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The Art of Positive Communication

Theory and Practice

Julien C. Mirivel

How we communicate with each other matters greatly. Our identity, our friendships and marriages, our families, and our culture are the product of how we speak to one another. Our words affect our hopes and dreams, as well as those of our children. We insult, complain, or criticize. We compliment, offer support, and inspire. These are choices that take place in the crevices of our most private and public conversations with others.
This book bridges communication theory and practice to foreground an important message: positive communication matters. By examining closely how people talk to each other at home or at work, this book enables undergraduate and graduate students to communicate more positively. The Art of Positive Communication is an ideal text for undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in interpersonal communication courses and as a supplemental text to inspire all students to communicate better.
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Chapter 3: Positive Communication Discovers the Unknown


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In Paulo Coelho’s (1993) book The Alchemist, an old man tells Santiago, the main character in the fable, the following: “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it” (p. 22). Perhaps there is energy in the universe that moves each of us in the direction of our growth, our potential, our dream. In his work, Maslow (1968) explained that “people are both actuality and potentiality” (p. 41). Between actuality and potentiality stands growth. Maslow wrote:

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