By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – In the art of conversation, many of us use little more than stick figures, and inefficient ones at that, according to those behind a method to sharpen communication skills.

The System for Analyzing Verbal Interaction, or SAVI, has been used around the world to help individuals and organizations communicate better.

Now, its basics have been brought together in a book, Conversation Transformation, do-it-your-self-improvement.

Co-author and senior SAVI trainer Amy Yeager says there are six problem areas that stifle productive conversation.

“Those yes-buts, complaints or whining about a problem instead of fixing it, mind-reads when you think you know what somebody else is feeling, negative predictions about the future, leading questions and attacks, which are anything from ‘You stupid idiot’ to ‘What did you do that for? What were you thinking?’” says Yeager.

Not every person has every problem but SAVI’s creators say you can conquer yours with practice routines laid out in the book.

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