spirit catches you book essay

In the final chapters of her book, Anne Fadiman presents different ways that U.S. medical staff could communicate more effectively with patients from different culture. Although Fadiman’s concern is specifically with doctor-patient communication, some of the ideas from her book might be applied to various situation in which people are coming from different paradigms. Think about when in a situation in which you need to negotiate with someone who has a very different viewpoint from your own. Answer the following question for the essay: What insights from Fadiman’s book can help you communicate effectively with others and different cultures and reach some common understanding about a situation? Support your essay by incorporating examples, paraphrases and quotations from the book -Fadiman, A. (1998). The spirit catches you and you fall down: A Hmong child, her American doctors, and the collision of two cultures (1st Ed.). New York, NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Here is a example from another paper on how this should kinda sound/be written but obviously can’t be the exact same and there does need to be some examples from book.

Effective Communication
Fadiman’s book, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down (1997) provides readers
with insight to effective communication with individuals or cultures that may have different
viewpoints than that of your own self. These insights can be successful in allowing both parties
to reach some common understanding about the situation or issue presented. Referenced in the
book is the work and model of Arthur Kleinman, MD, who is a psychiatrist and medical
anthropology professor at Harvard University. Although medically focused, Kleinman developed
eight questions to ask patients and family members to help better understand their culture and
beliefs as it pertains to their disease process. Some of those questions can be reworded to better
understand another individual’s perspective on an everyday situation that may have been
disagreed upon. Exploring each individual beliefs of the cause of the problem and why the
problem may have occurred is important. Also, examining the best resolution to the problem or
outcomes from the problem is a strategy involved in effective communication.
Other means to effective communication involves the skills of active listening, openmindedness,
and understanding and accepting that not all individuals have the same perspectives
and beliefs as one’s self. Active listening involves maintaining direct eye contact with the
speaker and engaging in their explanation with gestures. It shows the speaker that you are
attentive and understanding of what they are explaining. Avoidance of interrupting and cutting
the individual off is suggested. One should let the individual finish explaining their perspective
before rebutting. Speaking with a moderate tone of voice, not loudly or yelling, should be
considered. Keeping an open-mind and avoiding stereotyping or judging is important when
communicating. Respect of others’ opinions, beliefs and perspectives is pertinent to maintain a
trusting relationship and also makes the other individual feel heard. Through negotiation, both
parties can come to a common understanding on the issue at hand as discussed within the book.
Negotiation allows both individuals to collaboratively come to an agreement about the best
outcomes or resolution to the issue. Each will have a better understanding of one another’s

perspective and even gain insight into another viewpoint.

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