Pace and Kyeli, the authors of the Usual Error, live in Austin, Texas and their book has a good, down-home feel about it! Their style is conversational as their goal is to make understandable what is often convoluted and confounded! Each chapter is grounded with stories that illustrate two sides of a situation and/or conversation. They speak to many of the touch points of healthy communication.
While the tips and techniques offered can be applied in both personal and professional settings, I think the book will be most useful to folks looking for clarity in their personal relationships. The book does not delve into the messier aspects of how to handle conflict and behavior that is difficult.
As a primer, though, this is a warm and engaging place to start learning how to avoid all too common communication missteps that have their origin in the "usual error," i.e. thinking that others are just like me!
I started to read this on their website and quickly realized how awesome it was and that I wanted to have it on paper so that I could come back to it, read it to my partner and share with others more easily. Super accessible in the way it is written and presented, so easy to take the info in and imagine how to apply it to one's own life. Can't wait to read the rest of it!
"The Usual Error" by Pace and Kyeli Smith is an unusual book. It takes a look at how we, in 34 different ways, miscommunicate. The authors also provide uncommon sense yet simple ways in each situation to not make the same error again.
I not only learned much, but also enjoyed this book. Being someone who recalls pictures in detail more easily than a concept in words, I appreciate that there are (somewhat silly) drawings to depict each error. The authors state that this was done precisely for people like me, to give a dual approach to learning.
The examples they provide for each error are obviously from their own lives, adding a personal note that kept me from feeling preached at and sometimes being so familiar I caught myself saying "I've done that!" -- right out loud.
I would recommend this book for everyone, from teenagers to elders. If enough people read this book, we could solve generational, gender, national, and ethnic misunderstandings in our society.
Can't recommend this book highly enough! The first time I finished it, I flipped right back to the beginning and started it again. My partner and I have also read it together and it's greatly improved our communication with each other. Buy this now!!