Tag Archives: listen


I’m pleased to share the cover design and editorial summary for my upcoming publication. Please feel free to let me know what you think!

The Tell Me More Gesture: How & Why to Welcome Conflict
Editorial Summary 

Author Janet Rowles begins her work with a surprising yet profound perspective on interpersonal conflict: “Conflict is an essential and unavoidable part of experiencing life to its fullest.” With this sentiment, she has created an indispensable guide to navigating conflict in a new way, one that does not urge readers to suppress or minimize their emotions—or the emotions of others in conflict with them— even when those emotions are perceived to be negative or messy.

Rowles taps into her own experiences of both conflict mediator (professionally) and instigator (personally) to take an empathetic approach toward helping others self-manage—and even welcome— their own conflicts. She encourages the reader to lean into conflict by saying three simple words: “Tell me more.” Throughout every chapter, Rowles’ belief that embracing conflict rather than stifling it is essential for fulfilling the fundamental desires for deeper and more meaningful relationships.

Throughout the book, Rowles utilizes a rich assortment of tools, tips, quotes, examples, and outside resources to aid the reader. Many of the pages contain pertinent quotations in the sidebar, drawing on the wisdom of great thinkers to speak to the conflict we all experience in life. Exercise boxes invite the reader into personal reflection throughout the chapters in addition to the journal entry spaces that appear at the end of each chapter. This helpful dual-reflection format gets readers to engage in analysis while reading as well as after they’ve finished the chapter, giving them more time for absorption of the content. Together, these complementary parts create an invaluable resource for readers of all backgrounds.

The author also injects her own personality into the work, using case studies from her professional and personal life. This gives the book a deeper level of authenticity and relatability. The integration of Rowles’ personal voice alongside research and insights from the field makes for the perfect marriage of logos and pathos. By the end of the book, I truly felt as if I had reached a new understanding of conflict engagement in a healthy way, while also feeling as if I’d had the author as my personal guide and companion through this journey. Readers are sure to feel the same.


2008 July Fishing-107

“Peace is not the absence of conflict…”  This is the beginning of many quotes by many famous people.  However, all of the quotes end differently.  People disagree about what peace is, but we generally do agree that just because we don’t see conflict, doesn’t mean that there is peace.  Who knows what lies beneath that beautiful field or that smiling facade?

Conflicts go hidden and undiscussed all the time.  Why?  Because people are uncomfortable with the visible conflict – the emotion, the upset, the anger.  We are told we must calm down and say things correctly in order to have peace.  This is a falsehood.  We must not be forced to hide emotion in order to solve conflict.  We must understand that WHEN PEOPLE ARE UPSET, THEY ACT UPSET.  If we truly understand this, we allow people to make mistakes, act with emotion, and show their true selves.  In order to do this we must listen to them, believe them, and wade through the difficult times with empathy.

The exchange of listening and being listened to is what brings peace.  Stop trying to determine right or wrong, logical or illogical, sweet or nasty.  Judging in any way does not bring peace.   Peace is the feeling of being included, of being heard, of being accepted even when we are not at our best.

Do you have anything you would like to add to this?  Any comments?

That’s it for now,



This Brenda Ueland quote is one of my favorites.  What do YOU think?DSC_8008

“Now before going to a party, I just tell myself to listen with affection to anyone who talks to me, to be in their shoes when they talk, to try to know them without my mind pressing against theirs, or arguing, or changing the subject. No. My attitude is: ‘Tell me more.’ This person is showing me his soul. It is a little dry and meager and full of grinding talk just now, but presently he will begin to think, not just automatically to talk. He will show his true self. Then he will be wonderfully alive.’ …Creative listeners are those who want you to be recklessly yourself, even at your very worst, even vituperative, bad-tempered. They are laughing and just delighted with any manifestation of yourself, bad or good. For true listeners know that if you are bad-tempered it does not mean that you are always so. They don’t love you just when you are nice; they love all of you.”

Brenda Ueland, Strength to Your Sword Arm: Selected Writings



When we are in conflict, listening to each other is extremely difficult and it is the absolute one most important thing we can do.  Even when you hear things that are ugly and mean and hurtful, if you keep listening you might find that the other person calms down and then might eventually be able to listen to you in return.  Truly listening while in conflict takes practice.  TRY LISTENING LIKE YOU ARE LISTENING TO MUSIC that you don’t like very well!  Learn something new about someone’s perspective.  Stay open and try to observe the situation from the outside to help you from taking things personally.  You will be amazed at the progress of the conversation when you concentrate on listening.