relationships Throughout Our Lives.
posted by MsMolly at 11:33 AM on November 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I found this book very helpful: Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life
posted by Wordwoman at 11:34 AM on November 28, 2011

Best answer: I'd also suggest this (non-Tannen) one: I'm Not Mad, I Just Hate You!: A New Understanding of Mother-Daughter Conflict.
posted by MsMolly at 11:34 AM on November 28, 2011

I want to second Marshall Rosenberg's "Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life" -- it needed a better editor, but there are extremely deep lessons in there I've found nowhere else.
posted by /\/\/\/ at 11:35 AM on November 28, 2011

If they only have time to read one, make it Dale Carnegie's. It's not specific to mothers and daughters or even family members. But it's also not specific to winning friends and influencing people. It's general wisdom about why criticism generally doesn't work and how to show respect and consideration in all your interpersonal relationships.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 4:09 PM on November 28, 2011

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