Janet Miller Wiseman LICSW
Outskirts Press (2016)
Reviewed by Carol Hoyer for Reader Views (7/17)
“Seven Visual Steps to Yes” by Janet Miller Wiseman is a helpful book for couples, or anyone who has a hard time negotiating issues.
Wiseman first states that couples need to identify the conflict before it can be addressed. That is interesting in that many times each person sees the conflict as something different. There are those who will not give an inch regardless of what is suggested and often feel that what they want is more important than what is the best solution. Each chapter in this book gives excellent examples of conflicts and how couples usually address them. The author then provides some alternative ways to deal with the issue at hand, so there are several options available.
The writing is very informative, supportive and provides great suggestions that readers can use every day. Wiseman gives some great case examples as to how couples could come to an agreeable solution. I agree that often only one person will read the book and try to address the issues at hand, but sometimes that individual can help make positive changes for both. There are several diagrams offered to show how each step is addressed; however, after reading I am still unclear on the rating system. Having practiced marriage and family counseling, like the author I have couples list their priorities in the relationship.
Often each person thinks only about retribution and getting back at the other, which leads to a vicious cycle. Also, not every couple will take the services of a mediator or try to do it on their own. Again, like the author, I think that it depends on the amount of anger and desire to hurt the other person.
“Seven Visual Steps to Yes” is easy to read and follow and the author’s suggestions will help give some great options for communication and resolution. Wiseman also suggests that couples take time away to look at their priorities then come back together to prioritize them and calmly address them. One such suggestion is to let one person speak at a time, and then clarify what was said.
I recommend “Seven Visual Steps to Yes” by Janet Miller Wiseman to all couples and mediators as a guideline on how to address conflict.