If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?: My Adventures in the Art and Science of Relating and Communicating

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Award-winning actor Alan Alda tells the fascinating story of his quest to learn how to communicate better, and to teach others to do the same. With his trademark humor and candor, he explores how to develop empathy as the key factor.

“Invaluable.”—Deborah Tannen, #1 New York Times bestselling author of You’re the Only One I Can Tell and You Just Don’t Understand

Alan Alda has been on a decades-long journey to discover new ways to help people communicate and relate to one another more effectively. If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face? is the warm, witty, and informative chronicle of how Alda found inspiration in everything from cutting-edge science to classic acting methods. His search began when he was host of PBS’s Scientific American Frontiers, where he interviewed thousands of scientists and developed a knack for helping them communicate complex ideas in ways a wide audience could understand—and Alda wondered if those techniques held a clue to better communication for the rest of us.

In his wry and wise voice, Alda reflects on moments of miscommunication in his own life, when an absence of understanding resulted in problems both big and small. He guides us through his discoveries, showing how communication can be improved through learning to relate to the other person: listening with our eyes, looking for clues in another’s face, using the power of a compelling story, avoiding jargon, and reading another person so well that you become “in sync” with them, and know what they are thinking and feeling—especially when you’re talking about the hard stuff.

Drawing on improvisation training, theater, and storytelling techniques from a life of acting, and with insights from recent scientific studies, Alda describes ways we can build empathy, nurture our innate mind-reading abilities, and improve the way we relate and talk with others. Exploring empathy-boosting games and exercises, If I Understood You is a funny, thought-provoking guide that can be used by all of us, in every aspect of our lives—with our friends, lovers, and families, with our doctors, in business settings, and beyond.

“Alda uses his trademark humor and a well-honed ability to get to the point, to help us all learn how to leverage the better communicator inside each of us.”—Forbes

“Alda, with his laudable curiosity, has learned something you and I can use right now.”—Charlie Rose
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About the author

Alan Alda has earned international recognition as an actor, writer, and director. He has won seven Emmy Awards, has received three Tony nominations, is an inductee of the Television Hall of Fame, and was nominated for an Academy Award for his role in The Aviator. Alda played Hawkeye Pierce on the classic television series M*A*S*H, and his many films include Crimes and Misdemeanors, Everyone Says I Love You, Manhattan Murder Mystery, and Bridge of Spies. Alda is an active member of the science community, having hosted the award-winning series Scientific American Frontiers for eleven years and founded the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University. Alda is the author of two previous bestselling books, Never Have Your Dog Stuffed: And Other Things I’ve Learned and Things I Overheard While Talking To Myself.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Random House
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Published on
Jun 6, 2017
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Pages
240
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ISBN
9780812989168
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Business Communication / General
Science / Study & Teaching
Self-Help / Communication & Social Skills
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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He’s one of America’s most recognizable and acclaimed actors–a star on Broadway, an Oscar nominee for The Aviator, and the only person to ever win Emmys for acting, writing, and directing, during his eleven years on M*A*S*H. Now Alan Alda has written a memoir as elegant, funny, and affecting as his greatest performances.

“My mother didn’t try to stab my father until I was six,” begins Alda’s irresistible story. The son of a popular actor and a loving but mentally ill mother, he spent his early childhood backstage in the erotic and comic world of burlesque and went on, after early struggles, to achieve extraordinary success in his profession.

Yet Never Have Your Dog Stuffed is not a memoir of show-business ups and downs. It is a moving and funny story of a boy growing into a man who then realizes he has only just begun to grow.

It is the story of turning points in Alda’s life, events that would make him what he is–if only he could survive them.

From the moment as a boy when his dead dog is returned from the taxidermist’s shop with a hideous expression on his face, and he learns that death can’t be undone, to the decades-long effort to find compassion for the mother he lived with but never knew, to his acceptance of his father, both personally and professionally, Alda learns the hard way that change, uncertainty, and transformation are what life is made of, and true happiness is found in embracing them.

Never Have Your Dog Stuffed, filled with curiosity about nature, good humor, and honesty, is the crowning achievement of an actor, author, and director, but surprisingly, it is the story of a life more filled with turbulence and laughter than any Alda has ever played on the stage or screen.
From the world’s #1 body language expert* comes the essential book for decoding human behavior

Joe Navarro has spent a lifetime observing others. For 25 years, as a Special Agent for the FBI, he conducted and supervised interrogations of spies and other dangerous criminals, honing his mastery of nonverbal communication. After retiring from the bureau, he has become a sought-after public speaker and consultant, and an internationally bestselling author. Now, a decade after his groundbreaking book What Every BODY is Saying, Navarro returns with his most ambitious work yet. The Dictionary of Body Language is a pioneering “field guide” to nonverbal communication, describing and explaining the more than 400 behaviors that will allow you to gauge anyone’s true intentions.

Moving from the head down to the feet, Navarro reveals the hidden meanings behind the many conscious and subconscious things we do. Readers will learn how to tell a person’s actual feelings from subtle changes in their pupils; the lip behaviors that betray concerns or hidden information; the many different varieties of arm posturing, and what each one means; how the position of our thumbs when we stand akimbo reflects our mental state; and many other fascinating insights to help you both read others and change their perceptions of you.

Readers will turn to The Dictionary Body Language again and again—a body language bible for anyone looking to understand what their boss really means, interpret whether a potential romantic partner is interested or not, and learn how to put themselves forward in the most favorable light.

*GlobalGurus.org

Available for the first time in the United States, this international bestseller reveals the secrets of nonverbal communication to give you confidence and control in any face-to-face encounter—from making a great first impression and acing a job interview to finding the right partner.

It is a scientific fact that people’s gestures give away their true intentions. Yet most of us don’t know how to read body language– and don’t realize how our own physical movements speak to others. Now the world’s foremost experts on the subject share their techniques for reading body language signals to achieve success in every area of life.

Drawing upon more than thirty years in the field, as well as cutting-edge research from evolutionary biology, psychology, and medical technologies that demonstrate what happens in the brain, the authors examine each component of body language and give you the basic vocabulary to read attitudes and emotions through behavior.

Discover:
• How palms and handshakes are used to gain control
• The most common gestures of liars
• How the legs reveal what the mind wants to do
• The most common male and female courtship gestures and signals
• The secret signals of cigarettes, glasses, and makeup
• The magic of smiles–including smiling advice for women
• How to use nonverbal cues and signals to communicate more effectively and get the reactions you want

Filled with fascinating insights, humorous observations, and simple strategies that you can apply to any situation, this intriguing book will enrich your communication with and understanding of others–as well as yourself.
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