Effective communication is a skill that everyone wants but can be hard to develop. In a collection of short, humorous essays, Rebecca M. Lyles carefully articulates the do’s and don’ts of effective communication in her work From the Errors of Others. As an experienced editor, Lyles brings years of experience into the work, including witty anecdotes to liven the reading. Especially in professional settings where a misspoken word or incorrectly placed comma may produce ill effects, learning to convey what you mean to say correctly carries much import. Focusing on the specifics of language and tone in both spoken word and written forms of communication, from emails to twitter posts, Lyles brings the focus back to basic communication without all the pretentiousness that autocorrect and suggested synonyms bring.
Besides the clear lessons taught in this collection, Lyles also possesses a strong sense of awareness for the reader. While From the Errors of Others contains dozens of lessons, a reader can easily read the entire work in one sitting. Lyles possesses the capacity to thoroughly entertain her intended audience while educating them about the topic at hand. Her frank voice and humor lend themselves towards helping the reader’s general interest in a topic generally considered dense and dry in nature. Short, succinct chapters provide direct and clear meanings, some in the forms of anecdotes with critical morals and lessons that would benefit those who don’t possess the power of eloquent but straightforward communication. Readers seeking to create more effective communication in professional settings, as well as in everyday conversation, should take lessons from Lyles’ work to heart; the colloquial manner in which Lyles executes the lessons provides context for the utilization of techniques. Regardless of how well one communicates, From the Errors of Others should be a work read by everyone who wants to learn effective communication.