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If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?
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Alda has been on a decades-long journey to discover new ways to help people communicate and relate to each other more effectively. If I Understood You is the warm, witty and informative chronicle of how Alda found inspiration in everything from cutting-edge science to classic acting methods. 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. 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. Offering 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.
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About the Author

ALAN ALDA has earned international recognition as an actor, writer and director. He has won 7 Emmy Awards, received three Tony nominations, is an inductee of the Television Hall of Fane, and was nominated for an Academy Award for his role in The Aviator. Alda played Hawkeye Pierce on the television series M*A*S*H, and his films include Crimes and Misdemeanors, Everyone Says I Love You, Steven Spielberg's Bridge of Spies, and many more. Alda is an active member of the science community, having hosted the award-winning series Scientific American Frontiers for 11 years and founding the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University. Alda is the author of two bestselling books, Never Have Your Dog Stuffed- And Other Things I've Learned and Things I Overheard While Talking To Myself.

Reviews

"Alan Alda is a man with a mission. He began with a passion to help scientists communicate with a lay audience, then realized that the skills and insights of improv that he'd learned as an actor could be transformative for everyone for whom communication is essential. And that is who will find his book invaluable: everyone."--Deborah Tannen, #1 New York Times bestselling author of You're the Only One I Can Tell and You Just Don't Understand "Alda's curiosity, intelligence and desire to wipe out baffled and bewildered faces make a compelling case for clarity, communication and, always, empathy."--Pittsburgh Post-Gazette "Bright, breezy, and upbeat . . . In writing this book, Alda follows his own advice: Communicate through storytelling."--Washington Independent Review of Books "A swift and enjoyable journey."--PopMatters "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] was frustrated that men and women of science were not able to get their points across--to the public, the media, the government. Turned out they had never been trained to do so. So Alda set out to do something about it . . . Aided by his warm, conversational style, Alda's message shows that the lessons also apply to the rest of us--and at a time when we could really use it."--Milwaukee Journal Sentinel "Alan Alda breaks down the importance of face-to-face interaction in his new book, If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look On My Face? Alda developed this compelling conversation technique to help scientists distill down complex scientific principles for a general audience."--Entrepreneur Magazine "A distinguished actor and communication expert shows how to avoid 'the snags of misunderstanding' that plague verbal interactions between human beings. . . . A sharp and informative guide to communication."--Kirkus Reviews "An enlightening and thoughtful combination of shared experience and advice."--Booklist "In this charming, witty, and thought-provoking book, full of rich anecdotes, Alan Alda describes some of the tools of communication that he teaches in his work with the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science and shows how everyone--from lovers to politicians to scientists--can benefit from being better communicators."--Lawrence M. Krauss, author of The Greatest Story Ever Told . . . So Far "I've spent a lifetime trying to understand and use the art of communication. And then comes this fellow Alda--actor, interviewer, academic, and, mostly, student--who teaches me new, useable ideas. Communicating is at the heart of connectedness. Alda, with his laudable curiosity, has learned something you and I can use right now."--Charlie Rose "Sit back and enjoy Alan Alda's scientific journey of communication."--Barbara Walters

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