Wayne State University

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Wayne State employee helps people "communicate in everyday life"

Wayne State employee helps people

Linda Seatts, coordinator of campus life, parent programs and student community initiatives for the Dean of Students Office and a graduate of WSU's dispute resolution program, recently published her second book, Did I Say That? How to Communicate in Everyday Life.

The book illustrates communication mistakes people make on a daily basis that lead to conflict, broken relationships and hostile environments, and demonstrates ways to help combat miscommunication.

Seatts' college education, extensive mediation training and experience with the Oakland Mediation Center and TACOM - a division of the United States Department of Defense -opened her eyes to people's need to learn how to communicate more effectively.

An active listener, Seatts has counseled everyone from married couples to siblings. She said that much of the time, conflict boils down to miscommunication and "silent expectations."

Though communication largely depends on verbalization, listening is just as important, but can also be just as detrimental.

"Many people don't know that listening is communication too," says Seatts. "Because we live in such a fast-paced society, many times we don't slow down enough to actively listen and talk long enough to get to the real problem.

"People will walk around upset about something somebody said, rather than get clarification from the person who offended them. On the other hand, my book talks about the need to determine the right time to respond and when to let something go."

One of Seatts' main takeaways from the dispute resolution program was that people can agree to disagree and still get along at the end of the day. As someone who advocates world peace and human rights, she felt pursuing a master's in dispute resolution would do more good than a law degree as she helps people find solutions to everyday problems.

"We will always have conflict, but how do we manage conflict and, in many cases, how do we solve it?" says Seatts.

Thanks to her degree and experiences, Seatts now has the tools to help herself and others answer these questions.

Seatts has two upcoming book signings. The first is from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 6, at 1917 American Bistro, 19416 Livernois Ave. The second is from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, April 19, at Flood's Bar & Grill, 731 St. Antoine.

Did I Say That? How to Communicate in Everyday Life is available for purchase at Amazon.com.